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Mars NASA Earth Government Republicans Space The Almighty Buck

Trump Adds To NASA Budget, Approves Crewed Mission To Mars (nbcnews.com) 313

An anonymous reader quotes a report from NBC News: President Donald Trump signed a law on Tuesday authorizing funding for a crewed NASA mission to Mars. The new bill (S.442) adds a crewed mission to the red planet as a key NASA objective and authorizes the space agency to direct test human space flight programs that will enable more crewed exploration in deep space. The space agency has $19.5 billion in funding for the 2018 fiscal year, which starts this October. Trump had allocated $19.1 billion for NASA in his budget, which is slightly down from the current year, but still an improvement from the past decade, which saw the end of the space shuttle program. The commander in chief signed the bill surrounded by astronauts and his former Republican rivals, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who both sponsored the bill. Getting to Mars, though, isn't expected to happen during the Trump presidency. NASA has its sights set on getting to the red planet in the 2030s. In the near term, NASA plans to test its Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket, in addition to visiting an asteroid and redirecting a chunk of it into orbit around the moon. Astronauts could later visit the boulder and use the mission to test some of the tools needed for a Mars mission.
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Trump Adds To NASA Budget, Approves Crewed Mission To Mars

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Finally...

    Back to what NASA was founded to do.

    • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @04:28PM (#54084385)
      On a reduced budget.
    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @05:07PM (#54084717) Homepage Journal

      Actually the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on the National Aeronautics and Space Act has an interesting list of the legislation's priorities, starting with priority #1:

      The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;

      Historically speaking the act, which was signed into law in July of 1958, was a reaction to the "Sputnik Crisis" created by the Soviet launch of an artificial satellite eight months earlier in October of 1957 -- an act which filled Americans with awe and a little dread, knowing that a Soviet device was passing overhead every 96 minutes.

      So arguably NASA was founded to achieve preeminence in Earth orbit, not necessarily manned space exploration, which isn't mentioned at all in the legislation. Yuri Gagarin's Vostok 1 flight was still three years in the future, and JFKs Rice Moon Speech [wikipedia.org] followed a year and a half after that. That speech is well worth watching [youtube.com], by the way, if all you've ever seen is the "We choose to go to the moon" line.

      Manned exploration of the outer solar system wasn't really what the founding of NASA was all about; in fact manned spaceflight has only a single mention in the unamended 1958 text:

      ... the term "aeronautical and space vehicles" means aircraft, missiles, satellites, and other space vehicles, manned and unmanned, together with related equipment, devices, components, and parts.

      The main focus of NASA at its founding was to provide a single agency to coordinate space and spaced-based research, which at the time would have been largely (although not exclusively) Earth-focused.

    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      NASA has out lived its usefulness. It would be far better to re-purpose NASA as a control agency, like the FCC and FAA. Then encourage private businesses to take up the space cause.

  • I can't wait (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I can't wait to see how the whiny little Trump-hating bitches spin this.

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Spin what? NASA's budget and priorities remaining basically the same?

      How do you spin news when there's no news at all to spin? That's like saying "Hey, gravity's still working today! How 'ya gonna spin that, physicists???"

      • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

        You add some angular momentum. That's the way 9 out of 10 physicists prefer to get their spin.

      • What do you NASA's priorities are the same? Trump has taken all of the Earth observation activities away from them when he first came in on the basis that other organizations were there to do that. There was some outrage but not near enough. Now with Trump's budget proposal he wants to cut 15% from NOAA and their satellite imaging programs.

        So no, NASA's priorities aren't the same. And because the current administration doesn't believe in climate change they are defunding the satellite imaging that is us

    • by TWX ( 665546 )

      I can't wait to see how the whiny little Trump-hating bitches spin this.

      "A broken clock is right twice a day?"

      "It's not possible for someone to entirely wrong on everything."

      "One good decision on-paper does not excuse dozens of terrible ones."

      "Those boys at Orbital needed something to shore-up the old Thiokol plants in Utah."

      "Bread and circuses."

      "Relatively cheap way to distract techie-types from the NSA/CIA/Homeland Security issues."

