Trump’s space policy is a retread of Obama’s—with just 63 new words

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Dark clouds pass by the moon over Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017.

American president Donald Trump signed a document on Tuesday (Dec. 12) instructing NASA to plan a mission to the moon. But the text is only a slightly altered version, with just 63 new words, of a document produced by the Obama administration in 2010.

Published 16 mins ago  |  Photo by AP Photo/Michael Probst
Dark clouds pass by the moon over Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017.

63 words

One paragraph from Obama’s policy that was removed, shown below, included specific goals and deadlines:

“Set far-reaching exploration milestones. By 2025, begin crewed missions beyond the moon, including sending humans to an asteroid. By the mid-2030s, send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth;”

Dark clouds pass by the moon over Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017.

63 words

…while the new version, despite being longer, leaves more things open to interpretation, as in the section below.

“Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations;”

Dark clouds pass by the moon over Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017.

63 words

The Trump administration did make one significant addition: an explicit mention of commercial partnerships, a controversial issue in the space sector.

qz.com

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