October 3, 2017

YOU Can Help Confirm the new NASA Administrator

The Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration endorses the nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine to be the next NASA Administrator.

Hon. Bridenstine was approved by the Senate Commerce, Transportation and Science Committee. The full Senate confirmation vote is expected soon.

Please support Rep. Jim Bridenstine's nomination. It is important for all space advocates that he be confirmed by the Senate by unanimous consent or a strong bi-partisan vote.

The Coalition has been helping to lead the way by working with pro-space groups to urge their support, contacting Senators, speaking at the Mars Society Convention, as well as addressing a meeting of 140 political leaders. 

Congressman Bridenstine is a strong supporter of the space program, commercial and new-space, crewed Moon and Mars missions, and an overall restoration of American leadership in space exploration. Under his leadership, combined with the strong support by President Trump, and Vice President Pence's leadership in the new National Space Council, we have the opportunity to reform NASA and set a serious roadmap to return to the Moon in the 2020s and land on Mars in the 2030s.

While politics in Congress has unfortunately become more combative in recent years, space and NASA policy has always remained overwhelmingly non-partisan. Some may disagree with

Democrats and Republicans united to send Americans to the moon, and to build the space shuttles and the International Space Station. United, we will indeed return to the Moon and go to Mars sooner than many believe possible. Divided, we will never make it.

NASA is effectively paralyzed until a permanent administrator is confirmed. That means no shift to real plans to go to Mars or the Moon.

Historically, the Senate confirms NASA administrators with unanimous votes:
  • In 2009, both Maj. Gen.(Ret.) Charles F. Bolden, and Lori Garver were confirmed by unanimous consent.
  • In 2005, Dr. Michael D. Griffin was confirmed by voice vote.
  • In 2001, Sean O'Keefe was unanimously confirmed.
  • In 1992, Daniel S. Goldin was confirmed by unanimous consent.
  • Etc.
Let's give Rep. Bridenstine the unanimous bi-partisan and non-partisan support he needs to lead NASA to actually put us on the path to Mars. A contentious, party-line vote will harm NASA and our space program by making it difficult to get support in Congress for budgets, authorizations and real roadmaps to Mars, the Moon and beyond.

We do not live in a vacuum, and absent American leadership in space, China and other dictatorships and adversaries will seize the strategic advantage. If China wishes us to believe they would not claim the Moon and orbital space as their own, they are setting a poor example in the South China Sea. Commercial space will not be welcome in space dominated by dictatorships.

TAKE ACTION! Here's how:
  • Please call your Senators at 202-224-3121. Do not just leave a comment with the receptionist or intern, but ask to speak with the Senator's NASA advisor or the Legislative Director. That will assure your support is communicated to the Senator in the best possible way. Leave a voicemail with the staffer if they can't take your call, and you can ask for their email addresses and send a friendly email in support of the nomination. 
  • Contact info for the U.S. Senate: www.senate.gov/senators/contact
  • Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness
  • Write an email to the Senator's NASA advisor/legislative assistant. Ask the receptionist for their email address.
  • If you run a space-related business or organization, request a meeting with your Senators or their senior staff, as well as those on the Space Subcommittee. Write a letter on your letterhead--but email a PDF to the Senator's NASA advisor rather than mail it. Post office mail can take weeks to be delivered due to security. 
  • Visit your Senators' offices, either in your state or at the U.S. Capitol.
  • Post supporting messages on social media. Encourage others to join together for a united, strong space program.
  • Write a letter to the editor or op-ed to a major newspaper and/or space industry publication.
  • Call talk shows.
  • If you are a member of any space advocacy and related organizations, please request that they endorse Bridenstine's nomination.
  • Read Rep. Bridenstine's American Space Renaissance Act.
  • Read Rep. Bridenstine's impressive biography.
Please pass the word to your members, friends, contacts and supporters. 

July 3, 2017

Recreating the National Space Council

President Trump signed the order on June 30 to reestablish the National Space Council to offer badly needed expert guidance to move #NASA and our space program forwards--to actually set America on course for the Moon, Mars and beyond.  Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin joined the president in the signing ceremony, just weeks before the 48th anniversary of Apollo 11's landing on the Moon.

