"I can't put a date on humans on Mars," chief of human spaceflight at NASA said in 2015 speaking at the Humans to Mars summit. He was referring to the budget they receive and how the 2% just budgetary increases (for inflation) haven’t allowed NASA the surface systems available for Mars. But that was 2015. Surely the 2016 election fixed that? Not so far. During a propulsion meeting of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics in July of 2017, William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Directorate acknowledged that the agency doesn't really have the funding it needs to reach Mars.
For the last five years or so, NASA has sold the public on a Journey to Mars, a grand voyage by which the agency will land humans on the red planet during the 2030s. With just budgetary increases for inflation, the agency said, it had the resources for humanity's next great step, to land crews safely on Mars, and to bring them home. The agency's new rocket, the Space Launch System, and spacecraft, Orion, were sold by NASA administrator Charles Bolden as the vehicles that would get the job done.
The expectation was that although the Trump administration would be shutting down several areas of analysis – you know because Climate Change is a hoax, extra monies would be going into the Mars & Moon programs/space exploration. Apparently not. Great, so we aren’t going to fix the problems of maybe not breathing in the future, BUT we also aren’t going to get off this planet if the funding doesn’t increase. Pardon me, but we’re screwed!
Last Bastion of hope -
Of course, there is another option, SpaceX. Well, and any of the other private space organizations – Blue Horizon, United Alliance, and its looking like we might be able to add MoonExpress to the list, we shall see. The reusability of SpaceX will certainly help the cost, but we are the number one space faring nation in the world; it speaks volumes as to American Pride. We like to shout we’re number one, but apparently don’t want to put our money where our mouth is! It would seem that Vice President Mike Pence has been rather insistent about increasing commercial partnerships at NASA AND that is a plus. If instead of our sending the space-crafts, we could support both monetarily and with our rover and orbiters, especially the robot that builds lading pads! – “The truth is that American business is on the cutting edge of space technology," according to VP Pence.