Published: Fri, December 15, 2017
People | By Neil Grant

Donald Trump wants to send man back to Moon, on to Mars

Donald Trump wants to send man back to Moon, on to Mars

Under the directive, the US Government is also expected to work closely with other nations and private industry.

"NASA looks forward to supporting the president's directive strategically aligning our work to return humans to the Moon, travel to Mars and opening the deeper solar system beyond", NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot said of the directive. Obama's policy focused instead on sending astronauts beyond the Moon to deep space and potentially an asteroid by 2025, and to orbit Mars by the mid-2030s.

Trump is now the third consecutive Republican president to vow a return to the moon.

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised that "under a Trump administration, Florida and America will lead the way into the stars" and that NASA would be freed to "refocus on space exploration".

"[The move] marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972 for long-time exploration", he said.

"Today we pledge that he will not be the last, and I suspect we'll be finding other places to land in addition to the Moon", Mr Trump said.

Donald Trump wants to send man back to Moon, on to Mars
Donald Trump wants to send man back to Moon, on to Mars

The president made the announcement Monday alongside Vice President Mike Pence, who said the directive will ensure America will be leading the modern space race for future generations.

The president applauded the new space initiative, saying it will create more domestic jobs and shows America is starting to dream big once again.

"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.

Former US president George W. Bush also pledged to send Americans to the Moon as part of the Constellation programme, which ran from 2005 to 2009.

The last time USA astronauts visited the Moon was during the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s. "It is fitting that the signing ceremony occurs on the 45th anniversary of landing the last men on the moon, Dr. Schmitt and the late Captain Cernan".

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