Trump Forges Amazing New Alliance with Japan

Bloomberg reports that during his recent state visit to Japan, President Donald Trump concluded an agreement with that country’s government making it a full partner in NASA’s Project Artemis return to the moon program.

Trump was very ebullient when he announced the agreement during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

“Japan will join our mission to send U.S. astronauts to space. We’ll be going to the moon, we’ll be going to Mars very, very soon. It’s very exciting. From a military standpoint, there is nothing more important right now than space.”

Trump’s announcement brought out the snark in some places in the media. AP noted, “Not very soon. The U.S. will almost certainly not be sending humans to Mars in his presidency, even if he wins a second term.”

The so-called “fact check” is technically true but also does not, strictly speaking, contradict what the president said.

He did not mention astronauts to Mars and “very soon” could mean by 2033, which is the year NASA envisions, if one measures the time against the scale of how long people have dreamed of sending humans to Mars. Next year, NASA intends to send a huge, car sized rover called Mars 2020 to the Red Planet.

At the moment, NASA is concentrating on Artemis, the plan to send humans back to the lunar surface. Recently, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the year of the next moon landing had been advanced from 2028 to 2024.

The reason is two-fold. The earlier deadline will concentrate the efforts of NASA and commercial engineers in order to avoid the space ADD that has afflicted more leisurely efforts. Two previous attempts to return to the moon, both mounted by presidents named George Bush, were unceremoniously cancelled by their Democratic successors.

The other reason is to impress upon China, an American adversary, that their plans to dominate the moon will not work. Beijing is embarked on an effort to supplant the United States as the sole super power on Earth. Going to the moon, establishing a base there, and exploiting its resources is a key part of that plan.

Under the NASA plan, the “first woman and the next man” would walk on the moon in 2024, not coincidentally the last year or a prospective Trump second term.

Each year would see a moon landing until a permanent lunar base would start taking shape in 2028. The base would in short order become a center of science and commerce and, in the fullness of time, a refueling station for expeditions to Mars and beyond.

The accelerated effort is going to take more funding, $1.6 billion in FY2020 alone and much more to follow. House Democrats are so far resisting the new schedule, mostly out of partisan spite.

However, NASA has good hopes of eventually getting the extra funding. NASA Administrator Jim Bidenstine used to be a member of Congress and has personal relationships with many of the space policy players in both the House and the Senate.

In the meantime, forging international partnerships is an integral part of Artemis.

NASA already has an agreement with Canada. The European Space Agency has provided a service module for the Orion deep space vehicle.

Japan is the latest country that has been added to the deep space coalition of the willing. More countries will be added in due course.

The international component of Artemis will help with cost sharing, access expertise beyond the United States, and will help create what diplomats call “soft power” by making America the leader of the greatest space project since the Apollo program.

The model of international space cooperation has already succeeded in the building and operation of the International Space Station. Even a country such as Russia, not currently the best friend and ally of the United States, has been able to work smoothly with the other partners to keep the orbiting laboratory churning out scientific discoveries and technological innovations.

Also, commercial partnerships will be part of the plan to transform Artemis from a dream to a reality. Large companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Boeing and smaller ones such as Moon Express and Astrobotic will build and operate hardware such as lunar landers.

If the money is made available and the various space agencies and private companies perform, the next few decades could see a new birth of deep space exploration and the spread of human presence beyond the Earth.

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  26. Let China piss away their money going to the moon and Mars. Lets fix the pot holes here on earth which will benefit far more people.

  27. This is great. We should scvelrrate if posdible to beat the PRC to the moon. Both the moon and Mars probably have vast untapped natural resources, so the explorations would ultimately pay for them selves and then some. The fact that the Democrats oppose all forms of outer space exploration because of their domestic agenda is both sad and somewhat treasonous, as one of their idols, JFK, was the President who initiated the outer space program and first voyages to the moon

  28. Hip – Hip Hurrah

  29. Put obama and hillary on the first flight out of here!

  30. Heres a Comment, why is there No Way to Share or Post this Article?

  31. A fantastic future lies ahead. The oldest culture on earth, combining with the wealthiest and most powerful culture on earth . What a combination. Another victory for the President and his allies.

  32. Mr. Trump,

    In your home we respect our President Trump. We are so proud of him, and proud of what he is doing, and proud of our country.

    Mr. Trump left his cushy life, stepped in to save us from the evil party that wants to destroy our country.

    Mr. Trump you keep up the great work, and just know ALL the real Americans who voted for you….have your back, and we will all vote for you again…I am also sure all those that didn’t vote for you will get their heads out of the fake news, and see clear enough to vote for YOU.

    God bless you, your family, and our country.

    Also your birthday is coming up…..WE WISH YOU A HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY….you deserve a day off, enjoy it, play golf, spend time with your family, and know in 2020 you will be re-elected.

    You are the BEST President our country has ever seen.

    In Christ’s Love,
    The Orcutt Family

  33. just when they think they have Trump in a corner he obliterates them

  34. Whoever conquers space conquers Earth and gets to put their political beliefs in control of Earth. The U.S. does not need communism or its child socialism or Islam in the form of ISIS in charge of this country and putting the world in a sudden jump backwards to the middle ages or even before. And don’t think it couldn’t happen, look at the history of the world. We advance through wars by conquering land and people and imposing the victor’s thinking on their conquered. Look at the countries taken over by different political beliefs. Those countries taken over by bad political beliefs have their people’s living standards way below those countries taken over by good political beliefs even in bad times those under good systems are still better off than those countries taken over by bad beliefs. And the lives of women and children are determined by the political system they live under while the men still maintain some control even in the worst systems. Who ever conquers space conquers Earth. We and Japan better win this space war.

  35. Perfect move. Go Donald!

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