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

12 December, 2017, 17:25 | Author: Cecelia Webb
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Trump said he was taking a giant step toward "reclaiming America's proud destiny in space".

President Donald Trump's administration has made overtures about sending American astronauts back to the Moon.

In June, Mr. Trump signed an executive order re-establishing the long dormant National Space Council, a space policy advisory body that was last active some 25 years ago.

Earlier this year, China said it was making initial preparations to send crewed missions to the Moon. "This directive will ensure America's space program once again leads and inspires all of humanity".

Mr Trump has signed a policy directive instructing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to "refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery". Can Trump send humans to the moon again? "This time we will not only plan on flag and leave our footprint". 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".

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up "Space Policy Directive 1" after signing it during a ceremony with NASA astronauts (R-L) Peggy Whitson, Buzz Aldrin and Jack Schmitt in the Roosevelt Room at the White House December 11, 2017 in Washington, DC.




On July 20, 1969, U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon.

Trump's announcement essentially revives goals that former President George W. Bush announced in 2004. "It's been 45 years since we've been to the moon, and a lot of people have a lot of ideas".

In 2009, then president Barack Obama deemed it too costly and repetitive of missions already achieved, and canceled the program in order to focus on reaching Mars by the 2030s.

The goal of the new Moon missions would include "long-term exploration and use" of its surface. "Today, we pledge that he will not be the last".

"Today, the same spirit beckons us to begin new journeys of exploration and discovery, to lift our eyes all of the way up to the heavens and once again imagine the possibilities waiting in those big, lovely stars if we dare to dream big and that's what our country is doing again", he said.

A White House statement acknowledged that partnerships with other nations and private industry could well be on the cards.

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