Trump Aims for the Moon
The president signs a new space directive
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2017 7:05 PM CST
President Donald Trump holds up a figurine handed to him by former Apollo 17 astronaut Jack Schmitt, right   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – Donald Trump wants to see Americans back on the moon, the Hill reports. Today, at a White House ceremony marking the anniversary of the last human voyage to the moon, 1972's Apollo 17 mission, Trump gathered with Vice President Mike Pence and two former astronauts, Harrison Hagan "Jack" Schmitt and Buzz Aldrin, to sign a new order directing American efforts to get astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars. “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, someday, to many worlds beyond. This directive will ensure America’s space program once again leads and inspires all of humanity,” Trump said.

Pence, who also serves as the National Space Council chairman, said a "renewed American presence on the moon" will enhance national defense, create jobs, and "spur innovation." There was no mention made at the ceremony about funding for completion of the new directive. Meanwhile, Trump's nominee to run NASA has yet to be confirmed, CNN reports. During Senate committee debate last month, both of Florida's senators, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio, accused the nominee, Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine, of being too partisan and lacking a science background. "Your recent public service career does not instill the confidence about your leadership skills or ability to bring people together," Nelson said.

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