Bigelow Aerospace Founder to Trump: Doubling NASA Funding Is Good for the Nation
With talks of imminent budget cuts for NASA as US President-elect Donald Trump takes over the White House on January, space entrepreneur, Robert Bigelow airs a different view on the matter.
In his speech at the Spacecom conference last November 17, the founder of commercial space habitat developer Bigelow Aerospace said, "I propose that NASA should have, beginning in fiscal year 2019, an annual budget equal to at least one percent of total yearly federal spending."
According to Bigelow, increasing NASA's funding will be beneficial, supporting not only the space agency's space exploration efforts and business plans of commercial ventures, but also addressing the inefficiencies of select NASA programs. "It is no surprise that NASA needs a greater allowance just to offset the politics, much less what's needed to really get going," he said.
Bigelow added the new White House should put into priority the nation's space future, putting emphasis on lunar bases and industrial activity. "The reason I'm focusing on the moon is because the business case for the moon is potentially substantial compared to the business case for Mars, and the financial requirements are of no comparison," Space News reports.
Asked if he has discussed his proposal with President-elect Trump or anyone in his transition team, the vocal Trump supporter said he hasn't but he's very optimistic that as the country sees a boost in the economy once Trump takes office, lobbying about NASA's budget wouldn't be a big deal. "With this increase, the United States can easily afford NASA's one percent, and even more. If you have a growing economy, it lifts all boats," he said.
Bigelow considers Trump's victory an early Christmas gift for the country and for NASA. His first tweet on the social networking site Twitter as he joined in January this year was: "What this country needs is an inspirational space program. I'll bet @realDonaldTrump could do it."