President-elect Trump will take NASA out of the climate change business and refocus it on space exploration, a Trump team adviser said.
"We see NASA in an exploration role, in deep space research," Bob Walker, a senior Trump adviser, told the Guardian newspaper. "Earth-centric science is better placed at other agencies where it is their prime mission."
NASA has increased its role in monitoring the effects of global warming and climate change, turning its satellites back at the Earth during the Obama administration to track pollution, sea-level rise and rising carbon dioxide levels. The space agency's climate focus has been a key issue raised by Republicans on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee that overseas the agency's policy priorities.
Trump's team appears to be taking lessons from the science committee, which wants NASA's budget to be directed at space exploration and not combating global warming. Many scientists blame greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels for warming the Earth's temperature, leading to more catastrophic weather.
The Trump administration will cut NASA's climate change funding and refocus the agency on manned missions to the moon and Mars, Walker said.
He said there is no need for a space agency to engage in "politically correct environmental monitoring."
Meanwhile, a group of NASA scientists announced this week that they may have made a breakthrough in developing a rocket motor that requires no fuel, as part of a program with the stated goal of developing a spaceship that can get a crew to Mars in 70 days, according to a new paper published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Propulsion and Power.