Trump’s victory looks terrible for NASA’s Earth science missions
It is still unknown what the Donald Trump administration will mean for the future of the government-run space agency NASA, but the Republican leader's win will apparently be terrible for the agency's Earth science programs.
According to Trump's space policy, NASA should focus primarily on deep space missions; rather than on Earth-centric projects. Robert S. Walker, a likely member of Trump's NASA transition team, echoed similar views in a recent op-ed in Space News.
In the recent op-ed in Space News, Walker wrote, "NASA should be focused primarily on deep space activities rather than Earth-centric work that is better handled by other agencies. Human exploration of our entire Solar System by the end of this century should be NASA's focus and goal."
Walker also suggested that NASA should hand over all of its satellite missions that are being used for Earth-centric research such as climate change to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
The main aim of the change proposed by Trump's space policy is to free up funds for NASA's deep-space human missions.
Meanwhile, NASA is preparing to launch the first of a suite of half a dozen next-generation, Earth-observing small satellites later this month. Ranging in size from a bread loaf to a small washing machine, the new satellites will help scientists study our changing planet.
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