Trump to Watch First Manned Mission to Space in a Decade Alongside Elon Musk

 

President Trump will travel to Cape Canaveral, Florida on Wednesday to witness the launch of the first manned mission into space in a decade. The launch will be conducted by SpaceX who is in partnership with the US government. SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk will watch the launch with the President.

Politico reported on the President’s guest and the relationship that has been growing:

He’s questioned mainstream scientific research and reporting on Covid-19. He promoted the drug hydroxychloroquine to fight it. He’s attacked state and local virus lockdowns, asserting they violate Americans’ constitutional rights.

These days, Elon Musk has a lot in common with Donald Trump.

Musk has lost some of his fan base in recent months — the environmentalists who waited months to buy Teslas, the space acolytes who shared his fascination with rocketry, the fanboys who simply were Joe Rogan listeners and flamethrower enthusiasts — due to his frequent statements downplaying the severity of the Covid-19 crisis, his deliberate actions defying stay-at-home orders and his threat to uproot Tesla from California, which has some of the strictest Covid-19 restrictions in the country.

But the tech billionaire has gained new admirers — thanks to his public spats with California lawmakers over his desire to reopen his factories in spite of government orders, his desire to keep the lights on and, crucially, his growing disdain for media outlets such as CNN. His cryptic tweet about taking “the red pill” — a reference to The Matrix and an internet term that, broadly speaking these days, means that one is questioning the nature of political reality — was seconded by none other than Ivanka Trump, who tweeted in response: “Taken!”

Elon’s style of shaking the box has been compared to Trump’s style and is one of the likely reasons for the budding friendship.

President Trump has made space a major focus of his administration and according to Politico called this launch a “MAGA moment:”

President Donald Trump wants to make America great again in space. And a major step on that journey begins Wednesday with the launch of American astronauts aboard a rocket and space capsule built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

If successful, the mission to the International Space Station from Florida’s Cape Canaveral, scheduled for 4:33 p.m. Eastern, will mark the end of America’s decade-long reliance on Russia to send its astronauts to space.

It will also make history by taking the first humans to orbit aboard a commercially-owned spacecraft, ushering in a new era for more routine trips not only for NASA but private entrepreneurs and eventually even average citizens.

“That opens up whole new horizons for the future,” said former Republican Rep. Robert Walker, a leading space consultant and lobbyist who has advised Trump on space policy. “It means that as we achieve success in that arena we will have people flying who will not necessarily walk through NASA’s front doors.”

Vice President Mike Pence will also attend the launch which is scheduled for 4:33 pm Wednesday.

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