Trump wants to send United States astronauts back to moon, someday Mars

During a signing ceremony, Mr Trump said: "We are the leader and we're going to stay the leader, and we're going to increase it many fold".

"The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space programme on human exploration and discovery". "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".

Former President Barack Obama canceled it in 2010 and instead told NASA to focus on reaching an asteroid in the 2020s and then Mars in the 2030s.

Trump signed the space policy on Monday, which also marked the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 17 mission, which was the last time humans walked on the moon.

Constellation was projected to cost $100 billion, and aimed to get boots on the Moon's surface by the late 2020s. Since the program ended, the USA has been forced to rely on Russian rockets, at the cost of $70 million per seat.

One of NASA's biggest barriers to space exploration right now is the lack of transportation. He noted that there are "a lot of people that want to help [NASA]" reach those goals, including worldwide space partners and commercial space partners in the U.S. The White House aims to send astronauts to space aboard American-made rockets in upcoming years, and said American companies will provide rockets and engines to the Pentagon for national security payloads. Musk, 46, served on Trump's early advisory councils until June of this year, when he parted ways with the administration over Trump's decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate accords. The agency retired its space shuttles in 2011, and American astronauts rely on Russian capsules to ferry them to and from the International Space Station. Musk has also announced plans to send paying tourists on flights around the moon.

Lunar sample 70215 was retrieved from the Moon's surface and returned by Mr Schmitt's Apollo 17 crew. The U.S. commercial space industry has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital to develop innovative capabilities for lunar transport, operations, and resource utilization. The administration should direct Nasa to better use that private investment to achieve the goals of the directive, Stallmer said.

  • Joey Payne