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Moon or Mars: Which will next president pick?

Image: Moon Village
An artist’s conception shows a permanent lunar base that’s part of the European Space Agency’s “Moon Village” vision. (Credit: ESA)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Over the past eight years, the focus of NASA’s space vision has shifted from the moon, to a near-Earth asteroid, to the journey to Mars. The European Space Agency’s director-general, meanwhile, has been talking up the prospect of building a Moon Village. And one of the latest buzzwords for commercial space ventures is “cislunar” – that is, space operations in the vicinity of the moon.

What’s a future president to do?

Space policy ranks among the least prominent issues on the campaign agenda: GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump, for example, says he loves space exploration but thinks it’s more important to fix potholes on Earth. Nevertheless, leaders of the space industry say the next president will play a key role in determining the world’s future course on the final frontier.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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