President Trump holds up an astronaut toy alongside former US Senator and Apollo 17 Astronaut Jack Schmitt, right, after a signing ceremony for Space Policy Directive 1, with the aim of returning Americans to the Moon.
"[The move] marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972 for long-time exploration", he said.
'This time we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, ' he said.
The directive, which came on the 45th anniversary of Apollo 17's landing on the moon, called for collaboration with commercial companies and other nations, but it did not specify when the moon mission would occur or how much it might cost.
The President said he was taking a giant step toward "reclaiming America's proud destiny in space".
In September, Trump nominated Representative Jim Bridenstine, a Republican from Oklahoma, to be the next NASA administrator.
"The next generation will dream even bigger and reach higher as we launch challenging new missions, and make new discoveries and technological breakthroughs on this dynamic path", he said.
Both the president and the vice president said today that NASA's focus on its human spaceflight program will help create jobs for the country, and both men briefly mentioned the defense and military applications of the space program.
"The moon will be a stepping-stone, a training ground, a venue to strengthen our commercial and global partnerships as we refocus America's space program toward human space exploration".
Astrobotic, a Pittsburgh-based startup that spun out of Carnegie Mellon University, praised Trump's announcement, urging Nasa to rend robotic landers to the moon starting in 2020 in advance of a human return. The U.S. commercial space industry has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital to develop innovative capabilities for lunar transport, operations, and resource utilization.
Warm weather continues, but wind and rain are on the way
Office meteorologist Charles Powell also warned temperatures could drop even lower than last week as northerly gales blast the UK. Monday is expected to be sunny, with a high temperature in the upper 40s, according to the National Weather Service .