Vice President Pence will be the chairman of the Council, and will make a statement on space policy on July 6 at the Kennedy Space Center.

Remarks by the President Signing an Executive Order on the National Space Council

Thank you very much to our great Vice President and also for the fantastic job that Mike has been doing.  

The future of American space leadership -- we're going to lead again.  It’s been a long time.  It’s over 25 years, and we're opening up, and we are going to be leading again like we've never led before.
We’re a nation of pioneers, and the next great American frontier is space.  And we never completed -- we started, but we never completed.  We stopped.  But now we start again.  And we have tremendous spirit, and we're going to have tremendous spirit from the private sector -- maybe in particular from the private sector.

I’d like to extend a special welcome to an American hero who’ve I’ve known actually for a long time, Buzz Aldrin, who is with us today.  (Applause.)  Known him a long time.  Thank you also to Astronauts Benjamin Drew and David Wolf and former NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz for being with us and for working with us on exactly what we're doing today.  Thank you all very much. We appreciate it.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  (Applause.) 

Today, we’re taking a crucial step to secure America’s future in space by reviving the National Space Council after it has been dormant almost 25 years if you can believe it.

During the campaign, Vice President Pence promised that our administration -- because Mike is very much into space -- would revive the National Space Council, and with this executive order, we’re keeping that promise. I used to say, what happened?  Why aren’t we moving forward?
Today’s announcement sends a clear signal to the world that we are restoring America’s proud legacy of leadership in space.

Our Vice President cares very deeply about space policy, and for good reason -- space exploration is not only essential to our character as a nation, but also our economy and our great nation’s security.
Our travels beyond the Earth propel scientific discoveries that improve our lives in countless ways here, right here, at home:  powering vast new industry, spurring incredible new technology, and providing the space security we need to protect the American people.  And security is going to be a very big factor with respect to space and space exploration.  At some point in the future, we’re going to look back and say how did we do it without space? 

The Vice President will serve as the council’s chair.  Several representatives of my administration will join him including the Secretaries of State, Defense, Commerce, Transportation, and Homeland Security; the Chairman of the great -- I’ll tell you, he’s doing a fantastic job, always working, always fighting, and winning -- winning big against ISIS, that I can tell you, seeing what’s happening there -- the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Security Advisor, NASA, and the Director of National Intelligence.

The council will also draw the expertise of other White House offices as well as insights from scientists, innovators, and business leaders from across the country.  Many business leaders that want to be a big part of this.  I think the privatization of certain aspects is going to play a very crucial role, don’t you think?  They are truly into it.  This coordination will be accomplished through an advisory group that is being convened by today’s executive order, which I’ll be signing in a minute.
The National Space Council will be a central hub guiding space policy within the administration.  And I will draw on it for advice and information and recommendations for action. And the Vice President, myself, and a few others are going to pick some private people to be on the board.  I will say that’s not easy because everybody wants to be on this board.  People that you wouldn’t have believed loved what we’re doing so much they want to -- some of the most successful people in the world want to be on this board.

The human soul yearns for discovery.  By unlocking the mysteries of the universe, we unlock truths within ourselves.  That’s true.  Our journey into space will not only make us stronger and more prosperous, but will unite us behind grand ambitions and bring us all closer together.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Can you believe that space is going to do that?  I thought politics would do that.  (Laughter.)  Well, we’ll have to rely on space instead.

Every launch into the skies is another step forward toward a future where our differences seem small against the vast expanse of our common humanity.  Sometimes you have to view things from a distance in order to see the real truth.  It is America’s destiny to be at the forefront of humanity’s eternal quest for knowledge and to be the leader amongst nations on our adventure into the great unknown.  And I could say the great and very beautiful unknown.  Nothing more beautiful.  
With the actions we are launching today, America will think big once again.  Important words:  Think big. We haven’t been thinking so big for a long time, but we’re thinking big again as a county. We will inspire millions of children to carry on this proud tradition of American space leadership -- and they’re excited -- and to never stop wondering, hoping, and dreaming about what lies beyond the stars.

