Trump wants to send man back to moon, on to Mars

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 13, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump directed NASA Monday to send Americans to the moon for the first time since 1972, in order to prepare for future trips to Mars.

"We're dreaming big." Echoing astronaut Neil Armstrong's first words upon stepping foot on the moon's surface in 1969, the president called the directive - which codifies instructions that NASA "return American astronauts to the moon" as "national policy", according to Vice President Mike Pence - a "giant step" toward an "inspiring future".

"But I'm here to tell you, that as we still enter this new century, we will beat back any disadvantage that our lack of attention has placed, and America will once again lead in space for the benefit and security of all of our people and all of the world".

Trump's space approach would supplant President Obama's, which was established in 2010 and did exclude an objective to come back to the Moon.

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

"This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars", he said.

"Nasa looks 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", he said in a statement.

NASA says that the new policy calls for Robert Lightfoot, its acting administrator, to "lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and worldwide partners" to explore the solar system.

No human has been on the moon since Apollo 17 in December 1972. "And perhaps, someday, to many worlds beyond", Mr Trump said.

NASA said initial funding for the new policy would be included in its budget request for fiscal year 2019.

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