- The Washington Times - Monday, December 11, 2017

President Trump on Monday ordered NASA to send astronauts back to the moon and then eventually to Mars, part of the administration’s focus on manned space exploration.

“This is a giant step toward that inspiring future,” Mr. Trump said. “We are the leader and we are going to stay the leader.”

The president signed the Space Policy Directive-1 on the 45th anniversary of the last crew mission to land on the moon, which was Apollo 17 lunar lander that touched down on the moon Dec. 11, 1972.

Vice President Mike Pence has spearheaded the administration’s space policy and was on hand for the signing of the directive.

Mr. Trump credited the vice president with helping restore “American leadership” in space.

The Obama administration had given up on moon landings and instead planned to use asteroids as steppingstones to reach Mars.

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