On Monday, President Donald Trump signed “Space Policy Directive 1,” an Orwellian-sounding directive that orders NASA to facilitate getting humans to the moon and eventually Mars. The problem is it makes no sense, and the coherent parts sound apocalyptic as shit.
“The directive I am signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery,” Trump said, after a preamble about “the markets” and his administration’s own greatness that sounded like something a neural network that only watched InfoWars and CNBC had generated.
“This is a giant step toward [an] inspiring future and toward reclaiming America’s proud destiny in space,” Trump said. “And space has so much to do with so many other applications, including a military application. So we are the leader and we’re going to stay the leader and we’re going to increase it manyfold.” Um… what was that about a military application?
Look, we were all expecting some fluff speech about “humanity’s place among the stars” or whatever, but space wars? Like, lasers and shit? That escalated quickly.
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
In the best case scenario, the Trump administration’s space plans will all be a big nothing. Historically, this would make sense.
“Just for reference, Trump will be the third Republican president in a row to announce a return to the Moon,” astrophysicist Simon Porter wrote on Twitter, referring to George H.W. Bush’s Space Exploration Initiative and George W. Bush’s Constellation program. “Guess how far the other two got.”
The President didn’t offer any details on how his administration plans to assist NASA in getting humans to the moon or Mars. He also didn’t offer any timeline on when NASA would be getting an official administrator, which seems like something that should be in place before the agency sends anyone to another planet.
For so many reasons, it feels uncomfortable to watch Donald Trump — a man who stared at the solar eclipse without glasses — influence American space policy. The final frontier is the only thing that hasn’t been completely tainted by humanity, and it’d be a shame for Trump to change that.
Actually, it’d be worse than a shame, since he’s casually hinting at space war.
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