Trump signs directive to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars


At a time when China is working on an ambitious lunar program, Mr Trump has vowed that the United States will remain the leader in space exploration, and kicked off a process to return Americans to the Moon.

"Since the beginning of his administration, President Trump has taken steps to refocus NASA on its core mission of space exploration", Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

Gidley said Trump's move is based on recommendations from the National Space Council.

The directive, which came on the 45th anniversary of Apollo 17's landing on the moon, called for collaboration with commercial companies and other nations, but it did not specify when the moon mission would occur or how much it might cost. However, Space Policy Directive 1 is now only an empty order without the funds to back it up.

The goal of the new Moon missions would include "long-term exploration and use" of its surface. He was asked by CNBC host Jim Cramer if he believed Boeing or SpaceX would "get a man on Mars first", to which Muilenburg replied, "Eventually we're going to go to Mars, and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket".

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President Trump is ready to make America great space.

He signed a Space Policy Directive 1 at the White House on Monday, which NASA says is "a change in national space policy" that provides for a US-led, integrated program with private sector partners for a human return to the Moon.

In approving the new policy, Trump abandoned what had been a goal of his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, who in 2010 backed a plan to send humans to a near-earth asteroid. As did industry groups the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, whose president Eric Stallmer said that commercial companies have "invested hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital to develop innovative capabilities for lunar transport, operations and resource utilization".

"As everyone here knows, establishing a renewed American presence on the moon is vital to achieve our strategic objectives and the objectives outlined by our National Space Council", Pence said. The Apollo 17 lunar lander touched down on the moon on December 11, 1972.