Science, Space

New NASA Leadership Inherits Rejuvenated Space Exploration Program

An AtlasV rocket lifts off from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, September 8, 2016. AP/Alex Sanz

Washington, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)–February 9, 2017.  A new issue brief released by the Center for American Progress finds that there is a solid foundation for a rejuvenated and realistic space exploration program as NASA transitions to new leadership under the Trump administration. Under the leadership of former administrator Charles Bolden, NASA has made real strides over the past eight years toward historic missions into the solar system. The incoming leadership should resist the temptation to hit the reset button and undo the gains made by their predecessors.

“NASA’s big plans for space exploration in the coming decades rest securely on the foundation laid by Administrator Bolden over the past eight years,” said Rudy deLeon, CAP Senior Fellow and co-author of the brief. “At this exciting time, it would be very counterproductive to reassess the trajectory currently in place. If we as a nation are going to fulfill the goal of putting a human on Mars in the coming decades, it will be done squarely on the back of the gains of the past eight years. It would be a shame to squander this opportunity to achieve this truly historic accomplishment.”

The brief finds that NASA is poised to undertake a truly ambitious program of space exploration. Human missions to Mars and robotic exploration programs will only succeed under an overall approach that sticks to the plan set forth over the past decade rather than attempts to change the direction of NASA’s priorities.

Click here to read the brief.