The outer space looks more and more like a political arena. The White House, the American Congress, and NASA are disputing over the space program over and over. Changing their mind and then reconsider.
Artemis is NASA’s new mission to send people back on the Moon by 2024. It competes with another priority: going to Mars. The original plan was to get back on the Moon in 2028. But Trump’s administration influence didn’t consider the original plan suitable. The conflict seems to be the priority now: is it the Moon, or is it Mars the next mission?
Today, the Trump administration wants to raise NASA’s annual funding, from this year’s $22.6 billion to more than $25 billion in 2021. Half of which will be directed to the moon landing program. The new annual budget requested that. It also asked Congress to allocate NASA $26.3 billion in fiscal 2025.
The White House set the ultimate priority for NASA – Mars
Depending too much on the state budget has its flaws. It makes NASA depend on presidential moods and political paybacks. A former Republican congressman from Oklahoma and NASA’s chief Jim Bridenstine is fighting to keep an equilibrium. Trying to access private funds, he is struggling to depoliticize the NASA program. But he still has to fight many Democrats in Congress that remain skeptical.
If there would be only a question of money. But it isn’t. President Donald Trump, after summoning NASA to change the original plan, is raising questions about his demand on Twitter: “For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part).”
And Jim Bridenstine has to act as a translator for the presidential moodiness. He clarified that what the president meant to say was that the White House was fully supportive of the Artemis Program, as a part of the ultimate priority — Mars.