Some of you reading this today will later go on to become astronauts exploring new worlds. That is the significance of a piece of non-fake news (at last) which the Washington Post covered on Feb. 15. They wrote that “President Trump has indicated that he wants to make a splash in space. During his transition, he spoke with historian Douglas Brinkley about John F. Kennedy’s famous 1961 vow to go to the Moon before the decade was out. Now Trump and his aides may do something very similar: demand that NASA send astronauts to orbit the Moon before the end of” 2019. The Post goes on to note that NASA had planned to test its new rocket, the Saturn-V class SLS, with the Orion astronaut capsule, in an unmanned mission in late 2018. No manned launch was planned until several years later–but now, President Trump’s Administration has ordered NASA to study the possibility of adding astronauts to that first flight, for a manned orbit around the Moon before the end of 2019.
Space News reported Feb. 24 that NASA Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier said the study should be ready in about a month. “We need to go look at what do we really gain by putting crew on this flight. Does this really advance significantly our overall ability to get to a capability to take humans, routinely as it can be, to the vicinity of the Moon and operate safely?” Deputy Associate NASA Administrator Bill Hill added, “We know it’s going to take a significant anount of money, and money that will be required fairly quickly to implement what we need to do.”
In related developments, President Trump has not yet announced his choice for NASA Administrator, but Space News and other media claim that three persons are bring considered most closely: Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), who is actively campaigning for the appointment; former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin; and highly-decorated test-pilot and astronaut Eileen Collins. Eileen Collins addressed the Republican Convention, but reportedly did not endorse Donald Trump in her talk; we have no other knowledge of her views at this time, but we do know a lot about the other two.
Representative Bridenstine was a Navy pilot. Part of his campaign for the NASA position was a substantial Dec. 29 blog post, “Why the Moon Matters.”
Although he does not mention Lyndon LaRouche, he bases his policy for returning to the Moon as a base to conquer space, on Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative which LaRouche designed. He goes on to urge development of lunar resources in a manner reminiscent of Krafft Ehricke, writing, for example:
“From the discovery of water ice on the Moon until this day, the American objective should have been a permanent outpost of rovers and machines, with occasional manned missions for science and maintenance, in order to utilize the materials and energy of the Moon to drive down the costs and increase the capabilities of American operations in cis-lunar and interplanetary space. “This is also the first step for manned missions deeper into our solar system. A permanent human presence on other celestial bodies requires in situ resource utilization. The Moon, with its three-day emergency journey back to Earth, represents the best place to learn, train, and develop the necessary technologies and techniques for in situ resource utilization and an eventual long-term human presence on Mars. Fortunately, the Space Launch System and Orion will start testing in 2018. This system, with a commercial lander, could quickly place machines and robots on the Moon to begin the cis-lunar economy. With the right presidential guidance, humans could return in short order as well; this time, to stay.”
“Space utilization has transformed the human condition, including how we communicate, navigate, produce food and energy, conduct banking, predict weather and perform disaster relief. While many of these gains are a result of private investment and commercial markets, they are only possible because the United States government took the lead and retired risk for these capabilities. Today, we are experiencing a space renaissance…. A renewed focus on utilizing the Moon can help further these advances and achievements. The choices we make now can forever make America the pre-eminent spacefaring nation.”
The second candidate, Mike Griffin, is well known to us. After a career as a leading aerospace engineer and executive, he was the NASA Admistrator who resigned when Obama cancelled the Constellation program, a cancellation for which Lyndon LaRouche said that Obama merited impeachment. Griffin fully agrees on a permanent return to the Moon as a base for the exploration of Mars and beyond.
Wikipedia reports, “In 2004 testimony to Congress on the future of human spaceflight, he stated, ‘for me the single overarching goal of human space flight is the human settlement of the Solar System, and eventually beyond. I can think of no lesser purpose sufficient to justify the difficulty of the enterprise, and no greater purpose is possible.’ In his testimony he also advocated heavy-lift launch capabilities, development of space-qualified nuclear power systems, in situ resource utilization, and cost-effective medium-size transport to low Earth orbit.” Like President Trump, Mike Griffin questions presumed anthropogenic global warming and the measures being taken against it.
Now all of the above corresponds to the well-advertised views of President Trump himself. Although his critics of the British imperial faction continually repeat that President Trump’s views and policies are some sort of “mystery,” there is in fact no recent Presidential candidate other than Lyndon LaRouche, who has made his policies so crystal-clear as Donald Trump has, and repeatedly so.
Last October 25th, for example, Candidate Donald Trump told a rally in Sanford, Florida, “I will free NASA from the restriction of serving primarily as a logistics agency for low-Earth orbit activity–big deal. Instead, we will refocus its mission on space exploration. Under a Trump Administration, Florida and America will lead the way into the stars.
“A cornerstone of my policy is we will substantially expand public-private partnerships to maximize the amount of investment and funding that is available for space exploration and development. This means launching and operating major space assets, right here, that employ thousands and spur innovation and fuel economic growth.”
In his January 20 Inaugural Address, President Trump said, “We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, and to free the Earth from the miseries of disease.”
But for Lyndon LaRouche’s tireless work over so many decades, we could never have attained the possibilities which are so evident today to everyone who is not totally morally blind. But for Lyndon LaRouche’s leadership into the future, these never-before-seen opportunities, which embody the dreams and aspirations of all past generations of humanity, as Krafft Ehricke understood, would be missed and lost. The realization of these hopes requires Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four New Laws” of June 2014.