Trump attacks spaceflight, international space cooperation

This 3 July 2017 video from the USA says about itself:

Neil deGrasse Tyson responds to Trump‘s decision not to slash the overall NASA budget, commenting that … he’s wary of the cuts Trump proposed within the budget – namely to the earth sciences program.

That was then. And now …

From The Verge in the USA:

Trump administration wants to end NASA funding for the International Space Station by 2025

The end may be in sight for the two-decade-old program

By Loren Grush

Jan 24, 2018, 8:49pm EST

The Trump administration is preparing to end support for the International Space Station program by 2025, according to a draft budget proposal reviewed by The Verge. Without the ISS, American astronauts could be grounded on Earth for years with no destination in space until NASA develops new vehicles for its deep space travel plans.

The draft may change before an official budget request is released on February 12th. However, two people familiar with the matter have confirmed to The Verge that the directive will be in the final proposal. We reached out to NASA for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication. …

Any budget proposal from the Trump administration will also be subject to scrutiny and approval by Congress. But even announcing the intention to cancel ISS funding could send a signal to NASA’s international partners that the US is no longer interested in continuing the program. Many of NASA’s partners still have yet to decide if they’d like to continue working on the station beyond 2024.

The International Space Station has been an ongoing program for more than two decades. … It’s become a major hub for conducting both government and commercial experiments in microgravity, as well as testing out how the human body responds to weightlessness.

NASA pledged to keep the International Space Station program funded through 2024, thanks to an extension made by the Obama administration in 2014. But after that, the station’s fate has been up in the air. Congress has openly discussed what to do with the ISS after its funding runs out, but has not made a firm decision on a plan. Many in the commercial space industry want NASA to extend the program again through 2028: the year that many consider to be the end of its operational lifetime. That would give NASA time to figure out a way to transition operations of the ISS to the commercial sector full-time or time for companies to establish a commercial module in lower Earth orbit. However, commercial companies have indicated they may not be ready to do this by 2024. …

But canceling the ISS too early without a viable replacement could lead to a gap of human activities in lower Earth orbit. A similar scenario played out in 2011, when the Space Shuttle program ended. The Obama administration had canceled NASA’s initiative to return to the Moon, known as the Constellation program, leaving the space agency without a way to get its astronauts into space. The plan was for commercial companies to step in and start sending astronauts to lower Earth orbit, instead. That idea evolved into the Commercial Crew program, where two companies — SpaceX and Boeing — have been working on spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS. But nearly seven years after the end of the Shuttle program, the companies aren’t ready to carry people to orbit and likely won’t be for another year or more. That has left NASA to rely on Russian vehicles to carry humans to space.

Beyond all of its scientific and commercial benefits, the ISS has been a cornerstone of international cooperation. NASA operates the ISS in partnership with Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, and astronauts from Canada, Europe, and Japan have all lived on the station.

Falcon Heavy launch marks new stage in the privatization—and perversion—of space exploration: here.

The Trump administration wants to turn the International Space Station into a commercially run venture, NASA document shows: here.

NASA has pulled the plug on its last moon rover — just months after Trump hailed a new era of lunar exploration.

Twitter reacts to Trump’s space force announcement.

SPACEX MAKES HISTORY A SpaceX rocket carrying a U.S. military navigation satellite blasted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral, marking the space company’s first national security space mission for the United States. [Reuters]

The Trump administration has continued its attack on climate science, quietly defunding a NASA research program aimed at monitoring greenhouse gas emissions: here.

8 thoughts on “Trump attacks spaceflight, international space cooperation

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