NASA had already stated that if the US government authorized it, the priority of the space agency would be to return to the moon. It turns out that the current administration has just given NASA the green light for a new manned mission to our satellite, with the authorization of the American Vice President Mike Pence, who has signed an executive order to reinstate the National Space Council.
Last Thursday, the council met for the first time in about twenty-five years, and Mike Pence, as the director made his idea clear, to the united states to lead again the space exploration, passing thus again ahead of China and Russia in the never ending space race.
Pence also explained that it is crucial for the United States to have proprietary space technology back in space in order to protect the satellites responsible for surveillance, communication and navigation systems from hacker attack.
The reason why the focus of a human mission has left Mars for now, to focus on our neighbor Moon, is because it is crucial for Pence to affirm the American presence in the celestial body closest to us, for strategy purposes.
This is not the first time that the United States opts for the moon instead of some point farther from our solar system, in last August, former astronaut Chris Hardfield had already said that it was very important to properly explore the moon, and to prove that we still had the capacity to go there, as we did the last time.
Of course this is only a first step in space travel, and Vice President Pence says that the United States maintains its intention to be the first country to send humans to Mars, although its impetus in manned missions to Mars, is merely for a commercial reason and not for scientific exploration.