Trump wants to shift NASA resources to exploring the moon and Mars

President Trump holds up an astronaut toy alongside former US Senator and Apollo 17 Astronaut Jack Schmitt right after a signing ceremony for Space Policy Directive 1 with the aim of returning Americans to the Moon
Trump wants to shift NASA resources to exploring the moon and Mars
Author

12 December, 2017

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".

US President Donald Trump directed NASA on Monday to send Americans to the Moon for the first time since 1972, in order to prepare for future trips to Mars.

In a release noting highlights of the administration's space policy, the White House said Trump would "create incentives for private industry" to assist in pursuing its goals of exploration and the development of new technology.

The event will coincide with the 45th anniversary of the last crewed mission - Apollo 17 - to land on the moon.

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.

Nasa said in a statement that the new policy would scrap its mission to send humans to an asteroid.

"The moon will be a stepping-stone, a training ground, a venue to strengthen our commercial and worldwide partnerships as we refocus America's space program toward human space exploration".

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"I don't think simply an order to Nasa is going to do anything unless it is accompanied by a notable increase of Nasa's budget, and by notable I mean a doubling or a tripling or a quadrupling of Nasa's budget", Caceres said.

SpaceX launches rockets for customers including Nasa, commercial satellite operators and the American military.

"Under a Trump administration, Florida and America will lead the way into the stars", he said.

"The US commercial space industry has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital to develop innovative capabilities for lunar transport, operations and resource utilization", said Eric Stallmer, the group's president.

In the presence of Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon in 1972, Trump vowed "today, we pledge that he will not be the last".

Acting NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot said the space agency is looking 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".


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