So, I just want to tell you that we are now going to sign an executive order, and this is going to launch a whole new chapter for our great country.  And people are very excited about it and I can tell you, I’m very excited about it.  Thank you all very much.  (Applause.)  

COLONEL ALDRIN:  Infinity and beyond.  (Laughter.)

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot made a statement about Friday’s Executive Order creating the National Space Council:

“I am pleased that President Trump has signed an executive order reestablishing the National Space Council. The council existed previously from 1989-1993, and a version of it also existed as the National Aeronautics and Space Council from 1958-1973. As such, the council has guided NASA from our earliest days and can help us achieve the many ambitious... milestones we are striving for today.

“This high-level group advises the president and comprises the leaders of government agencies with a stake in space, including the NASA administrator, the Secretaries of State, Commerce, Defense, and others, and will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. It will help ensure that all aspects of the nation’s space power -- national security, commerce, international relations, exploration, and science, are coordinated and aligned to best serve the American people. A Users’ Advisory Group also will be convened so that the interests of industries and other non-federal entities are represented.

“The establishment of the council is another demonstration of the Trump Administration’s deep interest in our work, and a testament to the importance of space exploration to our economy, our nation, and the planet as a whole.”

March 30, 2017

The Presidential Briefing

Art Harman, the Director of the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration met recently with the White House officials involved in setting the Trump administration's space policy.

Mr. Harman presented the organization's landmark paper, "A Space Program Worthy of the United States," which is a 19-point plan to rebuild America's space program and actually land Americans on the moon and Mars in the near future, as well as to not allow China and other nations to overtake the U.S.

The meeting was very useful and the administration is seeking new ideas and advice.

At present, the administration is preparing its plans to refocus NASA's priorities, and many observers expect a greater focus on deep space exploration and commercial partnerships.

The Coalition is in continuing contact with the administration and Congress to help assure we will remain the leader in the world for space exploration and high technology, and will in fact return to the Moon and go to Mars--sooner than many believe possible.

Congressional Briefings

Art Harman, the Director of the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration, participated in a massive Congressional lobbying campaign over two days with volunteer space advocates from around the country, and members of many space advocacy organizations. This was the annual Space Exploration Alliance's "Legislative Blitz," which this year met with staff and members of Congress in over 175 offices.

You can help too! Call your Senators and Representative, and ask that they support a bold new space program, and the funding to support it. Call 202-224-3121, and when you reach your Senators' and Representative's offices, ask for the Legislative Assistant that handles NASA so you are talking with the staffer responsible for that issue.

Now that we have a president that is more friendly to the space program, it is vital to build greater support in Congress for a return to the moon and a true roadmap to Mars. Congress has already passed the NASA Transition Authorization Act this year, which offers good guidance for NASA in restoring our space program to greatness.

December 25, 2016

Thank You and Please Donate for 2017!

To the Moon and Mars! Great New Opportunities in 2017.
Your Donation will be Greatly Appreciated.

Dear Space Advocate,

Thank you so much for your support in 2016!

Beyond the many exciting advances this year in the space program, including successful booster landings by Space X and Blue Origin, and the first test of the Bigelow inflatable habitat on ISS, the most important news is that the incoming Trump administration has pledged to seriously refocus our space program on real space exploration, and to forge greater commercial space partnerships with NASA. 

At last, real missions to the Moon and Mars may be formulated.

But in spite of the expected administration support, the dream we all share could be betrayed by a hostile media, self-serving bureaucrats, budget cuts, and political opposition.
Without external support from groups like Save Manned Space, the inertia in Washington against change could be too powerful to make a real difference.

Meanwhile China seeks dominance in space, just as they do in the South China Sea. Time is of the essence, and if America follows the same path as the last eight years, we could see Chinese military-run bases on the Moon and Mars long before American bases. Space dominated by China would be hostile to commercial space.

But there is hope. Real hope that for the first time in too many years, America can harness the American spirit and the and make real and fast progress.
This year, the Coalition promoted the bold vision for revitalizing our space program to the presidential candidates and to the winner, Donald Trump.

