Would NASA Stay On Track For Mars If Trump Is Not Reelected?
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Changes in the White House often signal priority shifts in policy. What steps is NASA taking to ensure that it stays on track for the Gateway—and additionally the push to Mars—if President Donald Trump is not reelected in November?
Aviation Week Space Editor and Cape Canaveral Bureau Chief Irene Klotz responds:
NASA has learned to roll with the punches: It parlayed the George W. Bush administration’s Moon-Mars exploration program, known as Constellation, into the Obama-era asteroid rendezvous and relocation effort and now into the Trump administration’s initiative to land astronauts on the Moon in 2024.
Despite the shifting political landscape, NASA has won congressional support for the Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew capsule for deep-space human transportation. The agency has also revamped the spacecraft bus for the asteroid initiative into the power-and-propulsion module for the Gateway, a lunar-orbiting base. NASA has largely been successful at continuing its exploration blueprints by building support among both Democratic and Republican legislators.