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‘America Will Lead in Space Again,’ Pledges President Trump

Dec. 11, 2017 (EIRNS)—President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1 at a White House ceremony at 3 p.m. today, committing the U.S. to return to the Moon. The President was flanked by two current astronauts, and three former astronauts, including Harrison (Jack) Schmitt. Schmitt was on the Apollo 17 mission 45 years ago, which was the last to land astronauts on the Moon. President Trump, recognizing the occasion of the anniversary, turned to Schmitt.

"Exactly 45 years ago, almost to the minute, Jack became one of the last Americans to land on the moon," said Trump. "Today we pledge that he will not be the last, and I suspect that we will be finding other places to land in addition to the Moon."

Space Policy Directive 1 is based on recommendations of the National Space Council, chaired by VP Pence. When the Council met on Oct. 5, Pence directed that a Decision Memorandum be prepared to say:

"We shall lead an innovative and sustained program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system to bring new knowledge and opportunities. Beginning with missions beyond low Earth orbit, the United States will lead to return humans to the Moon for long-term exploration followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations."

President Trump today reiterated that perspective, stating:

"The directive I am signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery. It marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use. This time we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars and perhaps, some day, to many worlds beyond."

NASA’s leadership not-so-subtly made its preference clear, by bringing a piece of Moon rock to the White House, which had been collected by Harrison Schmitt on Apollo 17, "as a reminder of exploration history."

"This directive will ensure America’s space program once again leads and inspires all of humanity," the President said. We will "lift our eyes all the way up to the heavens."

"Imagine the possibility waiting in those big beautiful stars if we dare to dream big. That’s what our country is doing again, we’re dreaming big,"

the President said.