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Space Policy Directive 1: NASA Told To Return To The Moon

12 December 2017, 05:59 | Gretchen Simon

Space Policy Directive 1: NASA Told To Return To The Moon

President Donald Trump signs the Presidential Space Directive- 1 directing NASA to return to the moon alongside members of the Senate Congress NASA and commercial space companies in the Roosevelt room of the White House in Washington Monday Dec. 1

During a 2016 campaign event near NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, Trump had pledged to "free NASA from the restriction of serving primarily as a logistical agency for low Earth-orbit activities" and "instead refocus on space exploration", CNN reported. "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".

The Space Policy Directive 1, as it's called, is based on the first recommendation of the National Space Council, officials said.

Space policy experts agree that any attempt to send people to Mars, which lies an average of 140 million miles (225 million kilometers) from Earth, would require vast technical prowess and a massive wallet.

Only 12 men have set foot on the Moon - all have been Americans. Bush had earlier started the Constellation program and he too meant to send astronauts to the moon by 2020 and then to Mars.

NASA recently announced that for human astronauts, the path to Mars will include a stop at the moon, where the agency may build a facility now being called the Deep Space Gateway.


Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the newly revitalized National Space Council, have previously vowed to explore the Moon again, but offered few details. "It's been 45 years since we've been to the moon, and a lot of people have a lot of ideas". He said the directive turns the focus of the nation's space program to "human exploration and discovery". The president said that the USA eventually aims to reach Mars and many other "worlds".

With this, Trump is also putting the vision of former president George W. Bush back on the map.

The goal of the new Moon missions would include "long-term exploration and use" of its surface.

He added, "This is a giant step toward that inspiring future and toward reclaiming America's proud destiny in space and space has so much to do with so many other applications including a military application". SpaceX and Boeing both have billion-dollar contracts to send American astronauts to the space station, with the first key tests of the technology slated for 2018.



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