In 2017 he signed a directive greenlighting the Artemis Program for crewed lunar exploration. Artemis would have returned astronauts to the Moon in 2024 to begin establishing a permanent moonbase. The lunar base would then serve as a jumping point for missions to Mars and beyond beginning in the 2030s.
One overall lasting impact arguably would be the US Space Force: With China’s aggressive ambitions and Russia weaponizing Earth’s orbit, the former President created an entirely new branch of the US Military.
America was retaking its first steps back into The Final Frontier. Or had it? After November 2020 a new administration was elected with a different vision that is much more ‘terrestrial’.
The new Biden Administration signed an executive order last month cancelling all further private space exploration, leaving the US government through NASA as the only official active American space program. The Washington Times explains:
- Sadly, the visionary goal of getting Americans to Mars first came crashing down when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which, under the Trump administration had allowed for SpaceX to conduct their important test flights, ordered Mr. Musk to cancel the Starship prototype test.
It’s likely that the FAA’s decision to cancel the launch is part of a wider Biden administration effort undo the Trump administration’s vibrant space policy. Plus, former President Trump’s space vision explicitly aimed at countering advances made by China in space. It is unlikely that the Biden administration seeks to continue that policy, as the Biden team attempts to stabilize deteriorating relations with Beijing over the next few years.
The Biden administration’s decision to increase regulations on the private space launch services sector and slow down their operations, as evidenced by the recent Starship launch cancellation, will only help China in its ongoing mission to defeat America in the new space race.
America’s Moonshot sequel was shot down over politics and TDS. Meanwhile, China and Russia are full speed ahead to infinity, and beyond.