Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement that the new policy reflects recommendations from the National Space Council, a White House advisory panel Trump appointed earlier in the year.
"Forty-five years ago today, NASA's final Apollo mission landed on the surface of the moon". However, Space Policy Directive 1 is now only an empty order without the funds to back it up. He said the directive turns the focus of the nation's space program to "human exploration and discovery".
On Monday, December 11, Trump signed his administration's first space policy directive to send NASA astronauts back to the moon. It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972... He was asked by CNBC host Jim Cramer if he believed Boeing or SpaceX would "get a man on Mars first", to which Muilenburg replied, "Eventually we're going to go to Mars, and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket".
The President said he was taking a giant step toward "reclaiming America's proud destiny in space". The resulting NASA programme, Constellation, was to put astronauts on the moon by 2020 but was hobbled by delays and cost overruns, reports The New York Times. They also said the country isn't the accepted leader in human space exploration any longer, but "should be a leader in space".
"As everyone here knows, establishing a renewed American presence on the moon is vital to achieve our strategic objectives and the objectives outlined by our National Space Council", Pence said. In addition to Moon Express, several commercial companies, including the United Launch Alliance, SpaceX and Blue Origin have announced plans to return to the moon.
"For all of this goal-setting, the real test of Trump administration's space plan is simple: is it a giveaway to special interests, or an actual space strategy that will push us ahead", said Phil Larson, an assistant dean at the University of Colorado's college of engineering.