Trump expected to slash Nasa’s climate budget in favour of space exploration

Posted: November 20, 2016 by oldbrew in climate, exploration, government

NASA space robot [image credit:]

NASA space robot [image credit:]

After all, there’s no ‘C’ in NASA.
H/T GWPF/Sunday Times

US President-elect Donald Trump is set to slash Nasa’s budget for monitoring climate change and instead set a goal of sending humans to the edge of the solar system by the end of the century, and possibly back to the moon.

Mr Trump, who has called climate change a “Chinese hoax”, is believed to want to focus the agency on far-reaching, big banner goals in deep space rather than “Earth-centric climate change spending”.

According to Bob Walker, who has advised Mr Trump on space policy, Nasa has been reduced to “a logistics agency concentrating on space station resupply and politically correct environmental monitoring”.

Mr Walker, a former congressman who chaired President George W. Bush’s Commission on the Future of the US Aerospace Industry, told The Telegraph: “We would start by having a stretch goal of exploring the entire solar system by the end of the century.

“You stretch your technology experts and create technologies that wouldn’t otherwise be needed. I think aspirational goals are a good thing. Fifty years ago it was the ability to go to the moon.”

Nasa’s climate change role in the firing line

This year Nasa’s Earth Science Division received $1.92 billion in funding, up nearly 30 per cent from the previous year. Its funding has gone up 50 per cent under President Barack Obama. At the same time Mr Obama proposed cutting support for deep space exploration by $840 million next year.

Source: Donald Trump Expected To Slash Nasa’s Climate Change Budget In Favour Of Space Exploration | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  1. oldbrew says:

    Humans need a way to avoid radiation before they get sent very far in the solar system. A trip to Mars for example incurs many times what’s deemed the safe limit for radiation in a year for nuclear workers.

    Robots might be a better bet and it seems NASA has already taken some steps towards that.

  2. J Martin says:

    Lets hope so. I want to see NASA put people on Mars and return them to Earth.

  3. Ed says:

    Maybe there’s a future for Gavin Schmidt after all.

  4. J Martin says:

    OB. What’s the exposure level in Colorado ? Which has the highest background radiation level in the US but has the lowest cancer level ? Or longest life expectancy ?

    Or is the type of radiation in space more energetic perhaps ?

  5. J Martin says:

    Ed. Good idea, H. Clinton as well perhaps.

  6. oldbrew says:

    JM: I’m not an expert on radiation but this might be of use…

    Nuclear Radiation and Health Effects (Updated July 2016)

    ‘…the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies airline crewmembers as radiation workers.’

    And they’re not even in outer space, obviously. But they don’t wear spacesuits either 😉

  7. Zeke says:

    “Because space is there, and we are going to climb it.” Pres JFK

    “Space is there, and we are going to climate.” Pres Obama

    “Climb it.” Pres DJ Trump

  8. M Simon says:

    We are going to need Fusion Rockets for extensive human deep space exploration.

    The only suitable candidate I know at this time is Polywell Fusion. It currently gets zero funding.

  9. Climatism says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “After all, there’s no ‘C’ in NASA.”

    Exactly right.

    And this quip becomes even more farcical when you drill down on the funding for ‘space’ Vs ‘climate’ over at NASA…

    Via Mike Bastasch, Daily Caller:

    “NASA’s budget includes more than $2 billion for its Earth Science Mission Directorate, which works to improve climate modeling, weather prediction and natural hazard mitigation. NASA’s other functions, such as astrophysics and space technology, are only getting a mere $781.5 and $826.7 million, respectively, in the budget proposal.

    Spending on the [climate] directorate has increased by 63 percent over the last eight years, making it the largest and fastest growing budget of any NASA science program. Over the same time period, the general NASA budget grew only by 10.6 percent — just enough to account for inflation.”

    Read more:

    It appears that ‘cooling the past and warming the present’, to fit the global warming narrative, is a winning formula in the squeeze for taxpayer funds.

    Nice work Gavin Schmidt.

  10. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Hear, hear

  11. oldbrew says:

    NASA Climate Dept. knows no frontiers…

    Goal 2: Characterize the Climate of Mars

    A top priority in our exploration of Mars is understanding its present climate, what its climate was like in the distant past, and the causes of climate change over time.

