Space

President Trump orders NASA back to the Moon

President Trump orders NASA ba...
Representatives of Congress and the National Space Council joined President Donald J. Trump, Apollo astronaut Jack Schmitt and current NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson for the signing of Space Policy Directive 1
Representatives of Congress and the National Space Council joined President Donald J. Trump, Apollo astronaut Jack Schmitt and current NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson for the signing of Space Policy Directive 1
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Lunar Sample 70215 was retrieved from the Moon’s surface and returned by NASA's Apollo 17 crew
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Lunar Sample 70215 was retrieved from the Moon’s surface and returned by NASA's Apollo 17 crew
Representatives of Congress and the National Space Council joined President Donald J. Trump, Apollo astronaut Jack Schmitt and current NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson for the signing of Space Policy Directive 1
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Representatives of Congress and the National Space Council joined President Donald J. Trump, Apollo astronaut Jack Schmitt and current NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson for the signing of Space Policy Directive 1

US astronauts are headed back to the Moon after President Donald J. Trump ordered NASA to focus on manned space missions. Today at a White House ceremony, the President signed White House Space Policy Directive 1, which directs NASA to work with commercial and international partners to send American astronauts to our satellite as the first step to going to Mars and beyond.

Today's signing marks another shift in US space policy, which has been seeking to recapture the success of the tightly focused Apollo program of the 1960s. In recent decades, NASA's manned spaceflight efforts have been marked by a series of false starts, neglect, and sudden changes with each incoming administration. In addition to setting new goals, the directive will influence NASA's Fiscal Year 2019 budget request.

In July, President Trump revived the National Space Council headed by Vice President Michael Pence to advise and implement the President's policy of redirecting US space efforts away from Earth studies and toward deep space exploration. The Council was disbanded in 1993 after protracted infighting during the George H W Bush administration.

Lunar Sample 70215 was retrieved from the Moon’s surface and returned by NASA's Apollo 17 crew
Lunar Sample 70215 was retrieved from the Moon’s surface and returned by NASA's Apollo 17 crew

According to the new directive, the NASA administrator will "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 signing was attended by Representatives of Congress and the National Space Council; Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon; Senator Harrison Schmitt, the second to last astronaut to leave the Moon during the Apollo 17 mission; Peggy Whitson, who holds the record for the most numbers of days in space for any American astronaut; and Christina Koch, a member of the US astronaut class of 2013.

"The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery," said President Trump. "It 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."

The White House video below shows the signing ceremony.

Source: NASA

President Trump Participates in a Signing Ceremony for Space Policy Directive - 1

7 comments
ErstO
I feel sorry for the folks that work at NASA, they seem to get new directives with every administration, but never enough money to carry them through.... President Bush “W” wanted to go to the moon and mars, the moon mission was to be between 2015 and 2020, but his proposed Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) should have conduct its first manned mission no later than 2014..... Didnt happen, why? he provided no added funding for his directive.... President Obama had his own NASA directive, lets focus on Earth science and robotic missions, it’s cheaper and doesn't require asking a bunch of old guys in Congress for more money for something they don't understand.... So in walks President Trump, “lets stop that whole Earth science mess and send people to the moon and beyond”. But your not getting anymore money to do this because tax cuts in a growing economy that primarily favor those that are already wealthy are more important then science.... Why? because it makes a good photo opp.... NASA having to flip it’s focus every eight years is not just bad for morale, but it’s also bad for momentum in an organization. “Stop what your doing, toss away the last four years of work and lets spend the next four planing on the new directive.”..... We need to find a way to remove NASA from the whims of politics and photo opps and give them the funds to explore.....
EZ
What a crock of #$%&! Trump hasn't had an original idea yet. He is being required to sign the document. They'll get their extra money of us--no doubt. They always do. Also, if you believe we went to the moon back in the '60's, you need to do a little research. The big problem at the present is passing through the Van Allen radiation belts that go on for 2 or 3 hundred thousand miles. Nasa said that's the main problem they face today. If so, how'd they do it 50 years ago?
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Most government waste occurs when money is "stored" in programs. Each time the program is restarted most of the work is redone and new people are hired and trained. New equipment is bought along with required training. When the money is needed the program is cancelled again.
FabianLamaestra
What a circus. Where's the funding and what are the tangible milestones and deadlines?
Nik
EZ-There's a lot of misconceptions regarding the Van Allen belt, its a belt, not a shroud! It's possible to leave Earth, and enter deep space, without passing through it. However, returning to the moon, is significantly more achievable, and potentially more useful, than any Mars trip would be at present. Humanity needs to learn how to walk, before it tries to run, in space colonisation terms, and the moon will provide the training ground for that. The ISS was the first step in that process, the moon should be the next logical step. It can be explored, and maybe even some fledgling industries started. At least no one will have to worry about air pollution, or 'global warming!' ;-)
Tom Lee Mullins
I think this is good news. I think it is a step toward going to mars. NASA has developed a lot of technology that we use almost everyday.
WilliamSager
EV Didn't you hear the good news? CFCs from aerosol can's devastated the Van Allen Belt back in the late 60s and now we are free to go to space whenever we wish. Heck why else do you think women were encouraged to have those huge hair dos.