When you think about exploring space, about traveling on the Moon or Mars, you’d probably think this is a domain politics steps back from and lets astronomers decide what’s more important, or at least how much time is needed to get there. But you’d be wrong.
Politics seem to consider NASA another political toy to play with. Well, not just any toy, but every little boy’s dream toy: astronauts and spaceships and alien life. Joke aside, it’s true that NASA’s plans are billions of dollars expensive ones, and one might consider them unrealistic. How many of us really believe that living on Mars is possible? But the thing is we don’t understand much, and what we think doesn’t impact NASA’s plans. But politics does.
Forty years ago, the first man stepped on the Moon. Since then, NASA was summoned several times to get back by different presidents. But it takes years to get there, as it is not a walk in the park.
Donald Trump’s Politics on the Future Moon Missions
The plans would be thrown away by the next elected president. The latest situation was with George Bush, who wanted the mission, and Barak Obama, who canceled it.
It is time for Trump’s administration to play with the coolest toy ever. For almost a year, NASA tried to meet the unrealistic mandate of the White House. Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo, but for NASA, it is the new mission’s name, and the mission is to get back on the Moon by 2024.
But it is time for the House space subcommittee to decide if Artemis is a good plan. It looks like it will not, as it will begin consideration of another bill that rejects the 2024 timeline, and postpone it back to the original NASA plan, to 2028. If they enact it, they could order NASA to make its priority on traveling to Mars. There might come a time when civilians will afford the same indecision: where to? Mars or the Moon?