Donald Trump announced today that one of the many pressing goals of his administration is to send astronauts back to the moon, and eventually, Mars. Never mind the many catastrophes currently embroiling us here—let’s go fuck up some other planets!
“The directive I’m signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery. It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use,” Trump said during a ceremony at the White House. “This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints. We will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond.”
Trump’s plan partially revolves around using the moon as a jumping-off point to get to Mars, though the directive vaguely adds that it’s also “of interest to international partners and is within reach of America’s private space industry.” The last time visiting the moon was discussed, it was under President George W. Bush, who called for the building of a moon base and establishing a long-term human presence there. Ultimately it was revealed to be under-funded by billions of dollars.
True to form, Trump did not offer any details about how he intends to pay for his new space toys, so probably the plan is to redirect money from public school funding and eliminate Medicaid or something. Politico reports that Trump’s Mars mission won’t be run entirely by NASA—instead, “the agency would enlist international partners and a new class of billionaire-run private space juggernauts to help pull it off.” Sounds solid. But maybe Trump can go too, just to make sure things out there on the moon are running smoothly? I honestly don’t know if I’m comfortable entrusting such an important task to anyone but Trump. I’d really feel better if he went personally. I think he should stay there, just to be safe.
Meanwhile, whales are vanishing, California is incinerating, and forests will die off en masse as the Earth continues to warm. But yeah, this planet’s beat. Let’s dump this thing and move on to the next one.