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Trump Signs Declaration To Send American Astronauts To The Moon, Mars

To commemorate the 45th anniversary of the last time humans walked on the moon, President Donald Trump announced a directive to send American astronauts back to deep space.

A spokesman for the Trump administration said "Space Policy Directive 1" will order NASA to lead a program that sends "American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars."

SEE MORE: Manned Moon Missions Ended After Apollo 17 — That Was 45 Years Ago

The announcement isn't all that surprising. In October, Vice President Mike Pence told the National Space Council that the Trump administration planned to return to the moon. And when the federal government passed NASA's $19.5 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year, it prioritized sending a manned space mission to Mars by 2033.

But Trump's plan isn't all that different from what NASA has been gearing up to do for a while. The space agency had already scheduled a mission to send humans to the moon in Orion by 2021

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