back to article Trump to NASA: Fly me (or some other guys) to the Moon

President Trump has called on NASA to focus its attention on returning humans to the Moon and landing on Mars. Trump on Monday signed off on Space Policy Directive 1, an order that the American space agency prioritize the establishment of a base on the Moon and eventual plans to land people on Mars. The directive also looks …

  1. Dagg

    Good idea

    Trump to NASA: fly me (or some other guys) to the Moon - and leave them there.

    Anyone remember the book The marching morons

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Good idea

      "Anyone remember the book The marching morons"

      Yeah, free trips to Venus for all applicants :-)

  2. Simon Harris Silver badge

    14 gram sample of moon rock.

    Was it saying

    "Please take me home. After 45 years on this dumb planet I can't take it any more" ?

  3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Caveat

    Was going to applaud this until I discovered it was just bribery to stop scientists going on about environmental damage.

    "The government wants NASA to look outwards, but also wants it to do less work looking at Earth. The latest budget recommendations see NASA's Earth sciences funding cut by 13 per cent, leading the agency to cancel its involvement in some climate monitoring."

    1. Lysenko

      Re: Caveat

      Was going to applaud this until I discovered it was just bribery to stop scientists going on about environmental damage.

      Well, since yet more CO2 readings aren't going to change a damn thing (particularly in the USA), it probably makes sense to concentrate on establishing outposts elsewhere. Ironic really, since much of the USA is in the global warming firing line while Russia (meaning Siberia) and Canada are set to become ideal temperate destinations.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Caveat

          Whether you believe in global warming/extreme weather or not you would be an idiot to dismiss it outright.

          Look outside, how many cars/plane/trains/boats/people/industrial farming and production sites do you think there are on the planet?

          Maybe the earth can self sustain in the face of all that? I'm not a scientist but that's why they check these things so cutting the budget is not a good idea.

          Not sure how you can put scientologists with real scientists maybe you could with those trumpologists whose cult strangely refuse to answer rational questions on their opinions of the direction of their government. It's a shame they aren't secretive it would be nice to avoid the noise for a bit.

          1. Lysenko

            Re: Caveat

            Maybe the earth can self sustain in the face of all that?

            Current CO2 levels are less than a quarter of what they were in the late Cretaceous period (which wasn't an all-time high), so it is pretty certain that the Earth can survive substantially more warming than is currently occurring, particularly since we're in an ice age inter-stadial right now. Speaking of which: total elimination of all ice shouldn't be a problem either since that's happened before (several times).

            Of course, it would be a big problem for many[1] currently existing species, but that's nothing new: 99.9+% of species that ever existed were extinct before humans even evolved. The rate of change? Nothing like as rapid as the rate of change caused by bolide impacts or massive volcanism (Siberian Traps, Deccan Traps, Toba).

            Whichever way you slice it, the Earth as a life-supporting entity is in no particular danger, even if everything larger than a mouse or a cockroach goes extinct, which is pretty much what the K-T bolide achieved in a matter of a few hours to decades.

            [1] "Many", not "most" because most extant species are bacteria or archaea and we don't really have a clear understanding of baseline microbiological extinction and speciation rates.

            1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

              Re: Caveat

              Current CO2 levels are less than a quarter of what they were in the late Cretaceous period (which wasn't an all-time high), so it is pretty certain that the Earth can survive substantially more warming than is currently occurring, particularly since we're in an ice age inter-stadial right now.

              The real question isn't whether or not the planet can survive - it's whether or not humankind can

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Caveat

                "it's whether or not humankind can [survive]"

                Probably not even that. It's just that there's a lot of money invested in the assumption that the coastlines stay where they are. The other long term assumption that's worrying is that we'll be able to keep doing things like reduce metal oxides despite shoving the potential reducing material up power-station chimneys.

