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Nasa to send astronauts to the moon again: Trump administration

We will return NASA astronauts to the Moon -- not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation: Pence

IANS  |  Washington 

Mike Pence (Photo:Wikipedia)
Mike Pence (Photo:Wikipedia)

The Trump administration will direct to land humans on the and establish presence on the lunar surface before sending astronauts to the Red Planet and beyond, US Vice President has said.

Pence made the administration's intentions known in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, as well as a speech he gave during the inaugural meeting of the National Space Council -- a newly resurrected executive group aimed at guiding the US space agenda, The Verge reported on Thursday.

"We will return astronauts to the -- not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation, we need to send Americans to and beyond," he told reporters at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Pence made it clear that space is a national priority, acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement after the first meeting of the Council.

"The vice president also announced a call for renewed US leadership in space - with a recommendation to the president that help lead and shape the way forward," Lightfoot said.

"Specifically, 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 for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to and other destinations," Lightfoot added.

The Council acknowledged the strategic importance of cis-lunar space -- the region around the -- which will serve as a proving ground for missions to and beyond, Lightfoot added.

First Published: Fri, October 06 2017. 13:21 IST
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