By Gage Simpson, Owner of New Frontier News
NEW FRONTIER NEWS – During a signing ceremony at the White House on Monday, December 11, with retired astronauts along with a 3.8 billion year old rock from the moon that was brought back during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 by Schmitt, Trump vowed to keep America as the leader in space exploration by restarting manned moon landings and later manned missions to Mars.
Trump authorized acting NASA administrator Robert M. Lightfoot Jr. to “lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars.”
This isn’t the first time Trump has talked about sending astronauts back to the moon. During a campaign visit of the Kennedy Space Center, Trump pledged to “free NASA from the restriction of serving primarily as a logistics agency for low Earth-orbit activities” and “instead refocus on space exploration.”
Other republicans have also expressed interest in sending astronauts back to the moon, and it was a major point of Newt Gingrich’s campaign that he wanted the United States to establish a colony on the moon. Pence, during a meeting at the National Space Council in October 2017, said that the administration “will return American astronauts to the moon, not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond.”
This move is a departure from the last administration, which was focusing more on manned missions to asteroids.
The administration will ask congress to add the funding for the new manned mission in the 2019 budget.
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Merica, D. (2017). Trump to send astronauts back to the moon — and eventually Mars. Retrieved from cnn.com: http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/11/politics/trump-astronauts-moon/index.html
Reuters, T. (2017). Trump wants to send U.S. astronauts back to moon, someday Mars. Retrieved from aol.com: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/12/11/trump-wants-to-send-us-astronauts-back-to-moon-someday-mars/23303784/