While the Trump administration has been busy working to cut things like the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Meals on Wheels, it looks like manned mission to Mars are still within budget. Even though yeah, he sames to hate science.
Earlier this week, Trump signed a bill giving NASA $19.5 billion in funding for 2018, imploring the agency to send a manned (or womanned) mission to Mars in the 2030s. The reasoning behind it is to give humans a place to live after we do whatever it is we’re doing to Earth, whether some of us admit it or not.
In this bill, it explains that Nasa needs to figure out how to “"extend human presence, including potential human habitation on another celestial body and a thriving space economy in the 21st Century.”
But before you go thinking that Trump is a generous, pro-science president (which may be true in some ways), it turns out that this budget isn’t an increase at all.
According to billionaire and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, the bill doesn’t add any funding for NASA at all.
“This bill changes almost nothing about what NASA is doing. Existing programs stay in place and there is no added funding for Mars,“ Musk tweeted. "Perhaps there will be some future bill that makes a difference for Mars, but this is not it,” he added in another tweet.
So while the bill has some nice language about going to Mars, Musk (and others) remain skeptical. In fact, as ArsTechnica pointed out, Trump’s probably next NASA administrator, Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine, says we should do more exploring on the moon before heading to Mars.