WASHINGTON DC: Donald Trump’s bid for a second term has hit a major snag with the US President reluctantly forced to ditch a major project announcement that was to be the centrepoint of his campaign for November glory.
President Trump had planned to use the upcoming Republican nomination convention to announce plans for NASA “to land American astronauts on the Sun by the end of this decade and bring them safely home”
The pledge, designed to fire up American patriotism and pride in the country’s technology, would come almost 50 years after President John Kennedy announced in May 1961 his own dramatic and ambitious goal of sending an American safely to the Moon before the end of that decade.
But Trump’s plan has, in the words of one White House aide, been “shot down in flames”.
When first told of the mission and Trump’s plan to pour billions of dollars into it, a cash-strapped NASA greeted it warmly on the basis that the funds would otherwise be wasted on roads, health, infrastructure and a vaccine for COVID-19.
“Sir, it can be done,” a senior NASA official reportedly told the president as NASA scientists and engineers began work on a capsule heat shield capable of protecting men on the star’s surface.
But a solar probe (pictured above) built by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA has only this week sent back information that the star at the centre of our solar system is very, very much hotter than previously thought.
NASA has reluctantly had to advise the White House that spending billions of dollars on a manned mission to the Sun “might now not be money wisely spent, seeing the chances of a safe return of our astronauts might be considered very, very minimal at least in view of this new data”.
“President Trump is bitterly disappointed,” the White House aide confessed. “The announcement of the project was going to be yuge.
“He wanted to show the American people that he was a leader always prepared to reach for the stars.
“And after his two terms are over, he saw a lot of potential in building some seven-star golf resorts up there.”