Houston Matters

Trump Creates New Space Policy To Send Missions To The Moon And Mars

The President’s decision comes after a recommendation from the National Space Council

President Donald Trump (center) signs Monday Space Policy Directive 1 during a ceremony held at the White House on December 11th, 2017.

President Donald Trump signed Monday Space Policy Directive 1, which represents a change in national space policy providing for a U.S.-led and integrated program with private sector partners for a human return to the Moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond.

NASA noted in a news release that the policy calls for the NASA administrator to “lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.”

“The directive I am signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery,” said President Trump during a ceremony held at the White House.

MORE: Former Astronauts, Congressman Discuss Returning To The Moon

The President added that the policy “marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use. This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints — we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond.”

NASA detailed that work toward the new directive will be reflected in its Fiscal Year 2019 budget request next year and NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot commented they look 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.”

“Our workforce is committed to this effort, and even now we are developing a flexible deep space infrastructure to support a steady cadence of increasingly complex missions that strengthens American leadership in the boundless frontier of space,” added Lightfoot.

The policy was a unanimous recommendation made by the new National Space Council, which Trump revived in July to advise and help implement his space policy with exploration as a national priority.

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