Arts & Entertainment

NASA is Going to the Moon for the First Time in 50 Years

It's been too long.
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NASA released a video officially marking its intentions to get astronauts back to the Moon and to travel beyond, sending the first human-manned missions to Mars. Americans haven't set foot on our Moon's rocky surface since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. It's been nearly a half-century, while our understanding of the solar system grows by leaps and bounds every day. It'll be good to be back.

The gears for a new Moon Mission have been turning since President Trump signed the 
Space Policy Directive-1 nearly a year ago. That directive tasked NASA with leading "an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities." The president followed that up by unveiling his plans for a new branch of the U.S. military, a "Space Force" that would protect American assets beyond the atmosphere. It seems the space race is back on.

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In September, NASA released its five-step plan for returning to the Moon, one that promises human landings by the late 2020s. Exploration of the Moon will also inform our ventures to Mars; NASA plans to send manned missions there in the 2030s. That all brings us to NASA's new video, which makes the mission accessible to Americans while throwing around inspiring phrases like "pioneering spirit" and "human spirit" and "star sailors." Narrated by actor Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs (sure), it's pretty hype.

Sometimes government propaganda calling for strong American leadership in the solar system is fun.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.comMinor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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