The NASA Mission in Context — Commence the Era of LaRouche
On Monday, April 1, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine made clear that President Donald Trump's declaration one week prior, a declaration which was issued literally just days after the conclusion of the attempted Trump legal assassination by Robert Mueller, was not simply just another paper proposal. That declaration, which began, "This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars and perhaps, someday, to many worlds beyond," was fine in itself, but similar to many proposals which are left on paper, it was not yet "on the ground." Yet, Bridenstine's presentation, a rare publicized town hall with top leaders of NASA's main directorates, for all of NASA and the world to see, made clear that Trump's program is not a paper policy, but a tangible change in U.S. economic policy. The entire presentation is available on YouTube.
The basics are clear:
1. President Trump has changed the time frame for a manned-Moon landing from ten years to five, meaning that it will happen before the end of his second term. Bridenstine said repeatedly that the President has taken personal responsibility to make this happen during his Presidency, and it was also clear, that Bridenstine is putting his own career and credibility on the line. He said, two or three times, he has heard the Lucy and Charlie Brown football story over 100 times since arriving at NASA, (where the ball is pulled from beneath NASA like a sadistic joke, or the policy is changed from the Moon to Mars to an asteroid, creating an institutional whiplash), and so he said definitively, "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us. These are the moments, if — no — when we succeed, that we will tell our grandchildren about. The President is committed to this."
2. The President has insisted that we will go to the Moon with the intent of developing and using Lunar resources, and we will plan for a sustained human presence, and a future launch from the Moon to Mars. This is the Krafft Ehricke-LaRouche policy without compromise. He made it clear we are going to the South Pole of the Moon, specifically for the water ice resources, for use in water, oxygen, and rocket fuel potential.
3. The President has insisted that we will go to the Moon with international partners. Though it was left unsaid, the leading partner in manned-space exploration today is Russia, and China is the leader of current Lunar exploration.
4. The President has insisted that we will put men again on the Moon, and we will put the first woman on the Moon. This is the right kind of #MeToo moment, and is an echo of the March 3, 1988 LaRouche broadcast "Woman on Mars." There is also a new Directorate of NASA, like the Science Directorate, there is now the Moon-Mars Directorate, an entire branch of NASA dedicated to developing and implementing this approach for the coming generation(s).
Besides emphasizing these points throughout the discussion, Bridenstine had a clarity and passion uncharacteristic of what one might expect. He presented a knowledge of various rocketry problems, using his experience as a top gun Navy pilot, to provide a working sense of the physical issues. Perhaps most importantly for various skeptics, he presented in detail the current approach to the national space program's frontier project. The SLS, or Space Launch System, which is a derivation of the Obama-cancelled Constellation Program's Ares rocket and the most powerful rocket ever designed, will be the primary system the U.S.A. uses to begin the colonization of the Moon. To circumvent the delays which have occurred, Bridenstine detailed how they have changed the development process into a "crash program" of horizontal production, so that multiple steps of SLS rocket development can now be done simultaneously, rather than the time-consuming, vertical, bottom-up process. Bridenstine's intervention should allow the SLS to launch the first unmanned Lunar orbital test of the Orion spacecraft with its European Space Agency-built service module according to the June 2020 schedule. This intervention by Bridenstine captured the changed perspective under which NASA is now operating.
This means we go with NASA's plan, which is a variation of the same Constellation program put into operation over a decade ago. The SLS, or space launch system, which is a variation of Constellation's Ares rocket system. and the most powerful rocket ever designed, will be the system the U.S.A. uses for the colonization of the Moon. To expedite the delays which have occurred, Bridenstine detailed how they have changed the development process into a "crash program" of horizontal production, so that multiple steps of SLS rocket development can now be done simultaneously, rather than the time-consuming, vertical, bottom-up process. This expression captured the requirements for the entire endeavor.
He then detailed aspects of the Gateway project, much of which is left undetermined. Kesha Rogers developed these aspects in the LaRouche PAC Friday webcast on April 5. Gateway is to be an orbital port in cislunar orbit. What it will become is still under discussion, as is much of the process except for the SLS rocket system and the Orion manned craft. The Gateway could become a cislunar space station. It may be unnecessary entirely for the moment. Bridenstine presents the current idea, which is to develop a Gateway orbital docking port, where Orion, carrying the four astronauts, will dock in cislunar orbit at the Gateway. From there, a pre-stationed descent craft, which will be deployed and rendezvoused prior to the astronauts arriving, will then be used to approach the Lunar surface. From there, a landing craft will be deployed, part of which will also be used to lift off from the Moon and return to the Gateway port. None of these craft has even been finalized, yet all of it inspires the imagination. What's the best approach? I have no idea, but it is all damn exciting, and a great way to "get those damn plants open now" as President Trump said in Grand Rapids on March 28.
The whole project, and Bridenstine himself, pulse with an energy and mission long seen in this nation. It will require new ideas, will need to be constantly revised and updated as the process evolves, and will require the best of our nation's scientists, engineers, and industry. It also requires the commitment of the American people, 99% of whom are kept in the dark by the fascist Fake News media, media which may be willing to cover aspects of the British role in the coup against our nation, but will never, ever, raise the specter of a mission of scientific optimism, exploration and development in their mainstream coverage.
This is our mission. As Lyndon LaRouche said in 1985, "For a period of perhaps the next twenty years, let us write 'Moon-Mars-colonization mission-assignment' wherever present custom would have us write the words 'science' and 'technological progress.'"
It should be noted that just three days after Bridenstine held this unprecedented town hall meeting, President Trump presented his strategic view of the coming period while in a press conference in the Oval Office. Sitting next to special envoy, Vice Premier Liu He of China, President Trump responded to a question on the potential benefits of the new trade deal between the U.S. and China, once again going off topic, saying "this may be going one step ahead," but stage two, after this current deal is signed, we should get together with Russia and China, end the dangers of nuclear war, and create a sustainable peace. He said this, literally as NATO leaders were meeting in D.C. to spit fire and fury at Russia and China.
If one reads between the lines of such statements, if not the statement itself!, then the question of a LaRouche paradigm of a shared space exploration and colonization initiative, combined with global infrastructure platforms and development (Global BRI, World Land-Bridge), and a Four Powers strategic alignment against the British Empire, is more alive today than ever before. These last two weeks, since the Mueller assassination passed its last gas, we have seen President Trump first demand that the industrial plants of our nation open immediately; then launch the most extensive scientific mission of space exploration ever seen and on an accelerated scale; and finally, propose that once the largest trade deal ever created is signed by the U.S. and China, that we immediately move to use the trade deal as a platform for higher strategic discussions among the U.S., Russia, and China, on ending nuclear war permanently, and creating lasting peace. Simply breathtaking!
This is not a fait accompli, as we are all aware that such statements are not shared by leading policymakers and advisers. Yet, if we want it, it's there for us to take. Or as they say in Texas, "Come and Take It!" We must mobilize the American people as never before. The next 500 years of the LaRouche era are within our grasp.