              2. Lysenko

                Re: Caveat

                The real question isn't whether or not the planet can survive - it's whether or not humankind can

                That's pretty straightforward. The MVP (Minimum Viable Population) for a mammal the size of a human is in the low thousands so the questions are: is any other species capable of replacing H. Sapiens in (all) its ecological niche(s) and is there any credible climate effect that could reduce primary production of the ecosphere below the level needed to maintain human MVP?

                The answer to both questions is no. There is no terrestrial effect, anthropogenic or otherwise, with a realistic chance of threatening the survival of humankind. The point that most people seem to miss is the MVP. Wiping out 99.999% of the human population isn't remotely close to a biological extinction event. We are the most populous and least specialised animal of our size on the planet so we can absorb colossal mortality levels and habitat loss without our continued existence being seriously threatened. Genetic evidence suggests that 75000 years ago the H. Sapiens population was down to 20000 individuals (or less), possibly due to the Toba super-eruption. We're still here.

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: Caveat

                  "We're still here."

                  Not so great for those billions not in the survivor group, and probably not al that much fun for the ones that do survive, Considering the lack of easily accessible natural resources for a technological society, I wonder if a survival level population could ever get much beyond a new stone age? Most easily accessible coal, iron ore and petroleum deposits are pretty much tapped our. After a couple of generations of struggling to survive, would the knowledge be there to start again?

                  1. Lysenko

                    Re: Caveat

                    Most easily accessible coal, iron ore and petroleum deposits are pretty much tapped our. After a couple of generations of struggling to survive, would the knowledge be there to start again?

                    Who needs ore? The surface of the planet is littered with vast quantities of pre-smelted metals created by this civilization and nothing is going to bury them again on less than tectonic timescales. As for fossil fuels, they weren't a significant factor in human development until the industrial revolution.

                    You could meet all human global power requirements via hydro-electricity alone, even at contemporary consumption levels, if you dial back population numbers by a couple of centuries (about 1 billion in 1800). What no-one likes to discuss is that anthropogenic climate change is just a variation on Malthusian Catastrophe - it's essentially a demographic problem.

            2. tfb Silver badge

              Re: Caveat

              This is exactly right. Worse things have happened, and life on earth is in no danger at all from what's happening now (including from a full-scale nuclear war). Almost certainly humans as a species are not really in danger either (perhaps from a full-scale nuclear war). There will be a few tens of millions of us, grovelling around in the mud: it will all be fine.

              1. rchop

                Re: Caveat

                "... it will all be fine." Unless your descendants will be groveling in the mud.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Caveat

              The earth will survive, will we?

            4. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: Caveat

              "Current CO2 levels are less than a quarter of what they were in the late Cretaceous period (which wasn't an all-time high)"

              And THIS suggestis that atmospheric CO2 concentration has NOTHING! TO! DO! with actual climate and/or temperature, which it can't ANYWAY, because CO2 doesn't absorb IR energy in the bands that correspond to actual temperaturs on the earth.

              So CO2 doesn't act like a 'shield', nor does it act like a 'blanket'. It does NOTHING except respond to what temperature and CO2 production/depletion rates are, which shift the (equilibrium) concentration of CO2, mostly due to changes in CO2 concentration that can be absorbed by water at a given temperature, but that's about it. It's an INDICATOR, and not a cause, of temperature.

              1. Lysenko

                Re: Caveat

                And THIS suggestis that atmospheric CO2 concentration has NOTHING! TO! DO! with actual climate and/or temperature

                No, it doesn't. It suggests that the variables correlate which, as you are somewhat breathlessly trying to point out, does not of itself prove a causal relationship. All the data I quoted proves is that there was more CO2 in the Cretaceous and it was also hotter (no polar ice caps etc). Whether one fact caused the other or whether they are both side effects of something else entirely (like the Deccan Traps) requires other data to establish. My only point was that such conditions came nowhere near to ending life on Earth, irrespective of the cause.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Caveat

                "And THIS suggestis that atmospheric CO2 concentration has NOTHING! TO! DO! "

                Wow. Now I know that you are a certified moron. Writing RANDOMLY in CAPS did suggest it - like a tabloid newspaper - but now you have followed through with actual proof!

