How Donald Trump could affect space ventures

Image: Donald Trump in Space

Bobbleheads.com used a high-altitude balloon to send a Donald Trump figurine into the stratosphere in May. Click on the image for more about the “Trump in Space” project. (Bobbleheads.com via YouTube)

President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers say they want to rely more on commercial ventures to pioneer the space frontier – but some of those ventures’ high-profile backers aren’t exactly in line with other parts of Trump’s policy agenda.

For example, SpaceX’s billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, sees climate change as the biggest challenge facing humanity on Earth and has said a tax on carbon emissions is as necessary as garbage collection fees.

In contrast, Trump has said concerns about climate change are a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, and has vowed to “cancel” U.S. participation in the recently established Paris climate pact. (The Chinese say they’re trying to set Trump straight on that point.)

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, who founded Blue Origin to send passengers and payloads into space, is also the owner of The Washington Post. The Post, Amazon and Bezos were all caught up in Trump’s ire during the campaign.

On the flip side of the issue, there’s at least one space billionaire who can hardly wait for Trump to get into office: Robert Bigelow, the founder of Bigelow Aerospace.

“Christmas arrived early this year!” Bigelow declared at the Space Commerce Conference in Houston on Thursday. “For the United States – and as I do believe will be eventually proven, for NASA – Christmas arrived on November the 8th.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, 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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