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Mr Trump was joined at the White House by several current and former astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, and former USA senator and Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Jack Schmitt, one of the last people to walk on the Moon.

"We are the leader and we're going to stay the leader, and we're going to increase it many fold", Trump said in signing "Space Policy Directive 1" that establishes a foundation for a mission to the moon with an eye on going to Mars. The Space Policy Directive 1 will "more effectively organize government, private industry, and worldwide efforts toward returning humans [to] the Moon, and will lay the foundation that will eventually enable human exploration of Mars", agency officials said.

Once again, the Trump administration has pledged to restore America's leadership in space by teaming with the private sector and returning to the moon.

President Trump wants to send man to Mars.

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The schedule didn't provide additional details about the event or the document, but a White House official later confirmed that the directive is linked to human space exploration policy.

'This time we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, ' he said.

The ceremony also featured a moon rock 3.8 billion years old, collected by Mr Schmitt's Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

The goal of the new Moon missions would include "long-term exploration and use" of its surface.

President Trump is ready to make America great again.in space.

NASA recently announced that for human astronauts, the path to Mars will include a stop at the moon, where the agency may build a facility now being called the Deep Space Gateway.

In September, Trump nominated Representative Jim Bridenstine, a Republican from Oklahoma, to be the next NASA administrator. In addition to Moon Express, several commercial companies, including the United Launch Alliance, SpaceX and Blue Origin have announced plans to return to the moon. They also said the country isn't the accepted leader in human space exploration any longer, but "should be a leader in space".

Gidley added that Trump's decision is based on recommendations from the National Space Council, which is chaired by Vice President Pence.

No human has been on the Moon since Apollo 17 in December 1972.

Nasa said in a statement that the new policy would scrap its mission to send humans to an asteroid.

"The US commercial space industry has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital to develop innovative capabilities for lunar transport, operations and resource utilization", said Eric Stallmer, the group's president.


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