Space and Roads: Policies to Look Forward to in 2018


Trump’s NASA directive and infrastructure bill may prove to be his easiest policy objectives yet.

Samuel Kim, Op-Ed Editor

After a chaotic first year in office, President Trump enters his second year with both high expectations and a daunting list of promises to fulfill. Although some of these policies are very unpopular, namely cutting regulations and lowering corporate taxes, there are two major agenda items that hold much promise and bipartisan support: infrastructure and increased space exploration.

Towards the end of his second term, President Trump signed “Space Policy Directive 1,” an order which instructs NASA to seek a plan for human expansion into Mars. Specifically, NASA must work with private sector entities and foreign governments to return humans to the moon, and eventually send missions to Mars as well. This policy shift comes in a year when many entrepreneurs expressed interest in space exploration. Last month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that he was going to develop technology to send human tourists to the moon and back. Increased interest and innovation of other tech CEOs, Elon Musk and Richard Branson,  has made private cooperation a possibility for the first time. This new intellectual coalition will be able to expand both our technological capabilities and our knowledge of the universe.

The second major agenda item is infrastructure. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump and Senator Sanders both promised to spend massive amounts of money on improving infrastructure. The Amtrak railway accident, last month, has been cited by both Democrats and Republicans as a reason for renovation funds. In addition to improving publican transportation routes, some Democrats have also proposed the addition of environmental infrastructure to the bill and the funding of clean energy technologies as well. As this bill has both the support of both parties, it is now the simple matter of details that will dominate the debate in the coming days.

These two agenda items are unique, because they give both the Republicans and Democrats an opportunity to work together on issue they agree on. Yes, the debate will rage on. However, we should expect to see bipartisan support for these two policy objectives.