The plans promoted how America must enact near-term plans for Lunar and Martian bases and the 2021 Mars-Venus flyby. The Coalition increased its outreach to many news outlets including publishing an op-ed on Trump's space goals, contacts with Congress, and the Director gave four speeches and participated in a debate at the Mars Society's International Convention.

We will work with the new administration, Congress, space advocacy organizations and the public to make 2017 the year that we actually start on a genuine path to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Save Manned Space's non-partisan educational campaigns will educate decision makers in Congress and the new administration on the immense benefits of remaining the leader in space exploration, and why we must and can go to the Moon and Mars--far sooner than we were told was possible.

Remember, we went to the Moon from scratch in just 8 years. It is possible if the administration gets a fast start, to make up for the lost 8 years, and land Americans on the Moon again before 2021. And to build a functional base on the Moon before 2025, and be well along the path by 2024 for the first Mars landing in the 2030s.

One reason fast action is essential? Imgaine if we set forth on a path to the Moon and Mars, and a different president is elected in 2020 and cancels everything again. Let's not make it easy for a future president to de-rail what we can now build.

It's not the technology that's keeping us traped in low earth orbit. After all, your phone has far more computing power than the Apollo lander did. It's political will. That's all. That's why advocacy organizations like Save Manned Space are essential in building support.

Public educational campaigns will increase to the media, and to space advocates who's voices are essential in uniting support for real missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

But it all starts with your support.

Please donate now to help make our long-postponed dreams finally become a reality.

Many in Congress and the media don't understand that the space program returns far more to the economy in new inventions ('spinoffs') than the investment. And that's not counting the job creation, advances in science, inventions, inspiration for students to go into STEM careers, and even greater international respect.

Step one for the next president is to cancel the nearly-useless Asteroid Redirect Mission, and replace it with the exciting "Apollo 8 for Mars," the 2021 Mars-Venus flyby, which can be accomplished with hardware already being built and tested--including the mission habitat which NASA is now developing.

This should be approved in early 2017, while President Trump formulates the long-range national space strategy which will in fact make NASA's "Journey to Mars" a reality, not just a slogan and hashtag. Concurrently, America must lead the way back to the Moon in the 2020s; to learn how to live on another world and then with lessons learned, go to Mars in the 2030s.
The first 100 days of the new administration are especially critical to succeeding--or getting bogged down in the bureaucracy and changing nothing. Please donate now to help Save Manned Space offer the necessary public support. Donations are not tax deductible.

Please add your support now for a bold new space program. $5, $25, $50 or even $5,000--it all adds up and makes a great difference.

Thank you very much for making a difference.

More information about the Coalition:

Media: Contact the Coalition for interviews:

Photo credit: NASA

December 12, 2016

A Space Agenda Worthy of the United States

A Space Agenda Worthy of the United States
A Presidential Transition Briefing
By Art Harman
Director, the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration

Americans have a great vision of what a real space program would look like. Many remember the stunning historic accomplishments during the Apollo days, or the 135 space shuttle missions, or even constructing the space station. President George W. Bush continued that proud tradition by setting America on course back to the Moon and on to Mars. But the last eight years saw a cancellation of all plans for deep space exploration--replaced by rhetoric of a 'journey to Mars,' but missing the plans to get there. The dream seemed betrayed, and expectations of a bright future appeared to dim.

President-elect Trump has promised to launch a bold new era in space exploration; to restore NASA to its true mission of space exploration. Coalition Director Art Harman's op-ed in the Washington Times described some of his goals. Mr. Harman prepared the recommendations in this brief paper to assist the transition as it seeks to direct NASA to best achieve the president-elect's goal to make America great again in space.

Premise: America must remain the worldwide leader in space exploration and technology.

If we retreat; if we ignore global competitors; if we look not at the incredible payoffs to the economy but at the investments required; if we fail to join a race others have already started, then America loses. America loses the investments, jobs, inventions, national pride and international respect. Perhaps forever.