                Based on your logic, I would like to conjecture that global warming must be a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. I even have a graph to prove it:

                https://www.venganza.org/images/PiratesVsTemp.png

        2. Lars Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Caveat

          @Big John

          Are those guys like Stockman and Bucshon really what you belive in. As it is twats like that we find only in (in office) in the USA these days. And it's all about money or it's even worse. You did have a hint with "Scientologists".

          The vid is old but so is stupidity.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPgZfhnCAdI

      2. tfb Silver badge

        Re: Caveat

        Actually more monitoring of Earth is pretty useful. We have known for a long time that CO2 is correlated with warming, we have really limited ideas about what actually will happen, and it would be kind of useful to know (well, obviously, not useful if you are 75, very rich and don't give a fuck about anyone else.)

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Caveat

          Actually more monitoring of Earth is pretty useful.

          Sure, but other agencies are available. Like NOAA, who were given that mission. So were the NRO. Then there's the EPA, who got bigly into global warming and arguably have a role in looking at adaptation or mitigation. And there's a lot more federal money that got delivered by the gobal warming hype train. And if you're a well connected 70 year old inventor of the Internet, it's been personally enriching as well.

          But there is only one US agency tasked with exploring space. So if someone wants to do research, they can get funded, and maybe work with NASA to design, build and operate a satellite. Of course other launch services are available & competing with part of NASA's mission.

          And there's lots of other worthy research being done that's arguably more in line with NASA's objectives. There's a handful of scientists looking at lunar dust and the potential for lunarcrete. That would be useful for building lunar colonies or interplanetary ships. But there's only a small amount of samples to work with. More would be helpful. Then we might get robo-miners on the Moon fabbing lunarcrete sections ready to be assembled into habitats. If we're to get off this rock, that's important stuff, and arguably more deserving of funding than GISS's fudged models.

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Caveat

            "Sure, but other agencies are available."

            But they are in general being force to pretend that anthropomorphic global warming isn't happening instead of getting the extra funding to do the things for the environment that NASA does!

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Caveat

              NASA's still the North American Space Agency. Doing things for the environment is the EPA's job. But this is the problem with politics. Not so long ago, the Grauniad ran a story about the evil Trump cancelling a satellite launch-

              “This is like throwing away the medical records of a sick patient,” said David Gallaher of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. “Our world is ailing and we have apparently decided to undermine, quite deliberately, the effectiveness of the records on which its recovery might be based. It is criminal.”

              About scrapping the remaining DMSP bird. A satellite designed starting in the '60s that would cost millions to prep for launch, and launch. And needing a polar orbit, needing a heavy launch vehicle. I'm assuming nobody told Gallaher that NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System launched Nov 17th on a Delta-II, and the last Delta-II launch is to lift ICESAT-2, another polar observation satellite. Dear Mr Gallaher will be getting plenty of fresh data to massage.

              But again that's politics. A space agency's told to focus on space, navel gazers complain..

              1. A K Stiles
                Coat

                Re: Caveat

                NASA's still the North American Space Agency.

                Er - actually it's the National Aeronautics and Space Administration *pushes glasses back up nose*

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: Caveat

                  Ah, oops! Perhaps it should rename, and drop the 'Administration'? Less pencil pushers, more of the right stuff. Or just engineers who can figure out how to strap an S9G reactor to a rocket and deliver it to the Moon without scaring the natives. Or figure out how to create a Lunar auto-foundry that can spit out glass bricks, and seperate useful bits from minerals like tranquillityite. Then colonists can make YAG lasers and phone home! Or just make solar panels, and other useful stuff. A couple of large sampling missions should help figure out how to start strip mining the Moon to build a base, and staging post for Mars though :)

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Caveat

            "Then there's the EPA,"

            Didn't the EPA budget just get gutted recently too?

