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Trump signs directive to send astronauts back to moon

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Staff Writer |
astronauts moon
America   To the moon and beyond

U.S. President Donald Trump signed his administration's first space policy directive, formally directing the U.S. space agency NASA to send astronauts back to the moon and eventually Mars.

"The directive I'm signing today will refocus American space program on human exploration and discovery," Trump said at a White House ceremony.

"It marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972 for long-term exploration and use," he said. "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 some day to many worlds beyond."

The Space Policy Directive 1, as it's called, was based on recommendations of the National Space Council, which Trump directed to reestablish in June.

The council was first created in 1989 during the administration of President George H.W. Bush but later disbanded in 1993 under President Bill Clinton.

It marked a return to the vision of President George W. Bush, whose Constellation program aimed to return astronauts to the moon by 2020 and then go on to Mars.

However, Constellation was cancelled in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama, on the grounds that Americans "have been there before" and that "there's a lot more of space to explore."


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