Why is NASA returning astronauts to Moon?

NASA has accepted a challenge from the Donald Trump administration to return humans to the Moon by 2024, four years ahead of the US space agency's earlier set target. Making it official by all means, the US Vice President Mike Pence said, Just as the United Nations was the first country to reach the moon in the 20th Century, so too will be the first nation to return astronauts to the moon in the 21st Century.

Moon to Mars

The press release said, if we bring together the capabilities and resources of our international and commercial partners to take us forward to the Moon and on to Mars, we will demonstrate to people around the world the power of a unified purpose. The moon is a testbed for Mars. It provides an opportunity to demonstrate new technologies that could help build self-sustaining outposts off Earth.
Key takeaways from NASA's press release, 

NASA is charged to get American astronauts to the moon in the next five years. We are tasked with landing on the moon's the South Pole by 2024. Stay on schedule for flying Exploration Mission-1 with Orion on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket next year, and for sending the first crewed mission to the lunar vicinity by 2022. NASA will continue to use all means necessary to ensure mission success in moving us forward to the moon.

So, it is now the official policy of the US to return astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024, the vice president stressed, invoking a 21st-century space race with China and Russia.
Vice President Mike Pence announced that the US plans to land astronauts on the Moon within the next five years, the media reported.

Key points from US president Mike Pence speech

It is the right time for this challenge, and I assured the Vice President that we, the people of NASA, are up to the challenge.

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