This week, it was announced that Donald Trump would become the next President of the United States. Up until mid-October, the Trump campaign failed to mention any plans regarding what a Trump Administration would mean for space flight. On October 26th, former congressman Robert Walker spoke to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) in his role as space policy advisor for the Trump Campaign. He spoke of a proposed space policy, that he described as containing four attributes: “it’s visionary, it’s disruptive, it’s coordinating and it’s resilient.”
Walker went on to detail nine aspects critical to the space policy’s implementation:
- Walker explained that the policy had “a commitment to global space leadership,” and it would bring more jobs to the U.S.
- The National Space Council will be reinstituted, in an effort to reduce inefficiencies. It will be headed by Michael Pence.
- A very lofty goal of human space flight across the solar system by 2100; this is supposedly an effort to motivate creation/improvement of new technology.
- Cut NASA’s climate research, and redirect that to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Instead, NASA should focus on ‘deep-space exploration.’
- Development of military and servicing satellites.
- Control global hypersonic technologies-proposed use for the military.
- Allow the commercial sector to take control of operations in low Earth orbit.
- Extend the International Space Station’s life; perhaps through financing from additional private and public partners.
- Instill a mandate for all federal agencies to develop plans on how they would utilize “space assets and technologies” in order to further mission needs.
Unsurprisingly, Walker failed to mention the budgeting logistics for this new lengthy space policy. While the goals remain broad, the Trump campaign has not detailed specific actions they will take to accomplish them. Ultimately, it is clear human space exploration is a main goal under this new administration.