President Donald Trump’s administration has a good thinking of investing in NASA, as the proposed federal budget of 2018 for NASA is $19.1 billion, slightly less than the $19.3 billion approved for 2017. This proposed budget is result of Motherboard’s acquisition of communication between the NASA and Trump Administration.
The trump administration wants to focus on commercial industry and information on government funded developments, for this purpose they asked from NASA about their technology development in these areas, according to the latest release.
They want NASA to help the private corporations and make some money by making initiatives. They want NASA to mine Moon to locate the potential raw materials. NASA respond that they are already working on commercial projects that includes public-private partnerships and “to develop innovative cislunar [a region that is equidistant between Earth and the Moon] habitation concepts that leverage existing commercialization plans.”
The project of low earth orbit could revolutionized the commercialization in this field, as rare valuable resources like platinum group metals can be mined from asteroids and can make trillion of dollars. NASA just need the substances those can supply long term human missions in the future, for this they have to explore the Polar Volatiles.
Companies such as Planetary Resources and NexGen Space are very much interested in Lunar and asteroid mining. While NASA isn’t new to encouraging commercialized efforts in space, the space agency has delicately explained in Motherboard’s 100 paged FOIA request that its mission isn’t mostly commercial, but scientific.
They wrote: “NASA envisions a future in which low Earth orbit is largely the domain of commercial activity while NASA leads its international and commercial partners in the human exploration of deep space,”
Commercialization is all about, to lower the cost and do maximize the exploration in this field. From all these they need overall facilitation of NASA’s over-arching goal of achieving human deep-space exploration.
NASA is there for science but the administration has different ideas of entrepreneurship, the question is will this combination works?
We may get a clearer answer once the national budget is finalized and implemented.