Donald Trump signs directive to send astronauts back to Moon

U.S President Donald Trump signs an Executive Order on space exploration- DC

Trump signed a space policy directive calling for NASA "to lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars".

President Trump on Monday is expected to sign a directive meant to send American astronauts back to the moon, with an eye on eventually reaching Mars.

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

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.

The ceremony also featured a moon rock 3.8 billion years old, collected by Mr Schmitt's Apollo 17 mission in 1972. The Trump administration takes this stance, as explained by Vice President Pence in October.

On July 20, 1969, United States astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon.

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NASA recently announced that for human astronauts, the path to Mars will include a stop at the moon, where the agency may build a facility now being called the Deep Space Gateway.

"As everyone here knows, establishing a renewed American presence on the moon is vital to achieve our strategic objectives and the objectives outlined by our National Space Council", Pence said. "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.

It will focus on long-term explorations and use of the Moon's surface, in partnership with the private sector.

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

His administration has previously held several meetings with SpaceX boss Elon Musk and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, who also owns Blue Origin.

"[The move] marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972 for long-time exploration", he said.

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