Those are the stakes. We don't live in a vacuum, and China is working fast with the intent to surpass the U.S. Their military-led space program is a strategic threat, not merely a competitive threat, and requires bold American leadership to stay in the lead. If China doesn't intend to claim the Moon, Mars or orbital space as theirs, they are setting a poor example in the South China Sea, and space dominated by China would be hostile to commercial space. We lost eight critical years under President Obama, giving China and others a tremendous head start. Therefore, America must now lead the way and build a Lunar base and go to Mars, harnessing the best of American innovation and commercial enterprise. The result will be a booming economy, great jobs, more investments, students beating down the doors for STEM studies and careers, and greater national pride and international respect.

The following recommendations address key programs and goals to rebuild our space program.
  1. Asteroid: NASA must cancel the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). This should be done immediately to avoid wasting further precious NASA resources on this decade-long detour from real space exploration. ARM is hated by NASA engineers, Congress, space experts and space advocates, and it would consume $2 billion for just one single mission of mild interest sometime in the late 2020s--at the same time China is likely to be stunning the world building their Lunar base.

    Commercial ventures such as Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources are eager to mine asteroids on their own, but the pending ARM mission might cause investors to wait 10-15 years to see its results before investing.
  2. Commercial Crew: NASA should accelerate commercial crew launch readiness to eliminate reliance on single-source crew launches on Soyuz. This is of critical importance following the recent Soyuz/Progress launch failure, and a similar 2011 failure. If ISS must be de-crewed before a Soyuz return to flight, this could be dangerous to its survival; read Art Harman's 2011 paper on possible actions to avoid de-crewing the space station during a launch crisis. NASA should ask Congress for immediate supplemental appropriations.
  3. Heavy Lift: NASA should accelerate SLS/Orion readiness and prepare for a minimum of two launches per year to allow real missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. America used to launch several shuttles per year, and we must not retreat to currently-scheduled exploration launches every few years and only to Lunar orbit. Super-heavy lift SLS is essential for Lunar and Martian exploration, and would be used for large payloads, while Falcon Heavy and New Glenn rockets can be used for smaller payloads. NASA should ask Congress for supplemental appropriations.
  4. Mars Flyby: Replace ARM with the 2021 Mars-Venus flyby opportunity. This is a near-term mission to inspire Americans and would accomplish the "Apollo 8" validation for the journey to Mars in preparation for real landings. Costs might not be too much more than ARM. America went to the Moon from scratch in just eight years, so we can certainly do a flyby in four years. Key elements include: Accelerate SLS production and shakedown missions, develop the ECLSS life support for a 600-day mission, and develop the transit habitat.
  5. Moon: Declare it is U.S. national space policy to begin construction in the early 2020s of a Lunar research base with ISS partners--and make it happen. NASA would prepare the timelines, hardware and personnel needs, and prepare the budget requests to Congress.

    The current NASA Administrator proclaimed, "America will never lead a mission to the Moon in my lifetime, in spite of our ISS partners begging us to do so." NASA shuttle astronaut Leonard Chiao, who served on the Augustine Commission was instructed that the Moon was off-limits for the Commission's findings: "the moon was perceived as President [George W.] Bush’s program, so I don’t think that was really a starter, politically."  It is now time to cancel the apparently partisan opposition to exploring the Moon and invite our ISS partners to help us build a Lunar base.
  6. Mars: Declare it is U.S. national space policy to achieve the first crewed landing on Mars in the early or mid 2030s--and make it happen. NASA should begin to prepare the timelines, hardware and personnel needs, and prepare the budget requests to Congress.

    The current administration has stated NASA is on a "journey to Mars," however there are no concrete plans or budget requests--it's just rhetoric and hashtags. Embarking on a 1,000 day Mars mission without first learning how to live on another world on the Moon unnecessarily risks astronauts' lives. The Moon is three days to home in case of disaster, and all costs and timetables are dramatically less by using the Moon as the training ground for Mars.

    Buzz Aldrin agrees we must go to the Moon first, saying, (The first astronauts to go to Mars will) "need to go to the Moon orbit and assist in the assembly of modules to be landed while preparing that base on the Moon. They need to go down and stay on the Moon for some time. Now they would know what Mars is going to be like."
  7. Lunar Orbital Station: Various proposals are promoting building an ISS-like space station in Lunar orbit. While intriguing, the reality is that very little would be gained from this. Construction could take years and billions of dollars, diverting resources from landing on the Moon and building a research base that would be truly valuable.

