Trump wants NASA to return astronauts to the Moon, then
President Trump speaks before signing a policy directive instructing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration refocus the u.s. space program in the human exploration and discovery.’
President Donald Trump wants to see AMERICAN astronauts back to the Moon as a base for future missions to Mars.
Trump signed a policy directive on Monday instructing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration “refocus the u.s. space program in the human exploration and discovery.”
The move, Trump said: “marks a major step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972 for a long time, an exploration.”
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“This time we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint,” he said. “We establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and maybe one day, to many-worlds.”
“The directive I’m signing today will establish the american space program of human exploration and discovery, It is a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for the long-term exploration and use.” – @POTUS Trump pic.twitter.com/tNNUz06vEb
— NASA (@NASA) December 11, 2017
NASA’s goal is to have a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s.
Chris Carberry, executive director of Explore Mars, a non-profit organization that aims to advance the goal of sending humans to Mars in the next two decades, welcomes the policy of the directive and urged the administration to drive space exploration in the coming years. “We are pleased that Mars remains a key element of US space policy,” he told Fox News, via e-mail. “But we also hope that a plan can [be] figured out that the mankind will be able to return to the Moon, but not the delay Mars missions per year.”
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Explore Mars, he explained, is a big proponent of building strong commercial and international partnerships to enable lunar missions, while at the same time, allowing the U.S. to lead missions to Mars in the 2030s. “We hope that this signing will help to accelerate our return to deep space exploration.”
President Donald Trump has a policy to send American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
On the basis of the directive, the government is expected to work closely with other countries and private industry.
The last time a man set foot on the Moon during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. Only 12 men, all Americans, have set foot on the Moon.
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Vice-President Mike Pence also noted the economic consequences of the policy of the directive Monday. “We will see jobs created that you couldn’t even imagine,” he said, during the White House signing.
The space policy directive ensures that America will lead in the space, he added.
Trump and Pence were joined in the White House by a number of current and former astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, and former U.S. Sen. and Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, the last man on the Moon.
#OTD 45 years ago, Astronaut Harrison Schmitt landed on the Moon. Here, on a signature instruct NASA to send humans back to the lunar surface, he shows @IvankaTrump the Moon sample collected in 1972: https://t.co/rgKiSVsr3B pic.twitter.com/h5deRQF3p9
— NASA (@NASA) December 11, 2017
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Monday marks the 45th anniversary of the landing on the Moon by Schmitt and Eugene Cernan, the Apollo 17 commander. Cernan, the last man on the Moon, died earlier this year at the age of 82.
Former presidents, including George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, have also proposed a return to the Moon and missions to Mars, but budgetary constraints have derailed their plans.
The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers