United States targets return to Moon in 2024

NASA John Young salutes the U.S. flag at the Descartes landing site on the moon during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity. NASA says the astronaut who walked on the moon and later commanded the first

The directorate would be responsible for spearheading all aspects of the mission from the continued development of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, to the "formulation and execution of exploration development activities".

"Urgency must be our watch word".

President Trump issued the Space Policy Directive 1, calling upon NASA to return astronauts to the Moon, in December 2017. It doesn't help that, even as it allocated a relatively meager amount of money towards a Moon visit, the current administration is gutting other NASA projects including educational efforts that could be producing the next crop of American scientists. In fact, China's far-side Moon rover landing that Pence used as a scare tactic in his speech has proven to be a boon for NASA, with China agreeing to let NASA use its new satellite relay system for future USA missions to the Moon. Rather than aiming for its previous 2028 date, NASA has been directed to get American astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024, and the agency's administrator has released a positive statement about the ambitious goal.

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"Let me be clear, the first woman and the next man on the Moon will both be American astronauts launched by American rockets from American soil", he said. He also announced the goal of establishing a constant U.S. presence on the Moon as a basis for future NASA missions to Mars. "It's time for the next giant leap", Mr Pence said, alluding to the words spoken by the first Moonwalker Neil Armstrong in 1969. The council unites the interests of groups working on commercial, scientific, and national security space operations from a policy perspective. "My hope is that there is no "back to the moon" with special emphasis on national interests, such as 50 years ago, but that we "go forward to the moon" in worldwide cooperation".

Americans will return to the Moon for long-term exploration, followed by missions to Mars and beyond.

Vice President Mike Pence waves from Air Force Two as he arrives in Huntsville to chair the fifth National Space Council meeting held at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in Huntsville, Ala. Then NASA ended the Apollo program and to this day people no longer flew to the moon. All Points, a resident of the research park for 10 years, has added 12,000 square feet to include additional executive offices to accommodate support staff to better serve All Point's Redstone Arsenal and NASA customers.

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