Amid the rapid advancement of national space programs in nations like China and India, President Donald Trump signed a new directive mandating America’s return to the moon, and further down the road, putting American boots on Mars.

The directive I’m signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery.  It marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972 for long-term exploration and use.” Trump said after signing the document titled, “Space Directive One.”

“This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars.  And perhaps, someday, to many worlds beyond.”

NASA recently announced yet another delay in its long-awaited Space Launch System rocket program.  The rocket, which promises to be the most powerful ever used by mankind once operational, has been plagued with delays, prompting lawmakers to remind the space fairing agency that the tax payers funding the space program are sure to begin growing frustrated by their repeated failures to meet deadlines if things don’t turn around soon.  Nonetheless, since that hearing last month, NASA has officially acknowledged that the SLS now won’t take to the skies until mid-2020.