David Wellington Guest Post - "Race for the Soul of NASA"
NASA has a plan. A plan that will bring people back to the moon by 2028. There, we will build a basic camp from which to take the first steps towards human descent on Mars. It was a bold plan based on decades of science and experience, and it was likely to take some miracles to get rid of. NASA, of course, has always been working miracles.
On March 26 this year, Trump's management made it clear that the bold plan was not bold enough. Vice President Pence insisted at the meeting of the National Space Council that we need to put American shoes on the moon by 2024, four years before NASA's original goal. The urgency was not immediately apparent, although the new indicator suggests that the White House wants to happen before the end of the next term. It seems important that the current president is known for his habit of placing his name in large gold letters on everything he studies of paid guest post .
The letter of Pens, who was fitting for a man of his famous religion, was full of fire and sulfur. He pointed out that returning to the moon was the only way to stay competitive with China (the fact that we got there first, almost 50 years ago, is no longer sufficient to ensure American precedence). He then ended up with what seemed like a strange threat - targeting NASA. Although his new plan will use existing spacecraft and missiles if possible, "to be clear, we are not committed to any single contractor." If current contractors can not achieve this goal, we will find who will do it. "
In other words, if NASA can not get us back to the moon in time, we will instead move to the private sector. "If commercial missiles are the only way to bring US astronauts to the moon in the next five years, commercial missiles will be."
This was hardly the first time a US politician suggested that the future of the US space flight might be a profitable one. Even in the 1960s, much of Apollo was built through private aviation interests, although it was subject to strict NASA operational oversight. For years now, private companies such as Elon Musk SpaceX and Jeff Bezos Blue Oregon have helped build and launch rockets that supply and support the International Space Station in an order that has worked well. There were problems in the explosion of missiles and satellites failed mysteriously, and no private company has yet to put a living person in space. However, the government excitement to cancel NASA's missions to private companies has increased, if any. The President suggested that he wanted to sell the US portion of the ISS, which reached the end of its operational life, to the highest bidder. Unfortunately, there are currently no traders in this offer. Keeping the space station cost billions of dollars every year, and there are many ways to make quick profits from old space devices. To recover costs, NASA is now renting only parts of the station to anyone who wants it - and even hiring astronauts for advertising products. The idea that commercial space carriers can take at least some of NASA's duties - and provide services that are much cheaper than the public sector option - is now deeply hidden in all future US space plans.
To be fair, there seem to be serious questions about NASA's ability to achieve the new goal on its own. The first launch of the space launch system, the massive rocket needed to send Americans back to the moon, was launched again ... again. This time to a date probably in late June of 2021. It may take years before that any person is cleared to ride up the SLS, much less traveling to the moon. NASA recently received a multi-billion dollar budget increase to help support the new moon program, but it appears that funds may not even cover current budget overruns. While NASA does not have a shortage of great ideas on how to access the moon, important hardware components are not yet designed. NASA is still discussing who will build the space station units, landing cars and robots to be used in the program.