Trump Announces That the Moon Is Astronauts’ Next Destination

Trump Announces That the Moon Is Astronauts’ Next Destination


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A so-called ‘supermoon’ behind the Capitol and the Jefferson Memorial in Washington earlier this month. President Trump signed a policy directive Monday confirming that the moon should be the next destination for astronauts.

Credit
Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency

President Trump announced on Monday that the moon would be the next destination for American astronauts, putting the Oval Office’s imprimatur on what other administration officials have said for months.

“It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use,” Mr. Trump said during a brief ceremony at the White House, where he signed what the White House called Space Policy Directive 1.

“This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints,” Mr. Trump said. “We will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond.”

Attendees included Harrison Schmitt, one of the astronauts on Apollo 17, the last piloted mission to the moon.

“Today we pledge he will not be the last,” Mr. Trump said.

The directive, which came on the 45th anniversary of Apollo 17’s landing on the moon, calls for collaboration with commercial companies and other nations, but it did not specify when the moon mission would occur or how much it might cost.

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President Trump is handed a toy astronaut used as a prop at the signing ceremony.

Credit
Doug Mills/The New York Times

These details may emerge in February when the administration’s proposal for fiscal year 2019 is released.

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