Trump signs directive to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars

Dec 12, 2017, 18:03
Trump signs directive to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars

"The directive I'm signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery", Trump said during the ceremony.

Earlier this year, China said it was making initial preparations to send crewed missions to the Moon.

The policy was inspired by a unanimous recommendation from the National Space Council, which the White House says Trump revived after 24 years.

Past presidents, including George HW Bush and George W Bush, have also proposed returning to the Moon and missions to Mars, but budget constraints derailed their plans.

US President Donald Trump directed NASA on Monday to send Americans to the Moon for the first time since 1972, in order to prepare for future trips to Mars. "So we are the leader and we're going to stay the leader and we're going to increase it many fold". President George W. Bush had called for Nasa to return astronauts to the moon by 2020, a mission that Obama ended out of cost concerns.

Instead, Obama had said that the U.S. should send astronauts to an asteroid.

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Trump has taken several steps to refocus NASA's mission on space exploration. Schmitt was one of the last two people to walk on the moon.

Pence, during the first meeting of the National Space Council in October, said the Trump administration "will return American astronauts to the moon, not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond".

In September, Trump nominated Representative Jim Bridenstine, a Republican from Oklahoma, to be the next NASA administrator.

"Under a Trump administration, Florida and America will lead the way into the stars", he said.

In the meantime, Americans are still relying on the Russians for rides to the International Space Station.

"The US commercial space industry has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital to develop innovative capabilities for lunar transport, operations and resource utilization", said Eric Stallmer, the group's president. The Apollo 17 lunar lander touched down on the moon on December 11, 1972.

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