During his first two weeks as President, Biden did not waste much time on dismantling Trump’s legacy, revoking more than 30 orders signed by his predecessor while joining the Paris Climate Accords. Times to end the ban on Muslim travel and stop construction on the Mexican border wall.
But there is one point in Trump’s policy accepted by Biden: space.
The White has announced support for Trump’s signature initiative – Project Artemis, NASA’s effort to return astronauts to the lunar surface and Space Force, the sixth branch of the armed service.
The endorsement of Project Artemis means the effort will become the first major space human exploration program, with funding to survive the presidential transition since Apollo ended efforts to properly send astronauts back. To the moon and finally nowhere.
Decades ago, the president’s administration pointed NASA to different targets, from the moon to Mars to the asteroid, only to have the program halt or killed by new residents of the White House. That has disappointed proponents of space exploration, tarnishing NASA’s reputation and lamenting that the golden age of the space age of the 1960s and ’70s would not be rebuilt.
The Trump administration accepted the survey and ordered NASA to speed up its lunar campaign, ordering another man and the first woman on the lunar surface by 2024, despite an intense lobbying campaign. But the White House didn’t get it. The $ 3.3 billion of funding said it was necessary to meet that goal. But for the first time since Apollo Congress last year allocated nearly $ 1 billion for a spacecraft capable of flying astronauts to and from the lunar surface.
Last month, when asked about the program, White House press secretary Jen Psaki initially said she had no idea what the Biden administration’s stance on the project was. But the next day, she said the management accepted it willingly.
“Right now I’m very excited to tell my daughter about it,” she said. “For those of you who are not following closely through the Artemis program, the US government will work with industry and international partners to send astronauts to the astronauts. Both men and women go to the moon, which is very exciting – a new and exciting science practice, preparing for future missions to Mars and showing the value of America. ”
The position is completely different from the previous administration. During the presidency of George W. Bush, NASA was ordered to go to the moon. Under Barack Obama, reaching asteroids and Mars was the goal. Under Trump became the moon again
The Apollo program was an anomaly, which was a success, in part because of the Cold War space race with the Soviet Union and in part because it became an untouchable program after President Kenney’s assassination. good Became as John Locksdon, professor emeritus at the George Washington University Space Policy Institute, said: “A memorial to the deceased young president”
Although many in the space community think the Trump administration’s goal of landing astronauts on the moon by 2024 is politically impossible and motivated. But it gives the project momentum. And many at the space agency are concerned that the Biden administration, who said almost nothing about space during the campaign, will redirect again, often continuing the record compared to the “Peanuts” cartoon scene. Pull the soccer ball away While Charlie Brown was about to kick it.
However, since coming to work, Biden has shown an interest in space. He installed the lunar stone in the oval office; The White House released a video of him watching NASA’s Mars Perseverance landings on Mars, and Biden called to congratulate Steve Jurczyk, NASA show curator who spent more than 30 years at NASA.
Over the weekend, the White House released a video of Harris conversing with NASA astronaut Victor Glover, the first black astronaut to live on the International Space Station for a long time.
It was not clear whether the Biden’s administration would keep the National Space Council, where Trump resurrected and led by fanfare by then Vice President Pence. The administration has elevated the Science and Technology Policy Office to a cabinet-level position and many think it could become a coordinator for space policy.
It is not clear when Biden’s administration will nominate a recent NASA administrator nominee, Psaki said she could not confirm reports that former Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida is undergoing or specifying how long the White House might name someone, saying the question is. “Interesting question”
But whoever is the administrator, that person will oversee what is now the first lunar project to have a massive crowd of funding since the Apollo era. It is for this reason that NASA, who has languished in a different direction every time in the national election, is grateful.
“We are grateful that the management in the early days came out to clearly and unambiguously support Artemis,” Jurczyk said. They’re important not only to NASA, but also to our commercial partners. … And it’s very important for our international partners. ”
But endorsing the management’s Artemis program doesn’t mean it doesn’t put its own stamp on it.
NASA has created what Jurczyk calls the “NASA internal team” to “independently monitor, plan and provide feedback” to agency leaders.
The 2024 goal “may not be possible anymore,” he said. Therefore, one must consider and determine the most effective and efficient route for Artemis. ”
There is support in Congress, even as Democrats take control of the House.
“I want to clearly continue to build on what we have already done,” said Don Beyer (D-Va.), Chairman of the new council’s space subcommittee, in an interview. Goal 2024 may have arrived, so take a look. And what we can do to bring our moon back to its original path. ”
And last month, a group of 11 Democrats – including John Hicken Looper, Colorado’s new science and space subcommittee leader, wrote to Biden calling for him to raise funds for the project. Artemis next
“Massive space exploration efforts have been disrupted as administration changes and priorities have changed,” the letter reads. “Now is the time to stabilize if the nation is to implement these initiatives. NASA has made significant progress through the Artemis program and we are very convinced that those efforts should continue.”