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It's Time to Send Americans to the Moon Again

12 December 2017

On Monday afternoon, the President will sign a proclamation giving NASA an open door to space exploration, which includes sending American astronauts to the moon and Mars.

Trump will sign "Space Policy Directive 1" that orders NASA "to lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the Moon, and eventually Mars", spokesman Hogan Gidley said.

The better known Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon after Armstrong and a fervent advocate of future space missions, was also present at the ceremony but not mentioned by Trump during his speech.

Watch live in the video above.

The directive, which came on the 45th anniversary of Apollo 17's landing on the moon, called 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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"We will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps, someday, to many worlds beyond", he added.

Space Policy Directive 1 makes official a recommendation approved by the NSC in October.

"[The move] marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972 for long-time exploration", he said.

Former US president George W. Bush also pledged to send Americans to the Moon as part of the Constellation program, which ran from 2005 to 2009. They also said the country isn't the accepted leader in human space exploration any longer, but "should be a leader in space".

NASA said initial funding for the new policy would be included in its budget request for fiscal year 2019.

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The policy halts NASA's current work to send astronauts to an asteroid.

"Imagine the possibilities waiting in those big, handsome stars if we dare to dream big, and that's what our country is doing again".

Lunar sample 70215 was retrieved from the Moon's surface and returned by Mr Schmitt's Apollo 17 crew.

Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon - on July 20, 1969.

"We will engage the best and brightest across government and private industry and our partners across the world to reach new milestones in human achievement".

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It's Time to Send Americans to the Moon Again