President Donald Trump directed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to send American astronauts back to the moon and eventually to Mars, shifting the agency’s mission from the study of Earth.
Trump signed a directive to the NASA administrator outlining the new mission on Monday. Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement that the new policy reflects recommendations from the National Space Council, a White House advisory panel Trump appointed earlier in the year.
The White House didn’t provide details about how NASA’s work to return to the moon would be funded, or whether any current programs would be cut.
The president “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,” Gidley said.
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