Donald Trump may have a new toy in the works for NASA.
The President of the United States has recently purchased land in Hawaii from billionaire businessman Joe Lando for a new rocket and spacecraft.
According to The New York Times, Trump has been building his own rocket and is now looking to build an “aerospace marvel” to replace the aging Space Launch System, which has been in orbit since 1996.
The new rocket will have a mass of about 2,600 tons and weigh 2,800 tons.
This would put it well above the orbit of the International Space Station.
But, as Trump and his wife, Melania, are well aware, it won’t be cheap to build.
A Trump spokesperson said that the President has decided to spend “$1.7 billion on a new vehicle and launch system for the National Space Council,” the agency responsible for designing, developing, and fielding the rocket.
Lando, the founder of a real estate development company, said in a statement that he plans to purchase “1,000 acres of public land in Northern California and California State Parks and public lands throughout the United State of America.”
The Trump administration has said it will spend the money on research and development.
“This is an important milestone in our plans to build a new, affordable rocket to replace NASA’s aging Space Shuttle, and to make our nation’s space exploration efforts a reality,” said NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot.
Trump’s purchase comes as the Trump administration struggles to get an approval process on the Space Launch Act, a bill to fund NASA.
It has been languishing in the Senate since April.
According the Times, the bill would give the White House $20 billion for 2018, which would be used for new rocket designs and development and for other needs.
But the bill has not passed the House.
As of this writing, the Senate has not taken up the bill, and the House has not scheduled hearings on the legislation.
In April, the Trump Administration released a $2.6 billion proposal to fund the development of the Space Shuttle and the Orion crew capsule.
But NASA has not been able to finalize its plan to spend the remaining $1.3 billion for the Space Force, which includes an additional $2 billion for Space Launch Systems, $1 billion for space station refurbishment, and $400 million for the Vulcan rocket.