Trump signs directive to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars
12 December, 2017, 17:25 | Author: Bridget Leonard
President Donald Trump directed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to send American astronauts back to the moon and eventually to Mars, shifting the agency's mission from the study of Earth.
Jack Schmitt, one of the most recent men to have walked on the moon, Trump described the directive, portraying space exploration as an encapsulation of America's "pioneering spirit".
The policy calls for NASA to "lead an innovative and sustainable program 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".
Trump said he was taking a giant step toward "reclaiming America's proud destiny in space".
Mr Trump also said the program would lay the foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, although he did not give a date for this.
The schedule didn't provide additional details about the event or the document, but a White House official later confirmed that the directive is linked to human space exploration policy. "He will change our nation's human spaceflight policy to help America become the driving force for the space industry, gain new knowledge from the cosmos, and spur incredible technology".
Apollo 17 was the last Apollo mission to land astronauts on the Moon and returned with the greatest amount of rock and soil samples for investigation.
Only 12 men have set foot on the Moon - all have been Americans.
The recommendations were made by the National Space Council, which had earlier been shut down but was re-established in June on Trump's orders. The policy halts NASA's current work to send astronauts to an asteroid. "It's been 45 years since we've been to the moon, and a lot of people have a lot of ideas". President George W. Bush ordered a moon base to be built and for humans to live there for extended periods.
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.
"It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use".
"Imagine the possibility waiting in those big handsome stars if we dare to dream big".
The effort is set to more effectively organise government, private industry, and worldwide efforts toward returning humans on the Moon.
When two full moons occur in the same month, the second is sometimes called a blue moon or, in this case, a super blue moon. Sunday night at its perigee, the moon will be nearly 50,000 kilometers closer than at its apogee, or farthest point.
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