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Caveat

              Yup, and they're complaining as well. But that's politics. The US is currently doing much horse-trading to approve a budget and prevent another government shutdown. The political aspect is 'right sizing' US Federal spending so it's more efficient and affordable. Currently there's a lot of overlap with departments doing climate stuff, so scope for cuts.

              One possibility would be to survey the 25,000 or so AGU attendees in New Orleans to see how many are Federal employees, who they're working for and what they're doing. Climate stuff is high on the AGU's agenda, but other geoscientists need funding as well. That's the issue with NASA. It's the Federal agency that put men on the moon, but then got turned into an agency that hacks together temperature models. NOAA can and does do that as well. NASA's space budget has been steadily cut though from it's glory days. Refocusing it on space is, IMHO a worthy goal, especially if you want to get kids interested in STEM.. Or just be the first to start a moon base and nab the best spot.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Caveat

          "...Actually more monitoring of Earth is pretty useful...."

          1) what good is monitoring the planet with regards to global warming if we don't do a damn thing about it?

          2) is NASA even the right agency to monitor earth? Shouldn't they spearhead... euhm... space exploration?

          Perhaps its about time that the right people for a particular job do their bloody job.

          1. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Caveat

            NASA and it's core mission explained here and a few other facts about the GOP of to day, here represented by Ted Cruz.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peL7Qecg3qQ

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Caveat

          "We have known for a long time that CO2 is correlated with warming"

          as an INDICATOR, not a CAUSE, like when a soda gets warm, it goes flat [because it can't hold as much CO2 in the water]. Hence, warmer water = higher atmospheric CO2 concentration (and NOT! THE! OTHER! WAY! AROUND!!!)

          How come *I* know this instinctively, yet so many other people IGNORE this obvious FACT ???

          icon, because, facepalm

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Caveat

            "as an INDICATOR, not a CAUSE, like when a soda gets warm, it goes flat [because it can't hold as much CO2 in the water]. Hence, warmer water = higher atmospheric CO2 concentration (and NOT! THE! OTHER! WAY! AROUND!!!)

            How come *I* know this instinctively, yet so many other people IGNORE this obvious FACT ???"

            Your instincts are WRONG and hence you DON'T KNOW. Warmer water can absorb and retain MORE gas and more CO2 in the oceans makes them more acidic. If they reach boiling point, that's a whole other ball game. But there won't be anyone around to watch that. You are getting confused by adding pressurised CO2 to water to make soda. If you leave it a constant temp it STILL GOES FLAT because the liquid, once poured into an open glass is now at normal air pressure and so it outgasses. How about that for FACTS instead of INSTINCT?

            1. Sparkypatrick

              Re: Caveat

              It may not happen often, but Bob is correct on this one point. CO2 solubility in water decreases as temperature increases.

              http://www.carboeurope.org/education/CS_Materials/CO2solubility.pdf

          2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Caveat

            I was reading this today:

            Reuters UK: World is losing the battle against climate change.

            I couldn't help laughing at all these idiots, these so called scientists with their Phds, all getting it so badly wrong.

            The savvy amongst us all know it's all a big hoax... Bob from the internet told us.

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Caveat

          "well, obviously, not useful if you are 75, very rich and don't give a fuck about anyone else."

          ...but quite fancy the idea of a low G, off-planet retirement home? Microgravity/freefall just comes with soooo many problems, like making it difficult to toast your friends with bubbly after beating them at golf.

        5. Handle123456

          Re: Caveat

          More monitoring is useful, it's just not a task for NASA anymore. Getting a satellite on Earth's orbit is no longer space exploration, so the different kinds of monitoring are best left to other, more specialized organizations.

