Although space is not the major battleground for the presidential election, the elections will significantly affect space. Therefore, we will have an overview of what these candidates have for space.
President Donald Trump has more concerns about space policy. For instance, he revived the Space Council, which has not been active since the 1990s. His Vice President, Pence Mike, chairs the council that focuses on ensuring the smooth running of the U.S off-Earth priorities and plans. Donald has put signature five space policy directives since he became the president. One of these directives is the updated and amended directive by President Barack Obama to set U.S crews on the moon.
These goals will be achieved through NASA’s Artemis program of crewed lunar exploration. This project intends to develop a long-lasting human presence around the moon by 2028. Pence said that in 2024, the initial crewed Artemis is expected to land on the moon. The other two Donald’s directives aim at streamlining space traffic control protocols. Another order intends to boost space systems’ cybersecurity, while the last one directs the Defense Department to establish the U.S Space Force.
The Space Force, which is part of the Air Force, was formed in 2019 December. It became the first nation’s military branch since the establishment of the Air Force in 1947. So far, the Space Force has operated for less than a year now, though it remains unclear the real changes it will bring to space since the Air Force performs the majority of its responsibilities. However, the existence of the Space Force is a sign of commitment to protecting the U.S deep-rooted off-Earth dominance.
Early this year, President Donald Trump signed another executive order that outlines that space mining is in agreement with 1967’s Outer Space Treaty. The order allowed the American companies and citizens to make use of moon resources like lunar water ice. Trump has also promised to increase the budget of NASA.
Some experts say that a win by Biden would not make dramatic changes to the U.S space policy. The Democratic Party Platform has promised NASA’s continued support and space exploration. Democrats also plan to strengthen NASA and give total support to commercial satellite endeavours.
Biden has said that if he wins the election, he will ensure that he combat climate change. For his administration to achieve this, he has expressed support to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth –observation missions, which will help us know how climate change affects planet Earth.