Trump to Send Astronauts Back to the Moon

Sarah Rogers

Making America great again in space? During a White House signing ceremony, President Trump vowed that the United States will be a frontrunner in space exploration and that he will send astronauts back to the moon.  

Many former presidents, including George H.W Bush and George W. Bush, have tried to send NASA back to space but these presidents ideas got cut short when there were budget constraints. President Obama wanted NASA to be orbiting Mars by 2030, while Trump is shifting towards back towards the moon. Since NASA has already sent 12 men to the moon, sending them back would be less of a logistical challenge.

“I think that it would be really amazing if people went to the moon again.” said student, Ella Grace Collard. “There are a lot of people who don’t believe that anyone went to the moon in the first place, so we should show them that it is possible.”

NASA said initial funding for the new policy would be included in its budget request for the year 2019. The question is, where is the government going to get all the money from? Congress hasn’t given much information about where it’s coming from. Although, they have agreed to give the space agency $19.5 billion next year. This is roughly 3 percent less than what Congress approved for 2017.

On previous space missions the mode of transportation were the U.S space shuttles. The U.S. retired the space shuttle program in 2011, three decades after it began. The Shuttle was presented to the public in 1972 as a “space truck”. During the space shuttles life span, the shuttles flew 135 missions. Since the shuttle program ended, the U.S. has been forced to rely on Russian rockets, at the cost of $70 million per seat. The White House stated, “In the coming years the United States will launch astronauts on an American-made rocket and crew system.”

Trump’s move to continue the moon mission was based on recommendations from the National Space Council, which is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Jack Schmitt, who flew to the moon on the Apollo 17, were at the meeting and fully support Trump on sending astronauts back.

No human has stepped foot on the moon since Apollo 17 in December 1972. The directive that Trump signed will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery.