Most of the conversations between President-elect Trump and Congress will probably involve immigration, health care, the economy and other similarly high-profile issues. But the nation's future path in space will also be under consideration — and it will probably generate some spirited debate.
One of the hottest topics will likely be the direction of NASA's human-spaceflight program, said Brian Weeden, a technical adviser for the nonprofit Secure World Foundation.
In his first term, President Barack Obama canceled George W. Bush's moon-oriented Constellation program and instructed NASA to get astronauts to a near-Earth asteroid by 2025, then on to the vicinity of Mars by the mid-2030s.
To meet the first part of that directive, NASA devised the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will pluck a boulder off a near-Earth asteroid using a robotic probe. This spacecraft will then haul the boulder to lunar orbit, where it will be visited by astronauts.