The Space Reviewin association with SpaceNews

Trump inauguration
Could a Trump Administration space policy be distilled into a series of tweets? (credit: White House)

Build a Moon mall and make the Moon pay for it

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Given the new president’s preferred method of communication, there are ten (roughly) tweet-sized space policy recommendations for the new administration.

1) Send stuff to the south pole of the Moon. Sell off old missiles to send stuff to the Moon (see “How an ICBM-based ‘bridge to nowhere’ can help start a Moon Village”, The Space Review, May 23, 2016). Do a deal. Las Vegas was a dump, then it was huge. Trump Moon Mall. Moon pays for it: reality TV, visitors, Trump Moon Water.

2) Space Empowerment Zones. Give a tax credit for wages of US space-based workers up to $3,000/year like in zones in America; it’s a gimmick, but could order it fast. The real estate depreciation stuff too.

Put out to bid a mission to redirect a small asteroid and only pay if it works. Bold risks.

3) Trump Space Hotels. A Bigelow 2100 sleeps 16 and costs $500 million. It’s twice as big as the ISS, at $3 billion a year. Do a research deal with Musk for $200-million space stations that sleep 100 and deliver themselves!

4) Build American space gas stations. Do deals with at least three vendors like Boeing, Bezos, and Musk to get some competition going. Maybe one of them can do a hotel too.

5) You’re fired! For every NASA employee hired, they have to fire two others. Shrink the NASA head count up to 5 percent per year and use the money for other space stuff.

6) Turn around NASA! Privatize! Sell off NASA’s pension plan and switch to defined benefits. Sell off NASA’s health plan and let it bid against private health plans. Sell & lease back Ames, Goddard, and JPL.

7) Skin in the game. Put out to bid a mission to redirect a small asteroid and only pay if it works. Bold risks. Move astronauts to the Air Force. Show America is willing to spend blood to make itself great again.

8) Metrics. Auction some of the gas and the stuff on the Moon to figure out what’s the best stuff to send.

9) Fire! Aim! Ready! Skip the blue-ribbon study. Vice President Pence and his team should read the old studies. They contain good ideas even if they’re mostly bland.

10) Make NASA great again. As Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted: “In 1927 Lindbergh flew from NY to Paris. 45 yrs later, in 1972 we last walked on the Moon. 45 yrs later, in 2017 we… we… we…” Next 45 years, seek more value for $1 trillion spent on NASA.