    Space suits at the ready for surplus climate scientists perhaps 😎

  12. J Martin says:

    Discusses shielding for trips to Mars. Looks like a difficult problem.

  13. Ed says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “After all, there’s no ‘C’ in NASA.”

    ….. Hang on. We’re back to Gavin Schmidt again.

  14. gallopingcamel says:

    Thanks for that link. It appears that Mars astronauts will be exposed to ~0.5 Sieverts/year even allowing for shielding. That is a significant dose considering that the acute LD50 dose is ~5 Sieverts and most radiation workers are limited to less than 0.05 Sieverts/year.

    I read the “Mediation” discussion in the link you provided and was disappointed to find that there was no mention of hormesis. Given that we have evolved in an environment that includes GCRs (Galactic Cosmic Rays) and radiation from rocks one would expect us to have mechanisms to repair the damage done by ionizing radiation.

    For example, we are well aware of the harmful effect of ionizing radiation in the form of Ultra-Violet. Too much UV can kill us but small doses can improve our health because our bodies react by producing vitamin D when we are exposed to UV light.

    It seems likely that our bodies react to X-rays and gamma rays too. Here is a presentation by Dr. Sakamoto of Fukushima who exposes his patients to significant doses of X-rays:

    Over 10,000 people in Taiwan were exposed to gamma radiation which appears to have improved their health dramatically:

    While Mars astronauts should be concerned about the high levels of radiation there may be some surprises in store given that the LNT (Linear No Threshold) model is suspect.

  15. Paul Vaughan says:

    Although increasingly politically corrupted in recent years, NASA JPL (not to be confused with GISS) has done valuable exploration of natural climate variations. Cutting some of the divisions of GISS is a no-brainer, but rather than cutting JPL’s natural climate variations exploration I’d rather just go in with an agenda to free their climate experts from political coercion so they can report backlogged nature insights that were insufficiently PC for public reporting in the twisted context of recent years.

  16. pg sharrow says:

    The renewed NASA may have a new toy:
    Links to new paper on tests on EMF thruster. They will need to recognise the existence of Aether to explain this 😉 …pg

  17. […] Source: Trump expected to slash Nasa’s climate budget in favour of space exploration […]

  18. Ed, Gavin Schmidt admitted he did not know anything about the Schmidt Number. He does not understand heat and mass transfer. It would be good for Trump’s secretary in charge of NASA to get rid of him before he resigns.

  19. oldbrew says:

    How bad is the radiation on Mars?
    November 21, 2016 by Matt Williams, Universe Today

    Over the course of about 18 months, the Mars Odyssey probe detected ongoing radiation levels which are 2.5 times higher than what astronauts experience on the International Space Station – 22 millirads per day, which works out to 8000 millirads (8 rads) per year. The spacecraft also detected 2 solar proton events, where radiation levels peaked at about 2,000 millirads in a day, and a few other events that got up to about 100 millirads.

    For comparison, human beings in developed nations are exposed to (on average) 0.62 rads per year. And while studies have shown that the human body can withstand a dose of up to 200 rads without permanent damage, prolonged exposure to the kinds of levels detected on Mars could lead to all kinds of health problems – like acute radiation sickness, increased risk of cancer, genetic damage, and even death. [bold added]

  20. dscott says:

    “You stretch your technology experts and create technologies that wouldn’t otherwise be needed. I think aspirational goals are a good thing. Fifty years ago it was the ability to go to the moon.”

    The point of humans going to Mars is discovering the unexpected and creating new technologies all of which will at some point have cross over value to society in general, e.g. microwave oven, etc. The military has been an incubator for thousands of years, NASA and other space agencies have been the non violent incubators for the last 60+ years. The space agencies have advanced technology in a much more cost effective manner than the military when you view the size of their budget allocations.

