Donald Trump briefly mentioned space during an address to Congress on Tuesday night.
“American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream,” he said.
What this means is anyone’s guess. It’s the sort of platitude that sounds visionary but is actually vague, one that appears to promise bold action without a commitment to actually doing anything of the sort.
Trump was equally vague about space in his Inaugural Address in January.
“We stand at the birth of a new millennium ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow,” he said.
Trump’s budget outline thus far calls for boosting military spending while cutting back on discretionary civilian spending. And NASA is about as discretionary as civilian spending gets.
It’s likely the space agency’s Earth science will get whacked. Trump once said global warming was a Chinese plot to destroy American industry. One of his advisors said the research should be moved elsewhere in the government so as to refocus NASA on deep space exploration.