Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.
This would mean the elimination of Nasa’s world-renowned research into temperature, ice, clouds and other climate phenomena. Nasa’s network of satellites provide a wealth of information on climate change, with the Earth science division’s budget set to grow to $2 billion next year. By comparison, space exploration has been scaled back somewhat, with a proposed budget of $2.8 billion in 2017.
Bob Walker, a senior Trump campaign adviser, said there was no need for Nasa to do what he has previously described as “politically correct environmental monitoring”.
“We see Nasa in an exploration role, in deep space research,” Walker told the Guardian. “Earth-centric science is better placed at other agencies where it is their prime mission.
“My guess is that it would be difficult to stop all ongoing Nasa programs but future programs should definitely be placed with other agencies. I believe that climate research is necessary but it has been heavily politicized, which has undermined a lot of the work that researchers have been doing. Mr Trump’s decisions will be based upon solid science, not politicized science.”
Nextbigfuture believes that NASA should have a focused goals of lowering the cost space launch by several orders of magnitud and to develop advanced space colonization, space industrialization and advanced propulsion.
For climate change,
1. The world knows that it would be safer to develop non-fossil fuel sources of energy and to reduce particulates and emissions.
2. There are new cheap nano-satellites, long duration drones that can also perform monitoring of the climate.
3. Ground stations also can monitor carbon levels.
Instead of $2 billion on monitoring, actual programs to reduce black carbon could be funded.