Donald Trump also has great visions in space. It is about the exploration of the solar system and further worlds. The flight from humans to Mars remains a goal – subject to the possibility of finance.
For the space agency Nasa the choice of Donald Trump to the US president is already no catastrophe. At an election campaign, the Republican candidate had said Nasa was wonderful and the US had always played the leading role in the exploration of the universe.
But with the current savings program at Nasa, Trump was not satisfied: “Look at our world-wide program, see what’s going on and what has become of our leadership role. Today we are like a third world nation. ”
This sounds very much like a President Trump changing this state of affairs, which he has diagnosed so far, and wanting to make the United States’ dream world shine again.
His main focus is doubtless much more than had been the case with a President, Hillary Clinton. Space explorers assume that Trump will focus on the exploration of distant worlds – the sending of probes and robots to other heavenly bodies and the flight of humans to the neighboring planet Mars.
Space missions would have to be inspiring – like the spectacular shots of the spacecraft “Hubble” or the images of the Red Planet fired from the US Marsrovers.
Finally, the American dream still includes the freedom to travel to other heavenly bodies and distant worlds – or to marvel at them from afar thanks to modern robotics.
The Trump consultants Robert S. Walker and Peter Navarro gave the following line in the journal “SpaceNews”: “The exploration of our entire solar system should be the focus and the goal of Nasa until the end of this century.”
Hillary Clinton would probably have concentrated more heavily on the Earth’s space, that is, the exploration of our planet by means of satellites in orbit. Environmental considerations are decisive.
Research satellites in an earth orbit can, among other things, record sea level, ice cover, forest areas, environmental pollution and global climate change.
Do US want to conquer Mars alone?
Trump was 20 years old when the first humans landed on the moon. They were Americans. Gladly, the designated US president would also be landing on the Mars American – of course, as the first.
But the technical, medical and financial hurdles on the way to a manned mission are high. Before it can actually go to Mars, a whole series of prerequisites have to be created – also economically.
In the opinion of many space explorers, the manned journey to Mars is technically and logistically so much a challenge that it can not be solved by one country alone. The “Orion” spacecraft, also conceived for possible manned Mars missions, is an American-European coproduction.
Trump had the former astronaut Eileen Collins appear at an event in the election campaign, which demanded a large plan of the government for the investigation of the universe. This also suggests that Trump wants to strengthen Nasa.
Traditionally, the Vice President is responsible for the topic of space travel in the US government. So it remains to be seen how President and Vice President will be positioned.
Nothing would change in the far-advanced privatization of American space travel – the so-called public-private partnership.
A number of companies are now producing the rockets, satellites and probes needed for space travel projects. SpaceX, Orbital ATK, Boeing / ULA, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, Paragon, Sierra Nevada and Xcor are just some of the companies that have established themselves in this context.
Space remains a domain for private companies
They can develop and produce space travel technology more efficiently and cost-effectively than a bureaucratic working authority. A boost to the aerospace industry could lead to new, demanding jobs in many companies and to promote useful innovations on the planet.
What will the future US space policy for Europe and the Esa mean? Since you can only speculate at the moment. But instead of waiting for the new guidelines in Washington to look like, one could proactively reflect on the expectations and wishes of the old world.
At the same time, Wolfgang Ischinger, Head of the Munich Security Confer- ence, recommended the following in a larger context: “Instead of speculating, we should now formulate our expectations of Trump.”