President Donald Trump wants to send astronauts where no man has gone before.
Trump authorized the acting NASA administrator Robert M. Lightfoot Jr. to "lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars" during a White House signing ceremony.
Standing with retired astronauts and Vice President Mike Pence, Trump touted the initiative as the first step in establishing a foundation on the moon for "an eventual mission to Mars and perhaps someday to many worlds beyond."
"The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery," Trump said. "It marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972 for long-term exploration and use. This time we will not only plan on flag and leave our footprint."
Deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said Monday that Trump's directive came after the National Space Council sent recommendations to the President.