President Trump Wants Americans Back On the Moon. What That Means For Colorado and Science.

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Photo:Astronaut on Moon
Apollo 12 astronaut Charles Conrad Jr. stands beside the United States flag after it was unfurled on the lunar surface in 1969.

President Donald Trump wants to send Americans back to the moon. His Space Policy Directive 1, signed last month, reverses the Obama administration goal of heading directly to Mars. The "moon first" approach has some advantages, Doug Duncan, director emeritus at the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, tells Colorado Matters' host Nathan Heffel. He points out that we still have a lot to learn about how the human body responds to long stretches of time in space. "I believe in practicing before you jump."

For now it's unclear what, if any, changes the new policy will have on the development of the Orion Spacecraft. Multiple Colorado companies are working on the deep space vehicle, including Lockheed Martin in Littleton, SEAKR Engineering in Centennial, and EnerSys Advanced Systems in Longmont. Colorado has the second largest aerospace economy in the nation according to the Colorado Space Coalition.

Photo:Trump signs Space Directive
President Donald Trump signed the Space Policy Directive 1, directing NASA to return to the moon, on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017.

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