If, as many expect, President Donald Trump calls on NASA to return to the moon, with a lunar orbital mission as early as 2019, he will have the rare enthusiastic support of Congress, according to a story in Wired. Disagreements between the executive and legislative branch have bedeviled previous attempts to send astronauts beyond low Earth orbit. President George H. W. Bush’s space exploration Initiative died a quick, miserable death in a hostile Congress. Even President George W. Bush had to issue a veto threat to make sure that Congress would serve the Vision for Space Exploration the same way.

However, years of frustration stemming from President Barack Obama’s abrupt cancellation of Bush’s space exploration program and the lack of funding and direction surrounding the Journey to Mars have stoked a hunger for, as John F. Kennedy once said, making longer strides. It looks like that if (when) President Trump proposes a return to the moon, Congress will be accommodating.

How much has the moon become fashionable? Even Lori Garver, Obama’s NASA Deputy Administrator and one of the architects of the deep sixing of the last return to the moon seems to have gotten on the Trump Train where it comes to going back to the moon.

Garver is quoted as saying that, “President Obama did not put capital against Congress” where it came to the Bush-era program that she had a role in canceling. She went on to say, “Trump may be the president who wants to take it on. Most people believe Congress will hold their own, but I’m optimistic with the Trump administration.” Garver has evolved since she denounced space shuttle pilot Eileen Collins for denouncing the Obama space program at the Republican National Convention last summer.

Of course making the big speech is only the first step, as we have noted in “Why is it so Hard to Go Back to the Moon?” Even at an accelerated pace, a return to the moon will be the work of a number of years, especially if a lunar settlement is a goal. President Trump will have to be on guard against attempts to cancel or sabotage his space exploration program from both Congress and insider his own administration.

Just making the speech and checking off the box is insufficient.

Even so, sooner than anyone has the right to expect, a new generation may see on millions of video screens and VR googles a sight that fired the imaginations of people living decades ago, that of astronauts on another world.

Follow the page Donald Trump
Follow
Don't miss our page on Facebook!