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Caveat

      France have offered to pay some of the climate researchers Trump wants to nobble

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Caveat

        Yes, this on France24 "US researchers flock to join Macron's climate change project".

        http://www.france24.com/en/20171211-climate-france-macron-paris-accord-planet-great-again-us-researchers-grants-trump

    3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Caveat

      Was going to applaud this until I discovered it was just bribery to stop scientists going on about environmental damage.

      Interesting conspiracy theory. Were the bribes in the Obama era paid to keep GISS going on about environmental damage? Or are the decisions about which Earth science projects to cut perhaps political. Give more money or the climate gets it.

      But NASA is America's Space agency. It has another 11,000+ federal employees at NOAA looking at the Earth, so there's an amount of overlap. The Obama era forced NASA to navel gaze when it should be looking outwards.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Caveat

      "also wants it to do less work looking at Earth"

      they're NASA. it's not about GEOLOGY. It's about SPACE exploration.

      besides, all of that "fake science" hasn't explained why temperatures are NOT boiling the planet right now, and NOT lowering sea levels right now, and NOT thinning polar ice right now, which AlGore apparently "predicted" in his book with the 'hockey stick' chart (starting in the 70's, when temperatures were at a 70 year cycle LOW point, and comparing to 30 years later, when they're at a 70 year cycle HIGH point, hence 'hockey stick', ignoring ALL past history to manipulate people with those "statistics"). To the best of my knowledge, he predicted these things, anyway...

      Point is, the science (focusing on Earth) is interesting, but we don't need NASA to be funded to do it. Sure, let NASA (and universities) continue to build satellites and launch them, but let university professors and independent scientists do the analysis. Then, put it all up on 'teh intarwebs' for peer review, and get GUMMINT FUNDING OUT OF IT. Because when "the funders" are paying for "an outcome" (drain the swamp to get rid of those agenda-driven "scientists" I say), you'll get LOTS of research that's focused on "an outcome", because people are being PAID to do it. But if you just COLLECT THE DATA, and let science be SCIENCE, then we'll get better models and understanding, etc. out of it.

      /me facepalms because it only took a few posts before it became politicized...

  4. macjules Silver badge

    And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space ..

    'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!

    1. Pete4000uk

      Re: And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space ..

      That's an insult to dolphins and ants

  5. Blofeld's Cat
    Coat

    Er ...

    "... Space Policy Directive 1 ..."

    Kryten: "Space Policy Directive 1? 'No officer should drive a Lunar Rover on the South Lawn during a thunderstorm' - I fail to see how appeasing the under-gardener is relevant here, Mr President."

  6. Chas E. Erath

    Make Mars Great Again?

    Why not? So far he's been wildly successful at making America grate again...

    (Sorry. That was too easy - it must've been done a thousand times already.)

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Make Mars Great Again?

      making America grate again

      Maybe he still believes that the moon is made of cheese?

  7. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Mars one way?

    You're on Mr President *

    * I use that term loosely.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mars one way?

      NASA should 'Crowdsource' the funding for the 'One Way' trip to Mars.

      I am sure the funding could be found in a week,most of it from the Middle East, never mind the rest of the world.

      :) :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Mars one way? & Trump

        Trump has recently created the 'Biggest'/'Bestest' diversion from the 'Russian' issues he has.

        Every death and injury of Israelis & Palestinians & any 'bystanders' is down to him directly.

        He thinks the death of a few Foreigners is of no concern ..... [Not Americans so don't count, anyway !]

        [A whole new spin on the 'Because I'm worth it' Slogan !!!]

      2. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Mars one way?

        Shut up and take my money! ^^

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mars one way?

        If Trump was a passenger, crowdsourcing would be over funded in an hour.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mars one way?

      Is it important that the occupant arrives alive?

      This may have some bearing on cost and design, that's all.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Mars one way?

        Is it important that the occupant arrives alive?

        It's better to travel hopefully than arrive.

  8. Captain DaFt

    -"NASA looks forward to supporting the president’s directive strategically aligning our work to return humans to the Moon, travel to Mars and opening the deeper solar system beyond,” NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot said of the directive.-

    Wrong response!

