Trump wants NASA to send astronauts to the Moon - but how exactly?

Trump wants NASA to send astronauts to the Moon - but how exactly?

Flanked by Pence and two female astronauts, Trump said the directive "will refocus the space program on human exploration and discovery", and "marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972".

The order now directs the NASA Administrator to lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the Moon, and eventually Mars.

President Donald Trump signs Space Policy Directive 1, which directs NASA to return to the Moon.

The presidential directive "affirms USA leadership in human space exploration, returning American astronauts to the region of the moon, while laying the foundation for eventual missions to Mars and beyond", she said.

Trump's signing of the directive refocuses US attention on the stars and authorizes activating NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot Jr.to lead a program to send American astronauts to the moon, Mars and "perhaps someday to many worlds beyond", the president announced during Monday's White House signing, CNN reported.

Vice President Mike Pence said the new space policy directive ensures that "America will lead in space once again".

Both the president and the vice president said today that NASA's focus on its human spaceflight program will help create jobs for the country, and both men briefly mentioned the defense and military applications of the space program.

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday will sign a directive aimed at sending Americans back to the moon and eventually to Mars, the White House said.

Nasa said it will need more money to make these new plans happen. The mission to the Moon, it's clear, is more than just about restoring American pride-it's also about making sure the United States continues to be a part of the 21st century space race.

In 2010, President Obama said he wanted NASA to be orbiting Mars by the 2030s, and to send humans to an asteroid by 2025, with crews charting destinations "beyond the moon". The White House has nominated Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine.

The new policy asks NASA to lead an innovative and sustainable programme of exploration with commercial and global partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities. Normally, this is just political rigamarole and of more annoyance to space wonks and policy fans than anybody else.

Past presidents, including George HW Bush and George W Bush, also proposed returning to the moon and missions to Mars, but budget constraints derailed their plans.

"To guide this new era of American space leadership, President Trump has relaunched the National Space Council", he said. But the decision to return to the Moon shouldn't be construed as a sudden change of face. "Going back to the moon as the precursor to further exploration will enable NASA to test new systems and equipment critical for future missions, like the human exploration of Mars".

"We will also spur innovation", Pence said.

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