Trump's NASA Signals Return to Golden Age: 'We’re Going Back to the Moon, and Beyond'
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is undertaking a mission that seeks to expand on the triumphs of the game-changing Apollo program, and it looks like the move will put the United States in an extremely lucrative position.
That’s because if NASA’s gamble works, it could place America at the center of a thriving space economy.
The first step to ruling this solar system market is the Artemis program, seen as the spiritual successor to the Apollo program that put humans on the moon for the first time in history.
According to NASA, the program is a return to a time when Americans visited the moon, ushering in a golden age of scientific research as new possibilities opened and man’s frontier expanded to the stars.
As the twin sister of Apollo, Artemis’ role as a moon goddess made her a perfect fit as the program’s namesake.
Partnering with SpaceX, founded by tech pioneer Elon Musk, for the program, NASA seems to be preparing to push the moon and Earth’s low orbit into eventually becoming a thriving piece of the economy.
“We’re going back to the moon, and beyond,” the headline of an opinion piece in USA Today by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine declared.
“Even as we shift focus to the moon, NASA remains committed to supporting a space economy in low-Earth orbit for research, crew training and more,” Bridenstine wrote. “As a government agency, NASA must lead in exploration for scientific discovery and go where there is not yet a commercial market.”
Although partnerships between commercial entities and government agencies are not uncommon, this pairing could leave an unmistakable mark on human history.
The American space agency has not had a crewed orbital launch in nearly a decade, largely thanks to the controversial scrapping of the iconic space shuttle program.
Now, a joint venture with the ambitions of NASA and the resources of a commercial juggernaut promise to make space travel a regular occurrence. If successful, this could signal the beginning of a new golden age of space exploration.
The venture opens a slew of possibilities for the communication, medical, technology and research industries. Bridenstine once even opined the possibility that Tom Cruise’s next blockbuster movie could be partially filmed in space.
“With the right architecture, we will foster a new lunar economy, too,” Bridenstine wrote.
As part of the ongoing moon program, NASA announced the “Artemis Accords,” a set of guidelines meant to keep space competition fair and in the best interest of humanity.
The accords emphasize transparency, cooperation and the peaceful exploration of our solar system.
It’s unclear when an economy not bound by Earth’s gravity would become a reality.
While some believe that normalized space travel and a lunar economy is not possible in our lifetimes, rapid advancement in technology and a space agency dedicated to its mission could mean these marvels are not far off.
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