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Trump to send astronauts back to moon

Trump to send astronauts back to moon

Speaking at a White House ceremony Monday, President Donald Trump offered high ambitions, but few specifics in signing a new space policy directive that had no timeline and promised no funding for future missions.

And his excitement was evident in his four-minute speech at the White House when he said: "This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint", reported IANS.

"Exactly 45 years ago, nearly to the minute, Jack [Schmitt] become one of the last Americans to land on the moon", Trump said.

Gidley added that Trump's decision is based on recommendations from the National Space Council, which is chaired by Vice President Pence.

Under Space Policy Directive 1, the moon is seen as a stepping stone toward the ultimate goal of Mars exploration.




Obama had called for Nasa to begin "crewed missions beyond the moon, including sending humans to an asteroid" by 2025 and to "send humans to orbit Mars" by the mid-2030s.

It will focus on long-term explorations and use of the Moon's surface, in partnership with the private sector. Vice President Mike Pence, who serves as chairman of the NSC, also spoke at the signing. "And by your action today - with this clear vision [of] returning Americans to the moon, preparing to lead to Mars and beyond - you are ensuring, Mr. President, that America will lead in space in the future and for generations to come".

Instead, Obama had said that the United States should send astronauts to an asteroid.

Nasa's Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot welcomed the announcement. It is known that Pence too, in the past, has expressed interest in human lunar missions and had also spoken about how the moon was the foundation to build and strengthen worldwide partnerships.

SpaceX launches rockets for customers including NASA, commercial satellite operators and the USA military. "No human has walked there since", the statement said. Trump's directive orders Nasa instead to "enable human expansion across the solar system", "lead the return of humans to the moon" and follow that with "human missions to Mars and other destinations". The U.S. commercial space industry has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital to develop innovative capabilities for lunar transport, operations, and resource utilization.

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