Trump Signs New Space Policy Directive To Send Americans To Moon, Mars

by Edgar Hayes December 12, 2017, 17:23
Trump Signs New Space Policy Directive To Send Americans To Moon, Mars

On the 45th anniversary of Apollo 17 - the last crewed mission to the moon - Trump signed the order directing NASA 'to lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the Moon, and eventually Mars, ' according White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.

Trump was joined at the White House by several current and former astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, and former U.S. Sen. and Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, the next-to-last person on the moon.

Gidley added that Trump's decision is based on recommendations from the National Space Council, which is chaired by Vice President Pence.

Mr Trump revived the National Space Council in July to advise and help implement his space policy with exploration as a national priority.

Watch live in the video above.

The last time United States astronauts visited the Moon was during the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s.

The announcement was welcomed by NASA's Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot, who said the agency is looking forward to focusing its work on "returning humans to the Moon, travel to Mars and opening the deeper solar system beyond".

"This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints - we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond".

Under Space Policy Directive 1, the moon is seen as a stepping stone toward the ultimate goal of Mars exploration.

Constellation was projected to cost $100 billion, and aimed to get boots on the Moon's surface by the late 2020s.

The US President spoke of his grand plans to explore the galaxy as he launched a new space policy directive yesterday.

It will focus on long-term explorations and use of the Moon's surface, in partnership with the private sector.

But presidents have promised Apollo-like ambitions for generations, and Trump is now the third consecutive Republican president to vow a return to the moon.

SpaceX launches rockets for customers including NASA, commercial satellite operators and the US military. Musk, 46, served on Trump's early advisory councils until June of this year, when he parted ways with the administration over Trump's decision to pull the USA out of the Paris climate accords.

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