Fire and Fury,” the new book by Michael Wolff that has taken cable news by storm, is rightly being excoriated as a collection of gossip, half-truths, and downright lies designed to slake the hunger of the never Trump crowd for dirt on the president they love to hate. However, according to Business Insider, one revelation about Elon Musk and the colonizing of space. The story may serve as part of an explanation as to why the Trump of the campaign, who twice expressed skepticism about the Journey to Mars, has ordered NASA to send astronauts back to the moon.

Trump expressed interest in the moon during the transition

During the transition, according to the Washington Examiner, historian Douglas Brinkley met with then President-Elect Trump to brief him on the history of past presidents, notably Nixon, Reagan, and Kennedy. Trump was particularly interested in how the Apollo race to the moon helped to define the Kennedy presidency. He was very interested, according to Brinkley, in returning Americans to the lunar surface. Recently. Trump signed a policy directive ordering NASA to set course to the moon.

Enter Elon Musk

Musk, in an account in the book that the SpaceX CEO has confirmed, directly lobbied the president on his company’s Space Colonization plans.

Unlike the two incidents during the early campaign when Trump seemed to disparage going to Mars, Trump is said to have jumped on the idea.

It is not hard to understand why the idea of exploring and colonizing space might appeal to Trump. He is not only a man of immense ego but also someone who has spent his entire life building things.

Quite a number of buildings and hotels have his name upon them. In a sense, Trump ran for president because he had no more worlds to conquer as a private businessman. As president of the United States, he can turn his attention to other worlds, with people like Elon Musk, someone else with an ego and a tendency to build things, as partners.

What happens next?

The next step will be revealed when the 2019 budget is rolled out in a few weeks. How serious Trump is about being a space president will depend on not only how much money is to be requested for NASA and perhaps other agencies related to space colonization but how such funds are proposed to be spent.

The conventional wisdom is that for the third attempt in a generation to go back to the moon and then beyond to succeed, NASA will have to set up numerous partnerships with commercial companies such as SpaceX. The space agency may even go as far as outsourcing a lot of the development of the vehicles and infrastructure necessary to make humanity a multi-planet species. However, bad politics had aborted previous attempts to restart space exploration and could do so again.