NASA turns focus to the moon

The International Space Station is seen in silhouette from Northern Cascades National Park in Washington as it transits the Sun at roughly five miles per second during a solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls (PRNewsfoto/NASA)

WASHINGTON,  — The Moon became a key focus point for NASA in 2017, whether it was blocking out the Sun during one of the most-viewed events in U.S. history, or reinvigorating the agency’s human space exploration plans.

One of the numerous NASA-related activities and actions the Trump Administration did in 2017 was to reconstitute the National Space Council. During its first meeting on Oct. 5, Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to develop a plan to help extend human exploration across our solar system, and return astronauts to the Moon in preparation for human missions to Mars and other destinations.

The White House’s support of NASA in 2017 extended across the breadth of the agency’s activities, including:

  • President Trump signing the 2017 NASA Authorization Act in March
  • The President calling the International Space Station from the Oval Office in April and U.S. record-setting NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson following her landing in September
  • Vice President Pence visiting NASA’s Johnson Space Center in June, Kennedy Space Center in July, and Marshall Space Flight Center in September
  • The Vice President seeing spacecraft preparations in October for NASA’s next mission that will land on the Red Planet: InSight

“When you see highlights of NASA’s achievements over the year listed in one place, it’s pretty amazing what we’ve been able to achieve,” said acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot. “Seeing so many challenging efforts become completed accomplishments is a testament to the determination of our entire extended NASA team. While I’m proud of what we did in 2017, another full plate of missions awaits us in 2018 that will surely inspire with their discoveries and technological advances.

“And for the sixth year in a row, NASA has retained its standing as the number one large agency in the ‘Best Places to Work in Government’ rankings published by the Partnership for Public Service. I want to congratulate and commend our amazing workforce for their teamwork and dedication, which has enabled so many achievements in all our missions on behalf of the American people and the world.”

SOURCE NASA