As the impending Trump administration begins to form, there are indications that NASA's agenda may drastically change under the new President.
A senior advisor to the Trump campaign, Congressman Robert Walker, told Forbes that the goals of America's space program will shift away from scientific missions in low Earth orbit towards something far more ambitious.
He told Forbes that the "Trump space policy anticipates human exploration far beyond low-Earth orbit and even beyond Mars."
Outlining the key facets of this policy, Walker forecast the development of technology for humans to explore the solar system "by the end of this century" and a change in NASA's budget to focus on this goal.
Additionally, Walker proposed "an aggressive program for development of hypersonic technology" as well as ensuring that work on the ISS continues well into the future.
Along with another Trump space advisor, Walker also indicated that the administration will be keeping an eye on the potential militarization of space by Russia and China.
As to the private space industry, the advisors suggested that collaboration between NASA and various companies could be further extended by the Trump administration.
Lest one think these proposals are merely talking points issued in the wake of a stunning campaign victory, the ideas were put forward by Trump last month during a campaign stop in Florida.
"I will free NASA from the restriction of serving primarily as a logistics agency for low earth orbit activity," he declared at the time, "instead we will refocus its mission on space exploration."
Clearly looking to leave his mark beyond even our own planet, Trump promised that, "Florida and America will lead the way into the stars."
With such lofty goals in mind, perhaps we laughed too soon this past summer when anomaly hunters spotted that Trump face on Mars.