WASHINGTON — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine used a recent speech to lay out not just the recent space policy changes that directly affect NASA activities but other administration efforts that focus more on commercial space.
The comments by Bridenstine at a June 12 Space Transportation Association luncheon here reflect both the growing importance of commercial space to the agency’s overall activities but also his interest in interest in broader space policy issues from his time as a member of Congress.
“I think a lot of people might believe that it’s this massive transformational change,” he said of the two space policy directives signed by President Trump to date. “In some ways it is, and in other ways it’s not.”
The directive most relevant to NASA is Space Policy Directive (SPD) 1, signed by the president in December, which formally directs NASA to return humans to the moon as a step towards eventual missions to Mars. That has led NASA to develop an “Exploration Campaign” that includes steps from the development of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway to plans to fly payloads on commercial lunar landers.
That directive, he said, was in fact just a small amendment to the national space policy ...