• Michelle Hebert

Trump signs space directive, aims to return astronauts to the moon

On Dec. 11, 2017, Donald Trump signed the Space Policy Directive-1 at a brief ceremony that was held at the White House. The Verge reported, “the directive is meant to reorient NASA’s focus from the Red Planet to the Moon… shifting away from the priorities set forth by the Obama administration.” A unanimous recommendation by the National Space Council, chaired by Mike Pence, helped the directive grow, according to NASA.

"The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery. It marks an important 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 footprint," Trump said regarding the directive.

NASA’s Administrator Robert Lightfoot commented on the directive: “NASA looks forward to supporting the president’s directive strategically aligning our work to return humans to the Moon, travel to Mars and opening the deeper solar system beyond.” NASA reported, “the policy also ends NASA’s existing effort to send humans to an asteroid.”

In Trump and Pence’s 2016 campaign, they stated they wanted to send astronauts back to the moon, multiple sources reported. According to The Verge, during the first meeting of the National Space Council in October, Pence announced that NASA under the Trump administration would be sending astronauts back to the moon.