    A successful Mars colony will require new anti-radiation shielding methods, that technology will have immediate use here on Earth in dealing with nuclear waste, nuclear based Electric Generation, nuclear based District Heating applications, etc. In fact, I would find it hard to believe that any viable long term non Earth settlement will NOT use nuclear energy. Solar power only gets you so far. The problem of radiation in regards to travel and living on Mars is in fact an opportunity to lower the barrier to less environmentally destructive energy sources. And don’t believe for a moment that wind and solar are NOT environmentally destructive, they are highly destructive, ask the Environmental groups that sue public utilities regularly over solar power plant construction and the waivers that must be given to wind generators for killing endangered birds.

  21. dscott says:

    For comparison, human beings in developed nations are exposed to (on average) 0.62 rads per year. And while studies have shown that the human body can withstand a dose of up to 200 rads without permanent damage,

    In the interest of clarity, a millirad is one thousandth of a rad. Yes or No?

    I am not interested in minimizing radiation dose harmfulness, however, we need to realize that much of the literature written about radiation is from the anti-nuclear movement that has conflated nuclear bombs with nuclear electric generation. Their fear mongering about nuclear energy is like conflating any instance of fire, e.g. forest fires with baking a cake in an oven. (BTW- there is a reason for that: the USSR ran a very successful psyops campaign using the anti-nuclear movement championed by liberals in an attempt to limit or stop the US government from creating an effective nuclear deterrent against the USSR’s own nuclear arsenal.) This movement continued by it’s inertia without further help from the now defunct USSR.

    IF being on Mars quoting OB 8000 millirads (8 rads) per year. and we can withstand a dose of up to 200 rads without permanent damage, how does this square with the emotion of the implied being cooked by radiation? Do you see the problem here? If the 200 rads is cumulative exposure limit then (200/8) yields a result of 25 years WITHOUT shielding. That’s called a risk assessment. Knocking down the cumulative exposure to half doubles the number of years that one could live on Mars with minimal cancer risk. Using water/ice on Mars might be an inexpensive means to accomplish that risk abatement.

  22. Paul Vaughan says:

    “Mr Trump, who has called climate change a “Chinese hoax” […]”

    Climate deception is American, not Chinese. I fully expect more deception from the US on climate. International climate skeptic commentators are looking incomprehensibly naive in recent weeks.

    The 2 key indicators are still pointing in the wrong direction.

    You still can’t state sun-climate truth on American sites without being harassed and the truth about ERSSTv4 still isn’t being spoken on the American sites.

    Nothing has changed.

  23. dscott says:

    How awkward:

    Satellites Show -1.2° C Temperature Drop Since Early 2016 As Scientists Project Low Solar Activity, Cooling In Coming Decades

  24. NASA’s top climate scientist urged President-elect Donald Trump to keep paying for global warming programs, but threatened to resign if Trump censored his science.
    Dr. Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin), the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told the Independent he and other government scientists are “not going to stand” for any funding cuts or other interference in their work.
    “The point is simple: the climate is changing and you can try to deny it, you can appoint people who don’t care about it into positions of power, but regardless nature has the last vote on this,” Schmidt, told The Independent Thursday. “It’s something we’re going to have to deal with sooner or later, and it’s better sooner rather than later. We don’t have a choice if we’re going to deal with it.”
    Trump has called global warming a “hoax,” “mythical,” a “con job,” “nonexistent,” and “bullshit.” Trump views policies created to fight global warming as hurting U.S. manufacturing competitiveness with China.
    When The Independent asked Schmidt what he would do if Trump told him global warming was a hoax, Schmidt replied: “With respect, that’s not actually true.”
    Schmidt went on to say he’d consider resigning if Trump didn’t embrace his vision of NASA as an environmental research institution or threatened to censor him.
    Trump’s space policy focuses on eliminating bureaucratic waste and cutting back on environmental science research so the agency can pursue more ambitious goals, like sending humans to Mars.
    “ClimateOfGavin” says it all really.

  25. oldbrew says:

    PV says: ‘Nothing has changed.’

    But Trump doesn’t get the top job until January so that’s not changed yet either.

  26. oldbrew says:

    dscott says: ‘If the 200 rads is cumulative exposure limit’

    They say ‘a dose’ which sounds more like a single or short-term event, but maybe not.

