Trump’s Moon directive earns praise from NASA, others

President Donald Trump speaks before the signing of the Presidential Space Directive – 1, the leadership of NASA to return to the moon, in the Roosevelt room of the White House on Dec. 11, 2017.

(NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

President Donald made up a new space policy directive on Monday (Dec. 11) ordering NASA to work toward sending humans to the moon and, eventually, Mars.

As he signed the new directive in the White House, surrounded by several astronauts and other dignitaries, the president said it would “restore American leadership in space.”

Experts in the space industry showed overwhelming support for the new directive, formally known as the Space Policy Directive 1 (SPD-1). Here is how they responded. [Ike Trump: Presidential Visions for Space Exploration]

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot

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“NASA looks forward to the support of the president of the directive on strategic alignment of our work to return people to the moon, travel to Mars and the opening of the deeper solar system than that,” NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. “This is a national effort on many fronts, for America first. We are going to the best and brightest people in the government and the private sector and our partners around the world to achieve milestones in human achievement. Our staff is committed to this effort, and even now, we are developing a flexible space infrastructure to support a regular cadence of increasingly complex missions that will strengthen American leadership in the limitless frontier of space. The next generation will dream even bigger and to reach higher as we launch new challenging missions, and making new discoveries and technological breakthroughs on this dynamic path.”

Lockheed Martin

“We support the president and vice-president of the vision and commitment for the return of America to the moon,” Lockheed Martin officials said in a statement. Aerospace company is a contractor for NASA and is currently working on the Orion Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle that will carry astronauts beyond the orbit of the Earth. “A moon mission with the technology of today, would our understanding of the moon’s history and resources. And build a strong foundation that will not only accelerate the U.S. to Mars and beyond. The promotion of a thriving new economy that will create jobs and stimulate innovation here on Earth. With the Orion deep-space vehicle and our prototype orbital lunar habitat of outstanding receivables, we are ready to help the nation achieve this bold new vision.” [Photos: President Donald Trump and the NASA]

Eric Stallmer, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) “applauds the President’s Trump card for the sign of the Space Policy Directive 1, which directs NASA to work with the U.S. commercial space industry to return Americans to the moon,” Eric Stallmer, president of GSK, said in a statement. “The U.S. commercial space industry has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital for the development of innovative opportunities for lunar transport, activities and the use of resources. CSF recommends that the administration challenge NASA to make use of these commercial capabilities for generating greater efficiency, and to work together with the industry by means of flexible, innovative contracting approach to achieve the goals in the Space policy area 1 as soon as possible.”

Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

“The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) welcomes the Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1), signed by President Trump, formalizing the commitment of the administration during the first meeting of the National Space Council to breathe new life into America’s deep space exploration program,” officials with the coalition said in a statement.

“After 45 years, it is time to return people to the region of the moon, even if we look in the direction of Mars,” CEO Mary Lynne Dittmar said in the statement. “The Coalition is proud of the support of NASA and to help bring about this exciting future. We would like to congratulate the Trumpet management about his bold vision and commitment to American leadership in space. … NASA’s flagship programs for the human exploration of space — the Orion crew vehicle and the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket — supported by the ongoing research on the health of the man and the work carried out in the International Space Station — a major step towards the fulfillment of this vision, beginning with exploration mission 1 targeted for late 2019.”

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas)
House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman

“By signing this directive, President Trump has shown again and again that, under his administration, America is a leader in space exploration,” U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said in a statement. “Go back to the moon as the precursor to the further exploration will enable NASA to test new systems and equipment of critical importance for future missions, such as the human exploration of Mars. Going back to the moon achieved more than just the practical benefits; it will teach our children and grandchildren to dream big and strive to achieve what others think impossible. The innovations, inventions and ideas that they come up with, inspired by the exploring the moon and Mars, will fuel ambitions for the future, to explore worlds beyond Mars. This administration is a commitment to the space is a refreshing change from the last eight years.”

Brian Babin (R-Texas)
House Space Subcommittee Chairman

“By signing this space policy of the directive and the redirection of america’s space program, human spaceflight exploration, the president has ensured that America’s leading position in the space and priority for our return to the moon and future manned missions to Mars,” House Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin said in a statement. “Under the president’s leadership, we are now on the verge of a new generation of American greatness and leadership in the space — leading us to once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil.”

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