    America must avoid spending years merely in Lunar orbit rather than actually landing. The surface of the Moon, not Lunar orbit, is the essential test-bed for learning how to successfully live on the surface of Mars, and the public would support landings far more than they would a decade's detour to Lunar orbit without ever landing on the Moon.

    China and perhaps ESA will be landing on the Moon, likely in the early to mid 2020s, and the U.S. should not be stuck in Lunar orbit while China is building military and semi-civilian bases and capturing worldwide enthusiasm. It would be financially difficult to pursue both a lunar research base and a lunar-orbit space station. A few 30-day Orion missions with a habitat could accomplish almost as much science as would a lunar orbit station, yet would not delay by a decade landing on the Moon and going to Mars.
  8. Commercial Space: The new administration has the opportunity to increase commercial partnerships with NASA. For example, a space act agreement or X-Prize could be awarded for lunar landers and many other critical needs. The National Space Policy Council is likely to work out the right balance between new space, industry and NASA resources for everything from rockets to habitats.

    NASA and other agencies must avoid over-regulating commercial space ventures, and support property rights in space and useful legislative needs. NASA should continue to share data and technology with U.S. commercial space ventures, such as Space X's planned "red Dragon" unmanned landing on Mars.
  9. China: China's aggressive thefts of America's highest technologies requires a high degree of defense. Further, if the world is to believe China does not intend to claim the Moon as theirs, they are setting a poor example in the South China Sea. Therefore, it is essential to:
    *  Maintain the existing ban on all space cooperation with China, because their military-led space program would plunder our highest technologies for military purposes and unfairly compete with U.S. space industries with stolen tech.
    *  Maintain existing ITAR laws to protect U.S. dual-military-use high technology from being stolen by China and other nations.
  10. New International Partners: NASA should continue to advance opportunities for India, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates to become partners on the International Space Station and future space exploration missions. China must not be an ISS partner due to their theft of our highest technologies.
  11. Revitalize our Planetary Probes: Beyond the 2020 Mars rover and a Europa mission, there are no robotic planetary missions planned beyond 2020. It often takes a decade or longer to design, build, launch and journey to distant planets, therefore without action early in the administration, we will have a dry spell in the 2020s and beyond. NASA must:
    *  Continue building and launch the 2020 Mars rover, which will collect and store soil samples for later return to Earth.
    *  Begin development soon for the Mars soil sample return (MSR) mission. Human landings cannot safely occur until we have fully tested on Earth all elements of the soil for toxins and perhaps ruled in or out the possibility of indigenous life. The MSR has been the top priority of the Planetary Decadal Survey for many years, and must be launched within a few years or less after the 2020 rover collects samples for return.
    *  All future robotic Mars missions should be focused to support human landings and habitation. No more using launch windows for InSight or MAVEN type pure science missions. Better might be robots that seek and process water or drones that scout human landing sites.
    *  Support the planned mission to Jupiter's moon, Europa.
    *  Consult the Decadal Survey for additional planetary mission priorities for the 2020s and 2030s.
    *  Use SLS or other heavy lift rockets where appropriate to allow larger planetary spacecraft, or to cut years off transit times (which saves time and money).
    *  Increase supplies of plutonium-238 (the power source for Curiosity and outer planet missions) to allow for future long-duration and outer-planet probes. Without plutonium 238 production, outer planetary missions would be impossible.
  12. Advanced R&D: Increase research and development via space act agreements and X-Prize-like awards for advanced technologies for human space exploration. This can include kW and mW range plasma engine propulsion--suitable for manned spacecraft, such as Ad Astra's VASIMR, inflatable habitats and space stations such as Bigelow Aerospace's, advanced long-duration life support such as Paragon Space Development Corp's, nuclear reactors for space propulsion and Mars/Lunar bases, such as NASA/DoE's proposal. NASA's Swampworks is the current hub for many technologies essential to live on other worlds, and should receive increased funding in preparation for Lunar and Mars landings.
  13. This Term: President George W. Bush set a course back to the moon and then to Mars with the Constellation program. His greatest error was in not funding it sufficiently to get back to the Moon within his two terms. Had he, America would now have a well-established base on the Moon and be preparing for Mars missions. By going slow, he left an unfinished plan that was easy for President Obama to kill.

