If Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wins the election, his running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence could end up in charge of the reinstated National Space Council (NSC).
A newly reformed NSC would dictate much of US space policy and coordinate civil and military space agencies. The previous NSC was shut down when President Bill Clinton took office in 1993. The vice president traditionally headed up the NSC.
President Barack Obama promised to re-establish the organization before taking office, but never actually did it.
We’re going to relaunch the national space policy council headed by the Vice President of the United States of America.
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) October 31, 2016
China is increasingly catching up to the space programs of NASA and the U.S. military due to an uncoordinated American space policy, according to many representatives on both sides of the aisle in Congress.
President Barack Obama repeatedly tried to slash space exploration funding and redirect it to Earth science programs, which include climate modeling initiatives designed to measure global warming. Obama increased NASA’s budget for environmental programs by 63 percent at the expense of its exploration budget.
NASA astronauts now rely on the Russians to reach space, and NASA has been forced by the Obama administration to delay the Mars mission until 2030.
Obama’s NASA budget shifted money from NASA’s exploration and robotics programs to its environmental sciences and “outreach” programs. Obama’s budget manages to cut every part of NASA that actually works, including planetary science programs, technological development programs, and many important future Mars missions — without saving any money.
NASA’s budget includes more than $2 billion for the agency’s Earth Science Mission Directorate, which covers global warming science. The money will be specifically allocated to improve climate modeling, weather prediction and natural hazard mitigation. In comparison, NASA’s other functions, such as astrophysics and space technology, are only getting a mere $781.5 and $826.7 million, respectively, in the budget proposal.
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