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Trump wants to send United States astronauts back to moon, someday Mars

Trump wants to send United States astronauts back to moon, someday Mars

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.

He signed a Space Policy Directive 1 at the White House on Monday, which NASA says is "a change in national space policy" that provides for a US-led, integrated program with private sector partners for a human return to the Moon.

During a signing ceremony, Mr Trump said: "We are the leader and we're going to stay the leader, and we're going to increase it many fold".

Watch live in the video above.

"Forty-five years ago today, NASA's final Apollo mission landed on the surface of the moon".

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".

"This time we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint", Trump said at a White House ceremony as he signed the new space policy directive.




Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the newly revitalized National Space Council, have previously vowed to explore the Moon again, but offered few details.

The President said he was taking a giant step toward "reclaiming America's proud destiny in space".

Past presidents, including George HW Bush and George W Bush, have also proposed returning to the Moon and missions to Mars, but budget constraints derailed their plans. They also said the country isn't the accepted leader in human space exploration any longer, but "should be a leader in space".

"The next generation will dream even bigger and reach higher as we launch challenging new missions, and make new discoveries and technological breakthroughs on this dynamic path", he said.

Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon - on July 20, 1969.

Under the directive, the government is also expected to work closely with other nations and private industry.

With this directive, Mr Trump abandons plans set by his predecessor Barack Obama, to send humans to an asteroid near earth.


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