      I'm sure there are others, each with its own merits and problems.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We're going to give NASA less than 3%of what we spend on killing people here on Earth.

    • There are not enough people to kill in space yet. Or on other planets or planetary bodies. Therefore it doesn't deserve the same budget that we spend to kill people who are not white christian heterosexual rich males born on the right piece of land.
  • Surprise! The crew is be Hillary Clinton and her daughter. Oddly enough, Bill didn't object...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA#Annual_budget

    >The space agency has $19.5 billion in funding for the 2018 fiscal year, which starts this October. Trump had allocated $19.1 billion for NASA in his budget, which is slightly down from the current year, but still an improvement from the past decade, which saw the end of the space shuttle program.

    Plain lie.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      I suspect a PR ploy whereby they allocate explicit funds for a manned Mars mission, but later undercut everything else at NASA, especially Earth science, when the general budget it made.

      It gives them news bragging rights for kick-starting a Mars mission but hides the cuts to other space projects by moving them to a later time and plucking them down in the middle of a general budget forest.

      Actually, I believe W is the one who originally announced a manned Mars mission, but never really funded it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @04:34PM (#54084435)

    Trump does not yet have the dictator powers implied by the headline. Nor dose anyone consider him the driving vision of the space program.
    I think he and the bill sponsors really only declined to try and stop what NASA was doing under Obama
    Now we find out if the legislative branch also will keep the Senate Launch System in business.
    No one expects them to cancel the SLS either.
    But the non-event will be "NEWS".

  • Ob (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @04:39PM (#54084475) Homepage Journal

    Orange colored and there's no sign of any intelligence there.

    And Mars is just as bad. DrabbadabbaTISH!

    • Trump may support going to Mars. But that does not mean that food or oxygen will be in the budget for such an adventure. After all, personal responsibility. Do the astronauts expect the taxpayers to pay for them while they are floating around doing nothing that helps put coal miners back to work?
      • by ghoul ( 157158 )

        Fuel the Mars rocket with Coal. Create jobs while going to Mars and who cares about the pollution in space.

  • by jtara ( 133429 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @04:43PM (#54084507)

    Have always been surprised at Trump's support of NASA, whether as magnanimously as he would like us think or not. At least it is not a 30% or more cut like some other agencies. He rejects science, except when it comes to expanding real estate...

    I guess the good news here is that we can conclude that the Grays - whom I assume are in total control of every President - do NOT want to eat us! They do not seem to care about our health.

    Of course, that doesn't mean that they don't want to turn us into some powdered industrial product. But at least they do not want to eat us!

    • From a man who has to have almost everything gilded, I expect his (limited - the budget's still down, just not as much as anticipated) support is because it's a big, flashy, expensive prestige thing to him. There's a little bit of pork barrelling involved, too. I would expect his interest in the exploration and science return to be minimal.

      But if we wanted to get to Mars in under a decade... we could just tell him it can happen by the end of his presidency if he gives NASA 10x the budget for a few years. H

    • Space exploration is key to the perception of the US around the world. A marketing guy named Clotaire Rapaille in his book "Culture Code" claims that subconscious "code word" for America in other countries is SPACE. You see a picture of astronauts in the US passport as well. I imagine Trump as an American nationalist intuitively understands that space exploration makes America, well, great.

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      Trump is not fundamentally anti-science. He just has a target demographic of people who want to live in the past. "make America great again"... the "again" tells everything.

      A few decades ago, there was no apparent global warming problem. People drove gas guzzlers without a second thought. Trump confort his supporters by saying they can still do.
      But Trump's target demographic also remember fondly remember the moon landings. By supporting NASA and planning missions to Mars, Trump make these people happy.
      His s

      • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        Many people think Trump is an idiot. He is not. He knows exactly what to say in order to make enough people vote for him.

        I'm glad someone else sees this. Trump is arrogant, and a bit of a narcissus, but he is not an idiot. What I actually find kind of funny, not funny as in "ha ha" but funny as in sad, is people blinded by their love for the man and those blinded by their hate can't see what is happening. Trump is playing both sides like a fiddle. He is saying exactly what needs to be said to keep his base happy, and to throw the opposition in disarray and have them frothing at the mouth.

