WASHINGTON - U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas) today released the following statements after President Trump signed Space Policy Directive – 1 urging NASA to return Americans to the Moon and encourage human space exploration to Mars and beyond.

Chairman Smith: “By signing this directive, President Trump has again shown that, under his administration, America will be a leader in space exploration. Going back to the Moon as the precursor to further exploration will enable NASA to test new systems and equipment critical for future missions, like the human exploration of Mars. Going back to the Moon achieves more than just the practical benefits; it will teach our children and grandchildren to dream big and strive to achieve what others think impossible. The innovations, inventions and ideas that they come up with, inspired by exploring the Moon and Mars, will fuel future aspirations to explore worlds beyond Mars. This administration’s dedication to space is a refreshing change from the past eight years.”

Chairman Babin: “By signing this space policy directive and refocusing America’s space program on human spaceflight exploration, the President has ensured America’s leadership in space and prioritized our return to the Moon and future manned missions to Mars. Under the President’s leadership, we are now on the verge of a new generation of American greatness and leadership in space – leading us to once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil.”