During a news conference on Monday, President Donald Trump heralded a new executive order geared toward reinvigorating space exploration, and putting Americans on Mars.
“This is a giant step toward that aspiring future, and toward reclaiming America's proud destiny in space,” Trump said. The executive order, according to CBS News, directed NASA to lead a program sending astronauts to both Mars and the Moon.
Recalling the U.S.'s “pioneering spirit,” Trump implied America's next step was to “begin new journeys of exploration and discovery” in space.
“This directive will ensure America's space program once again leads and inspires all of humanity,” he also said.
Vice President Mike Pence similarly praised Trump for signing Monday's order and harped on exploring the moon as a way to achieve U.S. objectives:
“Establishing a renewed American presence on the moon is vital to achieve our strategic objectives and the objectives outlined by our National Space Council. In pursuing these objectives, Mr. President, we will, as you said, enhance our national security and our capacity to provide for the common defense of the people of the United States of America. We will also spur innovation. As the space program has always done Mr. President, you've reflected on it often, and we'll see jobs created that we couldn't even imagine could be created today. We'll also ensure lastly that the rules and values of space expiration are written with American leadership and American values.”
Watch the news conference below, via Fox News.