  27. dscott says:

    Nuclear Radiation Survival Cheat Sheet

    Another set of units used is a Rad which cannot be exactly calculated as it is a unit of absorbed radiation dose but as a rough guide 1 R = 1 rad = 1 rem = 0.01 Sv = 10 mSv = 10 mGy = 0.01 Gy (gray).

    The average yearly human dose (American Nuclear Society) is 6.2 mSv/year (0.71 uSv/hour).
    With an absolute maximum yearly dose of 50 mSv/year (5.7 uSv/hour).

    The single lifetime human dose should be 500 mSv (0.71 uSv/hour) to the maximum of 4000 mSv (5.7 uSv/hour).

    1 Rad = 10 mSv, a lifetime dose of 500 mSv to 4000 mSv, this is a wide variation where some individuals can tolerate literally 8 times the lifetime exposure more than others.

    If 50 mSv is the max annual dosage a human can tolerate and Mars is 8 rad or 80 mSv, then by the math a year on the surface of Mars is in excess of the maximum annual dosage exposure for some people and therefore should be considered unsafe WITHOUT shielding. Meaning anyone going to Mars needs to be screened for susceptibility to radiation exposure. Those with low sensitivity or high tolerance can go without special accommodation.

    The 2 rad proton events in one day, presents a different issue of acute radiation poisoning. That’s 20 mSv in one day and therefore (20/24) .83 mSv/hour (not u which is 1,000,000th vs m which is 1000th.)

  28. tchannon says:

    “oldbrew says:
    November 20, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    JM: I’m not an expert on radiation but this might be of use…

    Nuclear Radiation and Health Effects (Updated July 2016)

    Here we go again, officials and so called experts lying. Read on to see some evidence.

    I have a slight background in nuclear engineering, have a longstanding interest. Some time ago I posted an article about a dire problem in many fields but especially talking about the effect of ionising radiation. which went down like a lead brick.

    There is a wealth of evidence and veteran opinion of a non-linear effect at low level. A wrong model was assused by what appear to be manipulators with the effect of messing up the safety limits… go figure.

    The article linked by oldbrew lets the cat out! IF YOU KNEW NO BETTER THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WHAT IS WRITTEN WOULD MISLEAD YOU, YOU WOULD BE TAKEN. I’m warning you first.

    Go down the linked item to the heading “Low-level radiation effects”

    “A lot of research has been undertaken on the effects of low-level radiation. The findings have failed to support the so-called linear no-threshold (LNT) hypothesis. This theory assumes that the demonstrated relationships between radiation dose and adverse effects at high levels of exposure also applies to low levels and provides the (deliberately conservative) basis of occupational health and other radiation protection standards.”

    What states there is no data / evidence support for the assumed and used law. It also admits to deliberately biased standards. (in part a consequence of the assumption) NOTICE HOW VOICING THE WORD IS BEYOND THE AUTHORS.

    “Increasing evidence suggests that there may be a threshold between 100 and 700 mSv below which no harmful effects of radiation occur without effective cellular repair. However, this is not yet accepted by national or international radiation protection bodies as sufficiently well-proven to be taken into official standards. Nevertheless, at low levels of exposure, the body’s natural mechanisms do repair radiation and other damage to cells soon after it occurs, and some adaptive response is stimulated which protects cells and tissues, as with exposure to other external agents at low levels. The ICRP recommends that the LNT model should be assumed for the purpose of optimising radiation protection practices, but that it should not be used for estimating the health effects of exposures to small radiation doses received by large numbers of people over long periods of time.”

    Hence the olden view that low incidence tends to be good for you. This is akin to the as mentioned effect of low level pathogen exposure. We accept immunisation and vaccination where if the linear assumption was made none would be allowed.

  29. TA says:

    What we need to do is coat our habitat modules with a meter-thick envelope of water ice, and this will reduce radiation inside the habitat to the same as background levels on Earth.

    We need to generate artificial gravity (centrifugal force) on our habitat modules to overcome the detrimental effects of zero gravity.

    These are the first two requirements for humans to live in space safely for the longterm. Our goal should be to reach this level of development.

    When we go to Mars, we should go to its moon Phobos first and establish a base from which to operate (it may have water available), and we should also have a separate habitat module in orbit, to use to provide artificial gravity for the people living there. From these bases, Mars can then be explored.