    When trump started talking about Moon/Mars missions from NASA, the first response should be [Vote your choice]:

    □ "Money talks, bullshit walks."

    □ "Show me the money!"

    □ "With what? The two paper clips and a rubber band we can afford with this budget?"

    □ "AH-HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA! I suppose you want a pony and a fire engine too?"

    □ "Dammit, we're NASA, not Santa!"

    □ "Put up or shut up!"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obviously this guy wants to emulate JFK

    Floundering around with Distraction after Distraction to divert attention away from other matters.

    If it carries on like this he'll trigger World War III if he tries to Nuke the Norks.

    “The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

    To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.

    To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obviously this guy wants to emulate JFK

      "We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things"

      I think it's the "other things" he does that people are interested in.

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Obviously this guy wants to emulate JFK

      > To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

      The real problem is that he is not "doing the job", he is doing something else entirely, something that won't become apparent to his supporters for some time, and then it will be too late.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Obviously this guy wants to emulate JFK

      JFK was the last decent Democrat president (note I didn't say 'Demo-Rat' this time).

      a) JFK was a SUPPLY SIDE ECONOMIST - like Reagan and Trump

      b) JFK knew that space exploration was important, and that America should lead with it.

      c) JFK was an anti-communist [unlike modern Demo-Rats, who are extreme socialists and might as well BE communists], and so was Reagan, and to some extent, Trump.

      d) JFK was considered to be a bit of a 'maverick' within his own party, which is why they paired him up with LBJ (a "traditional Demo-Rat") so they could capture more Democrat votes. It worked.

      JFK was right about a LOT of things like these. And so was Reagan. And so is Trump.

      Yes, America SHOULD be challenged to develop better space propulsion, and a colony on the moon, and manned trips to Mars. [A moon base has a much better chance of allowing for construction of deep-space vehicles anyway, including atomic engines and developing other radical propulsion methods that can't operate in an atmosphere]

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Obviously this guy wants to emulate JFK

        Bombastic Bob gets 3 downvotes?

        Yes, we are in a HuffPo forum, now.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Obviously this guy wants to emulate JFK

        "unlike modern Demo-Rats, who are extreme socialists and might as well BE communists"

        Uhm, no. The Democrats are not a socialist party in any normal sense of the word, let alone extreme.

        Heading that way would do a lot to fix your country though. You are the ONLY industrialised nation without a proper socialist healthcare system, your health care is worse than say the UK, and you pay far more for it than we do!

        Watch the film "Where to Invade Next". It does a great job about explaining just how much life in America sucks compared to say the EU.

  10. Montreal Sean

    Trump is thinking of the possibilities.

    The possibilities of a Trump Tower and Casino on the Moon and Mars.

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Trump is thinking of the possibilities.

      Someone might go to it then.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Trump is thinking of the possibilities.

        actually... Trump's billions devoted to a moon casino might actually MAKE IT HAPPEN!

        it's nearly 2018 and we don't have a moon base. This is probably because space exploration has been hampered by politics, government budgets, and over-regulation. In the last few years, de-regulation has allowed Musk (and others) to join the game, but there are still "gummint subsidies" (in a way) that are involved.

        Once PRIVATE money is driving the game, and PROFIT becomes the motivation (not getting re-elected or 'giving' money to those that give money to you), you'll see more ways in which businesses try to get you to spend your money on what they have to offer, and I have NO doubt that enough people WILL want those things in order to make them happen.

        I know _I_ would. I'd love a vacation on the moon! Heinlein wrote a short story that involved tourists flying pedal-driven aircraft in a large volcanic cave on the moon. Gotta love it!

        [putting on my conspiracy theory hat, I'd say "we" have been deliberately "held back" "for our own good" by some puppeteer that saw how fast we WERE advancing and wanted to put a STOP to it... while politicians THEN deliberately re-shape budgets to enhance their re-election rather than moving forward]

  11. conscience

    One way trip

    Maybe the best place for Trump is for him to join Willzyx and Tom Cruise on the Moon.

