HOUSTON - Nearly 50 years since man first went to the moon, President Trump may want to go back.
Leaked documents set the year 2020 as a deadline.
But how does that impact NASA’s plan to go to Mars?
Retired astronaut and author Clayton Anderson made two journeys to space.
“It’s just incredible,” said Anderson of his trips.
He doesn’t believe returning to the moon sounds too “far out.”
“Going back to the moon, to me and many of my astronaut colleagues, makes sense,” Anderson said.
Leaked White House documents first reported by Politico suggest the Trump administration wants to, among other things, go back to the moon within three years.
“But there’s a huge amount of work involved, this is hard to do,” Anderson said.
Anderson believes the moon could be a test-bed for eventual missions to Mars.
“And validate technologies, equipment, and the things on the moon that can help us do the same on Mars,” Anderson said.
NASA already has a plan to get to Mars sometime in the 2030s.
A spokesperson at Houston’s Johnson Space Center had no specific comment on the Trump leak.
”There is widespread recognition that NASA’s plan is clear, affordable, sustainable and attainable” NASA said in a statement. “This consensus is stretching not only across the aisle, but across the public, private, academic and non-profit sectors.”
“The United States of America should be the preeminent spacefaring nation in the entire world, always,” Anderson said.
He believes that should be everyone’s common mission.
The White House is reportedly interested in increasing private sector involvement in space travel as well.
Anderson says he supports commercial endeavors, but profit-focused space flight is a big issue for him.
Here’s NASA’s full statement:
"NASA is focused on the future – one that will improve the safety and efficiency of air travel; advance America’s technology and innovation leadership; see the full potential of research on the International Space Station; extend human presence deeper into space as part of our Journey to Mars; better understand our changing home planet from NASA’s unique platforms in space; foster and grow a commercial space industry that is ready to move to the next level and return the flight to American astronauts to U.S. soil, and advance new frontiers in our solar system and beyond.
"NASA believes that future leaders will be enthusiastic about continuing the important work that NASA has been engaged in over these past several years, including the Journey to Mars. This includes leaders both today and tomorrow; be they leaders in government, industry, academia and civic life.
"A consensus has been emerging in the scientific and policy communities around NASA’s Journey to Mars; specifically around our plan, timetable and strategy for sending human beings to Mars in the 2030s. There is widespread recognition that NASA’s plan is clear, affordable, sustainable and attainable. This consensus is stretching not only across the aisle, but across the public, private, academic and non-profit sectors. And, our international partners have expressed enthusiasm for the Journey to Mars."
(© 2017 KHOU)