President Donald Trump is scheduled to sign his administration's first space policy directive in a White House ceremony December 11, one that will formally direct NASA to send humans back to the moon.
The policy calls for NASA to "lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and global partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities".
Trump said, "The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery".
Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement that the new policy reflects recommendations from the National Space Council, a White House advisory panel Trump appointed earlier in the year.
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The US President spoke of his grand plans to explore the galaxy as he launched a new space policy directive yesterday.
'We will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond'.
"[The move] marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972 for long-time exploration", he said.
The ceremony also featured a moon rock 3.8 billion years old, collected by Mr Schmitt's Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
With this, Trump is also putting the vision of former president George W. Bush back on the map.
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"And if we can all stay focused on the same goal, we'll be okay", Lightfoot said. NASA said it would include funding for the new policy in its 2019 budget.
Lunar sample 70215 was retrieved from the Moon's surface and returned by Mr Schmitt's Apollo 17 crew.
Only 12 men have set foot on the Moon - all have been Americans.
The policy halts NASA's current work to send astronauts to an asteroid.
"Imagine the possibility waiting in those big lovely stars if we dare to dream big".
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Under the directive, the US Government is also expected to work closely with other nations and private industry.