        I'll say it here and now that

  • I mean, look at who is... Oh, nevermind.
  • Almost meaningless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @04:55PM (#54084625)

    He can't remain President long enough to actually do the mission.

    Hell, he won't be Pres long enough for hardware designs, much less actually bending metal.

    Much less launching anything...

    That's NASA's biggest problem these last few decades - no way to stick to anything beyond the term(s) of the current President, so nothing can really be done that takes longer than about five years....

    Which is another way of saying "nothing can really be done."

    • And that's what a real president does: setting long term budgets and targets for long term endeavours. And a real president also doesn't torpedo his predecessor's long term plans on a whim. Especially when those plans aren't overly political and mostly require government intervention for budgetary matters and auditing only.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      That's NASA's biggest problem these last few decades - no way to stick to anything beyond the term(s) of the current President, so nothing can really be done that takes longer than about five years.... Which is another way of saying "nothing can really be done."

      Five years? They should just switch to Agile, then they'd have something that's Done every two weeks. I know an "expert", I'd be happy to forward contact details to any NASA headhunters. Or the ones with poison blow darts, either way works for me.

  • In the bunker (Score:3, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @04:59PM (#54084651) Journal

    Trump could make up NASA's budget shortfall by skipping a few weekend getaways to Mar-a-Lago on the taxpayers' dime and maybe having his wife and son move into the White House after the kid gets out of school in five weeks.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bobbied ( 2522392 )

      Well.. While we are making stupid claims... How about Obama's trips to the Med, where he and his wife took separate aircraft and a boat load of friends? And what makes you think protecting the president in FL is all that much more expensive than having him at the White House? It's not like they don't have SS staff in both places at this point...

      Haters gota hate I guess....

      • Well.. While we are making stupid claims... How about Obama's trips to the Med, where he and his wife took separate aircraft and a boat load of friends? And what makes you think protecting the president in FL is all that much more expensive than having him at the White House? It's not like they don't have SS staff in both places at this point...

        You silly person. Think about what you just said. "what makes you think protecting the president in FL is all that much more expensive than having him at the White

  • Confused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AndyKron ( 937105 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @05:06PM (#54084711)
    I don't understand how giving less money to NASA is adding to the budget?
    • Do you remember the crowds on the National Mall for Trump's inauguration?

      Basically, you lie your damn head off and attack anyone who calls you on it, even if they're holding up irrefutable proof right in front of your face.

      It's also known as 'politics', it's just that Trump is about as subtle as using a nuke in a fist fight.

    • Re:Confused (Score:4, Informative)

      by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @07:01PM (#54085313)

      I guess you didn't see Chelsea Clinton's tweet: "If you have less money one year versus the previous year, that is called ____ ("cut"), otherwise know as _____ ("less money").

      NASAWatch added a Capt Picard facepalm picture.

    • look up the numbers for most of Obama's presidency which were lower, however a couple years (including this one) were on par

  • by joh ( 27088 )

    NASA shall go to Mars, just with less money than before without going to Mars? Or do I get this wrong?

  • You see a Mars mission. Trump sees deporting immigrants 4 at a time.

  • Spacenews reports [spacenews.com] that SpaceX has been working with NASA to identify potential landing sites on Mars for both its Red Dragon spacecraft starting in 2020 and future human missions. SpaceX, working with scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and elsewhere, had identified several potential landing sites, including one that looks particularly promising - Arcadia Planitia.

    Those landing sites are of particular interest, he said, for SpaceX’s long-term vision of establishing a human settlement

  • as "we will have a man on Mars in 20 years" for the past 50 years. Now it has been extended to infinity. This only trumps up the Mission To Nowhere as everyone loves to talk about Mars because you can defer costs to build real hardware to some other smucks 20 years into the future. Unlike if Moon is the goal then gotta come up with some real money now to build a lander, transfer stage, etc.

    But wait, there are some people talking about the Moon besides Spudis and Wingo. Maybe we get some action before we a

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