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“We will return NASA astronauts to the Moon – not only to leave behind footprints and flags but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond.”
Vice president Mike Pence revealed that the Trump administration wants NASA to send humans back to the lunar surface.
Its official, The United States will not only return to the moon but will plan to travel far beyond our natural satellite.
Beneath the wings of Space Shuttle Discovery, Vice President Mike Pence announced at the first meeting of the reconstituted National Space Council that the United States will push the boundaries of human space exploration and return to the Moon.
The United States government has instructed NASA to send astronauts back to the lunar surface and make it a cosmic pit-stop for the human journey to Mars.
“We will return NASA astronauts to the Moon – not only to leave behind footprints and flags but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond,” Pence told the audience.
The Vice President described the long-awaited move as a ‘stepping stone’ for future exploration of our solar system.
“The president has charged us with laying the foundation for America to maintain a constant commercial human presence in low-Earth orbit,” added the Vice President.
“We won the race to the Moon a half a century ago, and now we will win the 21st century in space.”
In response, NASA’s administrator Robert Lightfoot said: “NASA has been directed to develop a plan for an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the Solar System, returning humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations.”
But NASA isn’t the only one who has set sights on the Moon and Mars.
Elon Musk’s company SpaceX is developing the necessary means to get mankind to the moon and beyond.
“If we can get the cost of moving to Mars to be roughly equivalent to a median house price in the United States, which is around $200,000, then I think the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high,” Musk has said in the past.
NASA has been working on a massive new rocket for the last decade called the Space Launch System (SLS), while also developing a new spacecraft called Orion.
These vehicles were developed as part of Obama’s goal to get humans to Mars.
Representatives from companies such as SpaceX, Lockheed Martin, and Sierra Nevada said they were ready to start a new era in spaceflight. They also talked about the new spacecraft and their capabilities that will help future missions to the Moon and Mars.