    It is therefore essential to 'deliver the goods' within the first and second terms to keep public and Congressional support, so there is so much momentum that another anti-space president like Obama can't shut it down. Because Congress had the foresight to save SLS and Orion and to begin habitat development, real manned missions perhaps including a Lunar landing, are possible within the first term. Within the second term, we can accomplish the Mars-Venus flyby, build a Lunar base, and start to build the components for a Mars landing.
  14. Refocus NASA: NASA can be restored to its core mission of space exploration by removing activities which other agencies could better accomplish. For example, 13 other agencies study the climate, and they should take over such activities from NASA. The Goddard Institute for Space Studies should be abolished as it has become a left-wing activist entity which is unconnected with NASA's mission. Read Coalition Director Art Harman's paper on how NASA's mission was diverted from space exploration to climate change.
  15. National Space Council: The vice-president should use the National Space Policy Council to determine the best mix of new commercial space, industry and NASA resources to accomplish our national space policy objectives, and to determine the best methods to support private space ventures. The vice president should work with Congress to secure the necessary authorizations and appropriations. One of the intentional faults with the Obama Augustine Commission was in not concluding that space exploration was a serious national priority, and should receive sufficient support. The Council should therefore start with the premise that the U.S. must remain the leader in space exploration and technology, and evaluate its decisions based on that premise.
  16. Budget: NASA's budget has declined from about 4% of the Federal budget during Apollo to less than 1/2 of a percent of the budget today. U.S. high tech leadership is essential to our growth and global competitiveness, NASA must be seen not as an expense, but an investment which pays off far more to the economy. To retain our leadership as China and others are setting course to the Moon and beyond, it is vital to increase NASA's budget to accomplish the president-elect's goals.

    Note: Once the James Webb Telescope is launched, the large development funds should not be cut from subsequent NASA budgets, but kept within NASA for space exploration. A flat or barely-increased NASA budget is a recipe for continued decline, and would pit important NASA missions against each other for survival. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson advocates for 1% for space, or roughly doubling the budget. Perhaps a 20% increase each year would be a good start. Like defense, space exploration is a national and strategic priority which must be increased and not cut.
  17. Leadership: The old adage is that "personnel is policy" is particularly applicable for NASA or any agency in great need of reform and re-focusing on strategic goals. It is therefore vital to nominate a NASA Administrator and a Deputy who will be most able to effectively restore NASA's deep space exploration mission and to cut bureaucracy. NASA in the Apollo era was entrepreneurial and fast paced, and succeeded in the seemingly impossible: going to the Moon, having to invent everything along the way, and to do it "within this decade." With similar star-high goals and tight deadlines, America can make history again.
  18. Address to the Nation: To rekindle public support and enthusiasm, and to build additional support in Congress, President Trump should make a major speech in support of a bold return to space exploration within a few months after Inauguration Day. This will inspire Americans who are weary of watching America retreat, drive students to STEM programs and careers, and send a signal to the space industry that America is returning to bold space leadership. I would recommend a few hints in the inaugural address of things to come.
The public strongly supports the space program, and President-elect Donald Trump has the opportunity to re-launch American leadership in space. This agenda outline will help point the way to America's bold future as the leader in space exploration, technology and jobs for the next generation.

(image credit NASA/JSC)

November 9, 2016

Congratulations to the New President and Vice President

The Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration congratulates President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence on their election. 

The Vice President will chair a new National Space Policy Council to restructure the space program towards a greater focus on manned space exploration. 

Coalition Director Art Harman discussed NASA and commercial space priorities with the campaign and transition, and Americans can expect the new administration will restore our space program and return Americans to the Moon and go to Mars--sooner than many believe possible.