    Cycling habitat modules in permanent orbits that take them close to both the Earth and Mars should be the longterm method of transportation. Astronauts can catch a ride as one of these modules passes close to Earth, and can be met at the Mars side by a tranfer vehicle that will take them to Mars orbit.

    The cycling modules should be covered with ice and spun up to one Earth gravity. If not, then the people traveling to Mars will receive 200 times the radiation they would have recieved on Earth, during the 9 month journey.

    One thing we need to accomplish all this is water ice in orbit. There appears to be a lot of water ice on the Moon.

    NASA needs to build some dedicated orbital transfer/moon lander vehicles to allow us to operate in Earth/Moon space.

    We need infrastructure on the Moon, in order to build infrastructure in orbit. Unless you can find a nice, water-containing asteriod close by (which is not out of the question).

    Think Gerard O’Neill and Space Studies Institute when thinking about our future in space.

    And I read the other day that NASA is considering sending a probe to the asteriod 16 Psyche, which is an asteriod made out of solid metal, which they think is the remnant of the molten core of a planet the size of Mars. I was wondering what you all thought about this. If it is a molten core, it ought to be very interesting.

    I also read where it was estimated that in the early, inner solar system there were up to 20 planetary bodies around the size of Mars and Mercury orbiting in the inner solar system, before they collided and combined into the solar system we see today. Fascinating stuff. There may be more than one planetary core floating out there in space.

  30. oldbrew says:

    TA: if a Psyche mission (‘a robotic Psyche orbiter’) gets approved next month it would be due to arrive in 2026.

    The asteroid belt appears to be basically a bunch of debris or material that Jupiter one way or another prevented from becoming anything significant.

    Psyche’s orbit period is very close (~99.9%) to the square of the Jupiter-Mars conjunction period, and its orbit lies between them.

  31. Paul Vaughan says:

    “But Trump doesn’t get the top job until January so that’s not changed yet either.”

    Climate deception from American leadership is assured no matter who’s in charge.

    Sober, sensible members of the international community:
    It’s incomprehensibly naive to trust USA on climate. Stay in the lead.

  32. oldbrew says:


    Trump at NASA: Hasta la Vista Climate Fraud and Muslim Outreach…

    Delingpole writes: “Government science and things generally go on regardless of the political views of the people at the top,” Dr Schmidt said. “The issue would be if you were being asked to skew your results in any way or asked not to talk about your results. Those would be much more serious issues.”

    Schmidt’s principled position on skewing results is somewhat ironic given that skewing results is what he does best.

  33. oldbrew says:

    Guardian report: Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’

    Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a crackdown on “politicized science”, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.

    Trump adviser: “My guess is that it would be difficult to stop all ongoing Nasa programs but future programs should definitely be placed with other agencies. I believe that climate research is necessary but it has been heavily politicized, which has undermined a lot of the work that researchers have been doing. Mr Trump’s decisions will be based upon solid science, not politicized science.”

    Telling whether research results are ‘politicized’ or not could be tricky.

  34. gallopingcamel says:

    “If being on Mars quoting OB 8000 millirads (8 rads) per year. and we can withstand a dose of up to 200 rads without permanent damage, how does this square with the emotion of the implied being cooked by radiation? Do you see the problem here?”

    MIT has an explanation here:

    When we are talking about x-rays and gamma rays things are relatively simple:
    1 rad = 1,000 millirad = 1 rem = 10 mSv

    It gets more complicated when the ionizing radiation is in the form of neutrons or alpha particles:
    1 rad = Q rem = Q mSv where Q is a factor in the range 5 to 20 depending on the particles involved and their energy.

    REM means “Roentgen Equivalent in Man” which refers to the effect of radiation in humans.

    The LD50 dose for gamma rays (50% of victims will die within four weeks) is ~500 rads, 500 rem or 5 Sieverts.

    For alpha particles the LD50 dose could be 25 rads, 500 REM or 5 Sieverts.

    High acute doses kill you by overwhelming your ability to repair cell damage whereas there is evidence that the same dose delivered over a long period can have a beneficial effect (hormesis). This is a highly controversial issue.