Spaceflight Insider

NASA absent from 2017 Inauguration Parade

2017 U.S. Capitol Building 2017 Inaugural Parade Donald Trump photo credit Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

WASHINGTON, D.C. — When President Barack Obama had his first Inaugural Parade on Jan. 20, 2009, NASA was placed dead last in the procession (even behind the “World Famous” Lawn Rangers). However, for the Inaugural Parade of Donald J. Trump, held on Jan. 20 of this year (2017), NASA was not represented at all.

When he was re-elected in 2012, Obama’s second Inaugural Parade saw the U.S. Space Agency jumped to the first half of the parade. According to a report on NBC 4 (Washington), the space agency’s Orion crew vehicle and Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity comprised NASA’s part in the 2013 parade.

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump during the inaugural day festivities on Jan. 20, 2017. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

SpaceFlight Insider reached out to NASA to find out why NASA wasn’t a part of the 2017 Inaugural Parade. NASA confirmed that the U.S. Space Agency was not part of the parade and we were asked to reach out to the White House. SpaceFlight Insider has reached out to the Trump Administration for a response.

While the Trump Administration might not have had space exploration represented in his Inaugural Parade, space was part of the 45th President’s big day. United Launch Alliance (ULA) sent the third Space Based Infrared System satellite to orbit. Launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida at 7:42 p.m. EST (00:42 GMT), SBIRS GEO 3 is designed to provide better awareness of missile launches.

U.S. flags at Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider

U.S. flags flutter in the breeze at Pennsylvania, Avenue in Washington D.C. Photo Credit: Mark Usciak / SpaceFlight Insider



Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

Reader Comments

Trump should send us back to the Moon! Now that China has built islands in the South China Sea, breaking international treaties regarding international waters and with Russia planting a flag on the Artic Sea floor, claiming it as theirs. It is time to tear up the treaty regarding the Moon. If China and Russia are not going to respect international treaties, then the Moon treaty should not be worth the paper it is written on. The Moon should now belong to the United States. If the Chinese and the Russians don’t like it, they should have gotten there first! If they want to visit the Moon, they can go to the American embassy and apply for a visa. The United States should now be the largest country. If the Russians don’t like it, they can send a probe to Uranus and stick a flag in it!

Seriously? America OWNING the moon? Just what we need. A continuation of the for-profit model that got us in this crazy place.

Space NEEDS to be the beginning of a NEW model. NOT one based on ownership, profit and greed.

NASA was, perhaps inadvertently, too much of a sycophantic participant in the Obama Administration Climate Change and Global Warming hysteria. The Sun is a long-term variable star, and solar output was totally ignored in most of the models that were under study. NASA was founded to “go places,” and not engage in politically correct studies in order to maintain it’s place at the budgetary trough in /Washington. I still don’t understand the agency’s absence under any other scenario?

I wouldn’t worry about it. The Trump inner circle people are meeting with Elon Musk. I doubt Trump wants a big push for electric cars, so it has to be about space exploration. Look for some space related announcement within a couple of months.

President Trump did mention “space” in his inaugral address. My hope is we bypass the moon – we’ve already been there – and head to Mars before the Chinese get there. Unfortunately this will require incentives like national security interests and economic benefits to get the funding needed to make it happen. A new Space Race would be a vehicle to bring the country closer together and our new National Populist President will be up for it.

I’m not opposed to either plan. I feel like the moon is an important training ground for Mars though. Whatever gets us there in 2030s.

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