Trump to start process of sending Americans back to moon: White House

12 December, 2017, 18:00 | Author: Archie Newman
  • President Donald Trump wants to go the moon and then onward to Mars

The event will coincide with the 45th anniversary of the last crewed mission - Apollo 17 - to land on the moon.

"We're dreaming big", Trump said. The Trump administration takes this stance, as explained by Vice President Pence in October.

Echoing astronaut Neil Armstrong's first words upon stepping foot on the moon's surface in 1969, the president called the directive - which codifies instructions that NASA "return American astronauts to the moon" as "national policy", according to Vice President Mike Pence - a "giant step" toward an "inspiring future". "So we are the leader and we're going to stay the leader and we're going to increase it many fold". "It marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use".

With this directive, Mr Trump abandons plans set by his predecessor Barack Obama, to send humans to an asteroid near earth.

Trump's plans, which are a part of the Space Policy Directive 1, intend to prioritise the exploration of space, something he has been stressing on for a while now. Schmitt was one of the last two people to walk on the moon.

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NASA said initial funding for the new policy would be included in its budget request for fiscal year 2019.

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

In the meantime, Americans are still relying on the Russians for rides to the International Space Station. The Apollo 17 lunar lander touched down on the moon on December 11, 1972.

"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 president "will change our nation's human spaceflight policy to help America become the driving force for the space industry, gain new knowledge from the cosmos, and spur incredible technology", Gidley said.

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