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Trump wants to send man back to the moon - and eventually Mars

Trump wants to send man back to the moon - and eventually Mars

Marco Caceres, a space analyst with defence and aerospace consulting firm Teal Group, said "there's not a lot of meat on" presidential directives to Nasa, given that they haven't been accompanied with specific funding proposals since the Apollo era, when America was racing to beat the Soviet Union in space.

"He will change our nation's human spaceflight policy to help America become the driving force for the space industry, gain new knowledge from the cosmos, and spur incredible technology", according to a White House statement.

The last time U.S. astronauts visited the Moon was during the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s.

Obama had called for Nasa to begin "crewed missions beyond the moon, including sending humans to an asteroid" by 2025 and to "send humans to orbit Mars" by the mid-2030s.

President Trump holds up an astronaut toy alongside former US Senator and Apollo 17 Astronaut Jack Schmitt, right, after a signing ceremony for Space Policy Directive 1, with the aim of returning Americans to the Moon.




Only 12 men have set foot on the Moon - all have been Americans.

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 announcement was welcomed by NASA's Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot, who said the agency is looking forward to focusing its work on "returning humans to the Moon, travel to Mars and opening the deeper solar system beyond".

Former US president George W. Bush also pledged to send Americans to the Moon as part of the Constellation program, which ran from 2005 to 2009. The president said that the United States eventually aims to reach Mars and many other "worlds".

He added, "This is a giant step toward that inspiring future and toward reclaiming America's proud destiny in space and space has so much to do with so many other applications including a military application". "It marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use".

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