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Spaceflight: New Nasa Chief for Trump Government

Monday, September 4th, 2017 | Gadgets

The Nasa gets a new boss: The Trump government has decided that 42-year-old Republican Jim Bridenstine from Oklahoma should take over the office. Bridenstine has yet to be confirmed by the Senate, a formal process that takes several weeks. As long as the Nasa is still directed by Robert Lightfoot Jr..

Bridenstine passed the American Space Renaissance Act last year to the United States Congress. The bill was not accepted under Barack Obama, but clearly shows the intentions Bridenstine will pursue in his new office. In short, it is a return to the nasa of the early cold war, with Mars as the target instead of the moon. The bill was filed and described as a "Law to Ensure the Supremacy of the United States in Space and for Other Purposes".
Space for military deterrence and power projection
The bill consists of three parts: national security, civil space travel and commercial space travel. The first part begins with the observation that space travel plays a strategic role in the national security of the US to ensure economic prosperity, military deterrence, and power projection, and civil and commercial space travel is also growing.

The definition of the US Department of Defense means "the ability of a state to use all or some elements of its national power – political, economic, information technology, or military – through rapid and effective forces at remote locations to respond to crises, to deter and promote regional stability. "
The Nasa is to fly to Mars
The second part of the bill, concerning civil space travel, concerns the Nasa itself and is far-reaching. According to the draft, Nasa's mission is to be focused on areas that are not elsewhere in government or private companies. The landing on Mars is to be the main target of Nasa in the American Space Renaissance Act, as long as no American has landed on Mars. To this end, the Orion space ship and the heavy-duty rocket SLS should get enough budget to complete their development.
As far as possible, private companies were also involved in the Mars plans. According to the draft, the flight to Mars is to be a target in a 20-year plan of Nasa and a five-year period in which the first landing of an American is to take place. At the moment there are no concrete plans for missions with SLS or Orion, they have yet to be worked out.
As already foreseen, all flights in orbit near the Earth, in particular the space station ISS, are to be privatized. According to the draft law, Nasa is also to investigate how not only the supply and flights to the ISS but also the operation of the US part of the ISS can be privatized. The draft also envisaged the commissioning of private companies with the construction of space stations and habitats, which is mainly concerned with Bigelow Aerospace. Equally privatized are the detection and handling of space scrap as well as the launch of the less important Nasa missions of classes C and D.
For the reorientation of Nasa, the draft of the American Space Renaissance Act saw major changes in the core components of the National Aeronautics and Space Act, the Act defining the task of Nasa (usually referred to as the Space Act). Here, too, the priority of the military as well as the expansion of the prestige and power interests of the USA are clear.


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