Will Trump go to Mars? Nasa’s nervous wait

The president-elect’s priorities for the US space agency are of crucial importance for Earth as well as for future space exploration

In Nasa language it’s called a pivot. It’s a policy change, a U-turn or a departure from a goal set by the previous US president. Until the election of Donald Trump, space insiders and even Nasa itself had a pretty good idea what, under a Hillary Clinton presidency, that pivot was going to be. It wasn’t going to be popular but it was necessary.

People had been whispering it for more than a year. Even as the Nasa PR machine talked endlessly about “the journey to Mars”, those in the know understood that it was little more than a pipe dream. Following the election, a “transition team” would be sent to take stock at Nasa, and the agency’s goals would gradually pivot away from Mars and to the moon.

Nasa has no idea what the budget is going to be, whether the journey to Mars is going to be cancelled

Related: Another discovery of water in space – how boring. We must search for alien life | Stuart Clark

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