“At a time when China is working on an ambitious lunar program, President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States will remain the leader in space exploration as he began a process to return Americans to the moon,” Steve Holland reports for Reuters.

“‘We are the leader and we’re going to stay the leader, and we’re going to increase it many fold,’ Trump said in signing ‘Space Policy Directive 1’ that establishes a foundation for a mission to the moon and eventually, to Mars,” Holland reports. “Trump’s signing ceremony for the directive included former lunar astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Jack Schmitt and current astronaut Peggy Whitson, whose 665 days in orbit is more time in space than any other American and any other woman worldwide.”

Holland reports, “Trump said he was taking a giant step toward ‘reclaiming America’s proud destiny in space.'”

Read more in the full article here.

“Trump said NASA would not only return to the lunar surface but use it as a stepping stone to explore even deeper into the cosmos,” Christian Davenport reports for The Washington Post. “‘The directive I’m signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery,’ he 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 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. This directive will ensure America’s space program once again leads and inspires all of humanity.'”

“The policy directive marks the official reversal of the Obama administration’s plan to visit an asteroid and fly to Mars by the mid-2030s,” Davenport reports. “It also makes it clear that the Trump administration wants to explore the moon in partnership with the private sector and other countries. The directive says that ‘the moon is of interest to international partners and is within reach of America’s private space industry.'”

“But presidents have promised Apollo-like ambitions for generations, and Trump is now the third consecutive Republican president to vow a return to the moon,” Davenport reports. “While Trump offered scant specifics about how NASA would return to the moon, or how much such an endeavor would cost, the difference this time is that his administration would attempt to leverage the growing private sector for the mission. In addition to Moon Express, several commercial companies, including the United Launch Alliance, SpaceX and Blue Origin have announced plans to return to the moon… Some think they will be the key that could give Trump a space triumph.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, the 3rd time’s the charm!

As we wrote back in February 2016:

A U.S. President with true leadership abilities would immediately boost NASA’s budget ten-fold (at the very least) and patiently explain to the naysayers why it is important to push the envelope and that NASA’s budget, even with a ten-fold increase, is barely a drop in the ocean.

There hasn’t been a U.S. President with a vision of the future beyond his own term(s) and the nu… guts to stand by his beliefs in the face of PITA whiners who want every single last cent to blow on wasteful, redundant boondoggles (which somehow magically materialize into waterfront homes for lobbyists) since… we can’t remember when.

Imagine a Steve Jobs as U.S. President 30, 40 years ago. People would be living on the moon and Mars today with outposts on Europa.

It’s been 43 years, 1 month, and 28 days since man last set foot on the moon. Every person on earth should be profoundly embarrassed by that fact.

“The United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward, and so will space.” — President John F. Kennedy

“There are so many benefits to be derived from space exploration and exploitation; why not take what seems to me the only chance of escaping what is otherwise the sure destruction of all that humanity has struggled to achieve for 50,000 years?” — Isaac Asimov

“Earth is too small a basket for mankind to keep all its eggs in.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“It’s too bad, but the way American people are, now that they have all this capability, instead of taking advantage of it, they’ll probably just piss it all away.” —  President Lyndon B. Johnson, overheard during a visit to the Apollo 7 crew in training, 1968.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

NASA goes social to take its case directly to the people – February 10, 2016
How NASA landed a Mac on Mars using MacBook Pros – August 14, 2012
NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity essentially has same brain as Apple’s Bondi Blue iMac G3 – August 6, 2012
NASA control room packed with Apple Macs during Mars Curiosity rover landing – August 6, 2012