US President Donald Trump is eying on Moon again. Yes, as per the latest reports Trump has formally directed NASA to send U.S. Astronauts to the moon again. On Monday, President Trump signed the ‘Space Policy Directive 1′ in a signing ceremony held at the White House in Washington DC.
The space policy primarily focuses towards the return of Americans to the moon and to prove to everyone that the United States is still a leader in space exploration and will continue to dominate in future space research and exploration. “We are the leader, and we’re going to stay the leader, and we’re going to increase it many fold,” said Trump while signing the Space Policy Directive 1. He also indicated that Moon will not be the Americans their only and the journey will be beyond that.
“This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars and perhaps, someday, to many worlds beyond,” said Trump. Trump’s signing ceremony for the directive took place during the 45th anniversary of Apollo 17 mission’s moon landing event. The occasion was graced by Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt who was one of the last two humans to ever walk on the moon. Former lunar astronaut Buzz Aldrin and current astronaut Peggy Whiston, who recently set a record of the most time spent by an American in space, were also present at the signing ceremony. Trump said that by signing the Space Policy Directive 1, he took a giant step towards reclaiming America’s proud destiny in space and according to him, space has so much to do with so many other applications including military applications.
Talking about his target of returning American astronauts back to Moon, he said that the signing of the directive marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use. After getting formal orders from Trump, NASA informed that the initial funding for the new policy in its budget request for the fiscal year 2019. Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot 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.”
Back in October, at a meeting of the National Space Council, Vice President Mike Pence had indicated about Trump administration’s moon-first approach. So, a new space policy was surely on the cards and on December 11, finally, President Trump signed the Space Policy Directive 1.