1. From Mars to the moon
On December 11, 2017, Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, which officially called for NASA to begin work on a human exploration program that would return astronauts to the surface of the moon and lay the groundwork for a sustained presence (i.e., a lunar colony). This was a pivot from President Obama’s directions for NASA to build a program that would take humans to Mars in the 2030s and establish a sustained presence there. The plan was for the moon missions to utilize the architectures being developed for Mars, such as the next-generation Space Launch System and the Orion deep space crew capsule.
Early last year, the administration accelerated the timeline for the return to 2024. “The common thread among many of the policy options, transition and industry officials said, is a focus on projects able to attract widespread voter support that realistically