By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said that President Donald Trump’s new Space Policy Directive will lead to humans colonies on the moon and a human mission to Mars.
Trump signed the President Space Policy Directive 1 (SPD-1) on Monday. According to SPD-1, NASA will lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system, and to bring back to earth new knowledge and opportunities. This program will begin with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations.
“Alabama has a long history with the space program and NASA. Our state is proud to be home to the titans of innovation who brought the world the Saturn V rocket and who are now working on the Space Launch System, which will take our next generation of explorers back to the moon and to Mars. I applaud President Trump and NASA for the clear vision that continued space exploration is the next frontier. Alabamians have proven that their ingenuity and determination are unstoppable. We will take this new task and work tirelessly to send Americans safely to the moon and beyond,” Gov. Ivey said.
Huntsville is home to the Marshall Space Flight Center where the Saturn V rockets were developed and constructed, which is doing much of the design work on the new Space Launch System.
“The directive I’m signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery. 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 plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars. And perhaps, someday, to many worlds beyond,” Pres. Trump said.
“This directive will ensure America’s space program once again leads and inspires all of humanity,” the president said. “After braving the vast unknown and discovering the new world, our forefathers did not only merely sail home — and, in some cases, never to return. They stayed, they explored, they built, they guided, and through that pioneering spirit, they imagined all of the possibilities that few dared to dream.”
“Imagine the possibilities waiting in those big, beautiful stars if we dare to dream big,” Trump said. “And that’s what our country is doing again: We’re dreaming big. This is a giant step toward that inspiring future and toward reclaiming America’s proud destiny in space. And space has so much to do with so many other applications, including a military application. So we are the leader and we’re going to stay the leader, and we’re going to increase it many-fold.”
Vice President Mike Pence was also present in his capacity as chairman of the National Space Council. “Mr. President, in signing this space policy directive, you are ensuring that America will lead in space once again. To guide this new era of American space leadership, President Trump has relaunched the National Space Council. And at the Council’s inaugural meeting in October, we unanimously approved a recommendation to instruct NASA to return American astronauts to the moon, and from there to lay a foundation for a mission to Mars,” VP Pence said.
“In pursuing these objectives, Mr. President, we will, as you said, enhance our national security and our capacity to provide for the common defense of the people of the United States of America,” Pence said. “We will also spur innovation, as the space program has always done, Mr. President. You’ve reflected on it often, and we’ll see jobs created that we couldn’t even imagine could be created today. We’ll also ensure, lastly, that the rules and values of space exploration are written with American leadership and American values.”
“Mr. President, you’ve said that the pioneer spirit has always defined America,” VP Pence added. “And by your action today, with this clear vision — returning Americans to the moon, preparing to lead to Mars and beyond — you’re ensuring, Mr. President, that America will lead in space in the future and for generations to come. And I thank you for the honor of being a part of this.”
The SLS and the Orion module are the spaceships for a new generation of space explorers. The SLS marries the solid rocket booster of the space shuttle with the massive rocket used in the Saturn program as well as fourth generation rocket engines currently under testing. The Orion module will carry cargo and humans into high Earth orbit and beyond the confines of Earth’s orbit for the first time since the Apollo program.