  12. frank ly Silver badge

    Nomenclature

    "... the establishment of a base on the Moon ..."

    Will the first one be called Moonbase Alpha?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nomenclature

      It's America, it'll be Clavius Base.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Nomenclature

        Nope, it will be called Moonbase Ivana Trump: everyone knows where it is but nobody wants to go there.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nomenclature

      No. Probably an Epsilon Double Minus (if you've read Huxley's "Brave New World").

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Nomenclature

        You're all wrong. It'll be called Moonbase Freedom 'cause 'murica.

    3. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Nomenclature

      "Will the first one be called Moonbase Alpha?". Be serious, think again.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To Insanity and Beyond !

  14. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Yes please, send him to the Moon!

    Before he destroys Planet Earth.

  15. Ralph the Wonder Llama
    Mushroom

    Alternative destination

    I would like to see the Orange Vulgarian given the tanning session of his life by setting the controls for the heart of the Sun:

    '"What," said Trillian in a small quiet voice, "does sundive mean?"

    "It means," said Marvin, "that the ship is going to dive into the sun. Sun ... Dive. It's very simple to understand. What do you expect if you steal Hotblack Desiato's stunt ship?"

    "How do you know ..." said Zaphod in a voice that would make a Vegan snow lizard feel chilly, "that this is Hotblack Desiato's stuntship?"

    "Simple," said Marvin, "I parked it for him."'

    If only.

  16. naive

    The world never has been better ...

    thanks to one year rule of President Trump. ISIS defeated, economy rising, stock exchange breaking records, manufacturing jobs getting back to America from third world countries and plenty of cheap oil. North Korea is just a big stone on his path to glory left behind by eight years of O'Dummer rule.

    Enjoy as long you can, the lefties will for sure will be given opportunities to make the world miserable again in the future.

    1. ukgnome Silver badge

      Re: The world never has been better ...

      Are you off your meds?

      ISIS isn't defeated as long as they are inspiring New York bombers.

      Economy rising isn't anything that Trump has done, although it would be a great band name.

      Stock Exchange - yeah, I don't think this is Trump either. citation needed

      Manufacturing jobs - Are you sure? They haven't managed a great output yet.

      Oil pricing in the USA has always been cheap

      North Korea - Well America has to have a bad guy right? After all it's just like the movies.

      TL:DR - I enjoyed your parody

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: The world never has been better ...

      Username checks out...

    3. hairydog

      Re: The world never has been better ...

      If those "facts" were true, you would have a point. If you ever manage to get your nose out of Fox Fake News and see what has really happened, you will discover that the opposite is the reality.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: The world never has been better ...

        I think Russia has dealt with ISIS.

        Meanwhile, for some reason the US is still in Syria. I wonder why.

  17. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Black to the moon?

    I've seen the historical documentary, only this time around there's already a Nazi in the White House.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Black to the moon?

      NAZIS RECOGNIZING JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL'S CAPITAL.

      It's practically a Shoah.

  18. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Trump has already been to Mars:

    And here's the photographic proof:

    http://akns-images.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/201272/560.total.ls.8212_copy.jpg

    (That bulging-eyed, blond haired bloke from the head exploding scene from Total Recall)

  19. lglethal Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Just curious...

    So does this demand for NASA to get America back to the Moon and Mars come with additional funding to actually finance it? Nope? Didnt think so. It's just paper shuffling until the next election, when the next President will change the priorities again...

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "does this demand..to get America back to the Moon and Mars come with..funding

      Excellent question.

      This is the "allocation"

      That would be the "appropriation"

      So right now it's just the D flapping his gums.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And who's gonna pay for all this?

