Trump's Moon Directive Earns Praise from NASA, Others

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"By signing this space policy directive and refocusing America's space program on human spaceflight exploration, the president has ensured America's leadership in space and prioritized our return to the moon and future manned missions to Mars", House Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin said in a statement. "This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints". And his plans do not stop there.

"We support the president and vice president's vision and commitment to return America to the moon, "Lockheed Martin officials said in a statement". Politico reports that Trump's Mars mission won't be run entirely by NASA-instead, "the agency would enlist global partners and a new class of billionaire-run private space juggernauts to help pull it off".

During his speech, Trump also thanked Vice-President Mike Pence for supporting his vision.

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NASA also confirmed that it is now ditching any plans to send humans to land on an asteroid, a dream the space agency has held for decades.

With the signing of the White House Space Policy Directive 1, United States president Donald Trump's plans for NASA will see a focused effort between government, private industry and worldwide bodies towards returning humans to the moon.

NASA has already showed a willingness to work with these companies closely, trusting SpaceX in particular with delivering supplies to NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station, and there's no reason to think that other companies wouldn't also be welcomed into the fold if they can prove useful in the pursuit of new science.

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The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) "applauds President Trump for signing Space Policy Directive 1, which directs NASA to partner with the US commercial space industry to return Americans to the moon", Eric Stallmer, president of CSF, said in a statement. Apollo 17 was the final mission of NASA's Apollo program in 1972.

The council - created in 1989 under President George H.W. Bush, disbanded in 1993, but re-established by Trump in June - met for its first meeting October 5.

Once this has been achieved, only then will the U.S. send astronauts to Mars, and possibly further. But the programme was shut down when Barack Obama became the president as he believed that Americans "have been there before" and that "there's a lot more of space to explore".

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On July 20, 1969, U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. The plan was then scrapped by Trump when he took charge.

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