Donald Trump Signs Directive to Send Astronauts Back to Moon

US President Donald Trump has directed Nasa to plan a crewed mission to the Moon for the first time since 1972, reported BBC.

It will focus on long-term explorations and use of the Moon's surface, in partnership with the private sector.

Mr Trump also said the program would lay the foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, although he did not give a date for this.

Learning to fly with NASA’s spacewalk simulator (VIDEO)

What you’re looking at is not a production set photo from Gravity, but rather a training simulation for Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen. He’s suspended over a mockup of the International Space Station (ISS), while attached to the Active Response Gravity Offload System (ARGOS) at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Russia & US will cooperate to build moon’s first space station

Russia and the United States have agreed to cooperate on a NASA-led programme to build the first lunar space station, part of a long-term project to send humans to Mars.

The US space agency said earlier this year that it was exploring a programme called the Deep Space Gateway, a multi-stage project to push further into the solar system.

Private firms drive 'new space race'

For the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011, NASA says it may soon have the capability to send astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil.

Critical milestones are on the horizon for Boeing and SpaceX, the space agency's commercial crew partners: Flight tests of their spacecraft, including crewed missions, are planned for 2018.