    Or will His Trumpness decide to tax other countries as well?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "with America leading the way"

    I'm never sure about this sort of rhetoric. Why is it important for America to 'lead' all the time. What if, with some international co-operation, you could get loads of talented people together to work on stuff like this? Pence was saying the other day on a similar subject 'America must be as dominant in space than it is on earth'. Why? How about working together to get some real progress, rather than willy waving all the time. What's more important? Hubris or progress?

  22. MJI Silver badge

    offer him a flight to

    be the first person to land on the Sun

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another day

    Another Trump headline

    Boring.

  24. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    I'm sure the D wants a "Kennedy moment." But remember there are many to choose from.

    He wants "We choose to go to the Moon in this decade, and the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard."

    He might get a Summers afternoon in Dallas instead. *

    *3 of the 4 US presidents who were murdered in office were some kind of Republican. Roughly 1 for every 11 presidencies. We are now on the 45th presidency.

  25. MartinBZM
    Mushroom

    NASA to nuke Norks?

    So ... When quack-man wants to bomb North Korea into submission it is war but when NASA "Oops"-es a njookular Mars rocket in a certain region it is an accident, yes ?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dak Dak Dak Dak! Ahahahahahahaha!

  27. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    Kenedy had James Webb and Werner Von Braun to help. In 2017 who is Webb 2.0?

    Childish word play aside it is a true question.

    Webb was a major political operator who was very wired in within DC (being a senior Brother in the local Lodge didn't hurt either) and kept the whole Saturn/Apollo project on the road through 2 changes of Administration (Kennedy --> Johnson--> Nixon), keeping more or less everyone in the loop and supporting the programmes. He was an Agency outsider with no technical background. The reverse of several recent Administrators.

    Von Braun had good enough overall grasp of the whole project to be able to say "Yes," "no" or "maybe" quickly enough to reach the finish line before Dec 31st 1969.

    So does Trump have anyone in the current line up who can fill those roles as well as Webb and Von Braun did?

  28. NanoMeter

    Wag the dog

    This is his way of waging the dog.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crackpot at it again

    There he goes again - trying to make out that he knows what he's talking about!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does anyone else think this?

    Trump is an aged Max Headroom on steroids.

    Going to the Moon or Mars is great though. Best idea he has ever had, or is it the only one he has had?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mars

    No one's going to Mars until past 2050, and even then we have so much to do before we can survive that trip. Don't believe the Con jobbers out there trying to make a buck (like Elon the Gov Grant Hog).

  32. rchop

    If NASA had to literally transport Trump to the moon, he would be giving a lot less money to the Oligarchs for lear Jets and would be investing a lot more money in NASA to build a vehicle he would survive in. His mouth says "NASA to the moon", but his tax bill says "Lear Jets for Oligarchs".

  33. DougS Silver badge

    Presidential directives to the go to the Moon have been meaningless since 1969

    Previous presidents have talked about going to the Moon or Mars, but when NASA asks for real money to start trying to make it happen that's always one of the first things cut by congress.

    The republican congress will not support Trump in this, there will be no money in the budget (assuming there is a budget instead of more continuing resolutions) for NASA to get us back to the Moon. They've consistently been against giving NASA sufficient funding for manned missions. Many don't even like the idea of spending money on unmanned missions to Mars, even though they're about two orders of magnitude cheaper.

    Even if congress did approve the funding, they need to keep approving it for a decade before we'd be ready to go. Next economic downturn that causes our deficit to really balloon the idea of spending tens of billions to go where we've already been is out the window. That's a lot more politically palatable cut than where the real money is (defense and entitlements)

  34. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    "No bucks, no Buck Rogers."

  35. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I love the Spitting image puppet in the photo

    It's very well done. Just enough caricature to make it funny while retaining enough true likeness that it's obviously meant to be Trump while superimposing it onto a staged PR announcement background. Mind you, the background is the real give-away that it's fake. No real world leader in their right mind would have an "audience" of supporters in matching sloganised T shirts behind them to cheer while giving a speech unless they were some 3rd world tin pot dictator.

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