The US President Donald Trump signed the Space Policy Directive 1 on December 11th, 2017 to send US astronauts back to the moon to prepare for a mission to Mars. No man has returned to the moon since December 11th, 1972, during the Apollo 17 mission. Donald Trump signed this new directive in the presence of astronaut Jack Schmitt, who had participated in this last human mission on the Moon.
Donald Trump Administration’s Requests
Donald Trump has asked the NASA to step up its efforts on human crew missions to deep space, a priority that brings together elected officials from both sides.
“This time, it’s not just about planting our flag and leaving our mark. We will establish a base for a mission to Mars and perhaps beyond,” Trump said at the ceremony at the White House, back in 2017.
The directive, which is based on recommendations of the recently re-activated National Space Council (NSC), will refocus NASA on its core mission, space exploration, the White House spokesman said.
Donald Trump and many of his climate-conservative supporters find that the US space agency spends too much money and energy to observe and study our planet, and especially its climate, instead of doing something to explore the space.
The Budget Allowed
The American leader stressed out that this time, the mission on the moon will not only follow the installation of the US flag and to just leave traces on the lunar ground, but also to establish “the main base for a possible journey to Mars”.
Donald Trump and his administration approved $19.9 billion budget for NASA to make possible the existence of a small Lunar space station before 2022. Unfortunately, this proposal could diminish the chances for the WFIRST.
At first, $10.5 billion will be funded to NASA in the 2019 fiscal year, which will start on October 1st, to make the preparations for a human exploration of the Moon, as a step forward towards the exploration of Mars, and beyond.