Under the Trump administration, space exploration has reached unprecedented heights. President Donald Trump has modernized our space policy to eliminate the out-of-date policies previously in place. From establishing the Space Force to planning a future mission to Mars, it’s clear that Trump has a bold vision for the U.S. in space.

Under the Obama administration, our space exploration programs made little progress. The administration cut funding for numerous space programs, leading to decommissioned crafts and missions. As a result, NASA and America’s space progress failed to reach its full potential. Not to mention, President Barack Obama delayed the “journey to Mars” date back to the 2030s, essentially putting it on the back burner.  

Meanwhile, Trump has shown unparalleled leadership when it comes to space policy as he plans to return astronauts to the moon by the year 2024. Moreover, Trump has bigger ambitions than just the moon — he wants the moon to be a “launch pad” to send Americans to Mars. In the president’s own words, “The moon is not so exciting,” and for the first time ever, an American president has set realistic sights on sending Americans to Mars.

To do this, he plans to rejuvenate companies in the private sector, such as SpaceX and Blue Origin, owned by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos respectively. By leasing the NASA space facilities to these private firms, the journey to Mars will be significantly accelerated.

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The president also expressed his desire to get astronauts to Mars on Twitter.

The president recently said NASA has been making “tremendous progress” toward Mars. The “Moon to Mars” journey seems more attainable now than ever before.

In addition to Mars, Trump’s Space Policy “Directive-4” sets the framework for the Space Force, which will be a new brand under the U.S. Air Force. Vice President Mike Pence has long been a champion of space exploration and recently announced the new U.S. Space Command.

“The United States Space Force will ensure that our nation is prepared to defend our people, defend our interests, and to defend our values in the vast expanse of space,” Pence said.

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The Space Force will send a strong message globally that the U.S. has the upper hand when it comes to military in space. The Trump administration has plans to train next-gen warfighters to compete in this new domain by maximizing fighting capability, while also minimizing bureaucracy.

Despite the fact that Trump has rebuilt our military to the strongest it has ever been, he has shown no signs of complacency with his vision to expand the American military into outer space. As our adversaries become increasingly competitive in this realm, it is increasingly important for the U.S. to establish a presence in space, as it could be a significant threat to our country in the future.

Trump’s space policy will bring together both the Department of Defense and our intelligence community to take massive strides in our space capabilities. Space exploration has the potential to be one of the great legacies of the Trump presidency. No man has been to the moon in more than 40 years, and Trump has promised that the next person on the moon will be an American woman. It’s clear that the president is on a mission to protect the people of this nation, and under Trump, the universe is the limit.

Christian Karabas ([email protected]) is a freshman majoring in real estate and finance. He is also the outreach director of the College Republicans of UW-Madison.

Read about the College Democrats’ views on space policy here.