President Trump recently signed legislation that is going to have NASA put astronauts on Mars by 2033 – but experts are saying that they can do it much sooner… in about 8 years. In just a few months of his presidency, President Trump has been able to do what no liberal president could, send the USA to Mars.
“Given equally strong presidential leadership, we could certainly be on Mars by the end of the current administration’s prospective second term,” Dr. Robert Zubrin, who helped design plans for NASA’s manned mission to Mars and wrote the “The Case For Mars,” told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “For anyone to say this is not possible is simply to accept the idea that we are no longer the kind of people we used to be. That is not the way to make America great again.”
Zubrin is excited for the possibility, but also says that stretching it out until 2033 when they have the technology to do it sooner – leaves room for presidents after Trump to dismantle the program, which has been done before by liberal presidents.
The Daily Caller has more:
Trump’s administration requested NASA to return astronauts to the moon’s orbit in 2019, and didn’t schedule a Mars mission until 2033. Zubrin worries that this long-time horizon could make a Mars mission vulnerable to cancellation by whichever president comes after Trump.
“From a technical point of view, we are much closer today to being able to send humans to Mars than we were to being able to send men to the Moon in 1961, when JFK started the Apollo program, and we were there 8 years later,” Zubrin told TheDCNF.
Trump’s plans to accelerate NASA’s return to the moon will require several missions to orbit the moon to test technology in the 2020s, which NASA says will create the expertise necessary for a manned mission to Mars. One Trump adviser told the Washington Post sending astronauts to orbit the moon was intended to be “a clear signal” to the Chinese that the U.S. will retain its dominance in space.
Either a Mars and moon mission would likely require the giant Space Launch System (SLS) rocket currently being debated in Congress. America’s storied space agency will study the feasibility of converting the recent test of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion capsule into a new crewed lunar mission, propelling two astronauts to the moon and back by 2019.
Zubrin previously told The DCNF that accelerating NASA’s return to the moon could potentially save taxpayers $10 billion dollars in expenses.
The bill Trump signed to send NASA to Mars passed both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate with near-unanimous support. The entire program will not result in significant increases in the NASA budget, but will be paid for by cutting spending on earth sciences, global warming research and heliophysics.
Trump vowed to “unlock the mysteries of space” in his inaugural address, lending credence to reports he discussed sending humans to Mars in a private meeting with billionaire Elon Musk. During a speech to the Joint Session of Congress in late February, Trump said, “American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream.” Vice President Mike Pence met with Apollo 11 astronaut and Mars mission advocate Buzz Aldrin earlier this month to talk about the future of the U.S. space program.