What should Biden prioritize here at NASA


Artist's impression of an Artemis mission to the moon.

Artist’s impression of an Artemis mission to the moon.
The image: NASA

Despite the ongoing epidemic, There is a lot to be excited about in space this year. NASA’s Fortitude Rover It is less than a month before landing on Mars; James Webb Space Telescope To be launched on Halloween; And this Space launch system—Nasa’s most powerful Rocket everYou can see its opening earlier this year. And yes there is Artemis program, Which is about to bring a woman and man to the lunar surface in just three years.

We will learn a lot about President Biden’s NASA policy in the coming weeks and months and his administration is the best path for the American space program. Meanwhile, wReached e Space experts are asking a very simple question: What should Biden’s NASA priorities be?

A professor at the Institute of Space Policy at George Washington University or John Mogdson of Political Science and International Affairs said:I think it is important for President Biden and his administration that he soon return to the moon about his commitment to sustain manned space exploration efforts. Details of the current Artemis plan are likely to change, but it is well past once again for the United States to send humans to distant places. “

In fact, NASA is full-steam ahead Upcoming Artemis Mission. The space agency originally planned for a lunar landing in 2028, but the Trump administration collided by 2024. It is widely suspected that Biden will return NASA to its original timeline, but we can only speculate on this point.

Howard McCordy, professor of public affairs in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University in Washington DC, hopes Biden keeps his eye on the award — and other awards to come. “Their main space priority should be to establish a lunar / Mars exploration plan that lasts for more than five years – determining the future of the Boeing Starliner, launching [James] Web Space Telescope, and strengthens the fate of the International Space Station Macroody. “He will have many science priorities, But NASA does not top the list. “

The whole Boeing Starliner thing is definitely worth thinking about as this project-A spacecraft to deliver ISS to astronautsdone to surround Problems and delays. The first crew test of this system is still one way off.

At the same time, SpaceX delivered as a cruderagon spacecraft, which successfully took place Delivered NASA astronauts Robert Behanken and Douglas Hurley came to the ISS last year. McSurdy also brings up a good point about Mars as Artemis Moon The program is one Skipping stone First to human Travel to the Red Planet, which could have taken place in the 2030s.

Jessica West, a program officer at Project Plausher and managing editor of its Space Security Index, said: “The future of the Artemis program is essential. NASA’s international partners seek reassurance and clarity on US commitments and deadlines. Collaboration is key to being successful in space exploration And to ensure that our planet and humanity share in benefits. It starts with diplomacy. NASA has drafted the Artemis Agreement as a tool for developing criteria for space exploration. But it is unclear how this will work with the wider international community or transform it into a more inclusive process, At a time when other states also have lunar ambitions. “

The Biden administration should also be sensitive to the effects that the Space Force — and this rhetorical emphasis on war art and domination — has on NASA and the global perception of Chandra’s ambitions, ”West said.

West Artemis picks up a great deal about A.C.Cords. Human instincts Growing longer and more and more in space With each passing year, things get more complicated from a geopolitical point of view. It would be good to buy from the international community on such matters, which may be Prove difficult With countries like Russia and China.

Peter Singer is a New American strategist and writer Ghost fleet And Burning in, Space Army, also discussed about the newest branch of the US Armed Forces. “Trump created space command, mostly because of what he saw in his rallies as a thunderous applause,” he said.So how does NASA and this new military organization co-exist in the long term? When this makes sense, they will need to work together, but also to ensure that we do not risk the actual, or just presence, of militarization of space in our civilian activities. “

Ah yes — the ongoing threat that we may militarize the location. This is a difficult one, especially when the US tries to keep pace with its aggressive opponents And acts as a space force “Space power“In this possible battlefield domain.

Moroba Jah, an aerospace engineer at the University of Texas, recommended the following: “National Space Council — an organization that focuses on various national activities and reports on space, both in government, education, and industry – Should be allowed to continue under Biden. NASA has a footprint in the National Space Council, and should be allowed to continue. “

Jah said: “There should be a dedicated emphasis in space safety and stability, as it relates to space traffic management. In 2018, Trump signed Space Policy Directive-3 [which focused on space traffic management]. The former administration called the Office of Space Commerce to play the lead role and I’m good with it. For NASA’s role, it should provide input and oversight to the government regarding the science and technology needs of space traffic management. “

Space traffic management will most definitely be a moving issue. As it stands, what surrounding rules go into space, and how much of itAre, objectively Loose. In form of 20 JanuaryIs SpaceX Over 1,000 Starlink satellites In class, with plans to add thousands more. These satellites can crash into each other, creating large and dangerous clouds of debris, a possibility that is coupled to each successive satellite in low Earth orbit. We need someone to play along with the traffic police Service take out the trash.

Dante Lauretta, Chief Investigator of OSIRIS-REx Mission And professor at the University of Arizona, Hopefully Biden will administer to maintain Or increase Funding For NASA Science Mission Directorate. “This directorate performs the necessary research to monitor and predict the effects of climate change, explore the solar system and survey the universe.. “The last four years have been budget-friendly, And it is an area of ​​the US federal government where science activities remain healthy. The amazing achievements of NASA’s science programs serve as an example of what we can do as a nation, when we unite and focus on a common approach. “

Well said. It will be sad that NASA has all the good things at the moment, including satellites that help us predict Bad weather And Weather on earthSurvey for Glacier melting monitor, And in the care of spacecraft Sun And Interstellar space. And, Grabbing, according to Loretta’s interests Surface samples From a nearby asteroid.

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, gave fairly sensible advice to President Biden: “NASA is a part of the US government that is not burning right now, so don’t (for the most part) play with success. The human spaceflight program that needs it most is not to pull another 180 for political leadership, so continue Artemis despite its flaws, but remove the unrealistic 2024 deadline and appoint such leaders Who are not afraid to hold Boeing to account.

McDowell also recommended strengthening a plan for the end of the International Space Station, which is now in greater orbit 22 years old Showing his age. “Keep the ISS for a few more years to reclaim the investment made on Crudragon and Starliner, but decide on a shutdown plan.”

On the robotic / science side, it is fully supported by climate science satellites and to cut back on previous work, the Education Administration tried to bring the web telescope into space and work, and let the science community pick the priorities going forward GiveAbove all, do not misuse the science program as a justification for human space goods – for example by emphasizing the lunar-Related science, to provide a reasonable justification for Artemis, which is a type of thing done in the past. “

We also heard from Avi Loeb, a professor of astronomy at Harvard University, whose recommendations were both philosophical and practical. “Given the widespread interest in space exploration from the public, scientific community and the commercial sector, it is necessary to establish a new one, Bold vision that will maintain America’s leadership in space, ”said Loeb.This is beyond national security interests and is related to JFK’s vision since 1962, the year I was born. The public is keen on inspiring initiatives, And space provides the perfect backdrop for an exciting vision that will propel our N.Technical superiority of onion. The importance of such a vision also depends on the urgent need to connect satellites that will better control our impact on the climate and improve Internet connectivity worldwide. “

Here here. Space investment Is often considered Luxurious or ugly, Especially when we face a lack of problems on the surface. The challenge for Biden will be to achieve a good balance – one that meets our needs on earth, while continuing to meetHeritage and Capability of the American Space Program.

Good luck, Joe.

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