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Florida Leaders Applaud President's Commitment To NASA Moon Missions

President Trump delivers his 2020 State of the Union Address. Photo/Screen Grab: C-SPAN
President Trump delivers his 2020 State of the Union Address. Photo/Screen Grab: C-SPAN

Florida leaders are applauding President Trump’s commitment to NASA’s new moon-shot program Artemis -- the agency’s efforts to land humans on the moon by 2024.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday, Trump called on Congress to fully fund NASA’s Artemis program.

“It was good to see him articulate his interest and commitment to getting us back to the moon and then on to Mars,” said Space Florida's Dale Ketcham.

A commitment to the program is good for the state economically. "It clearly is the main driver for what's happening out at Kennedy Space Center with the SLS and Orion program. And so a commitment to that is obviously important," said Ketcham.

But that plan could hit a snag. The House released a bill that would largely go against the White House’s direction to establish a permanent presence on the moon. Instead, it would steer NASA toward Mars. The President’s budget request for 2020, including NASA funding, is expected next week.

The nod to NASA's Artemis program drew praise from Republican Congressman Bill Posey, whose district includes Florida's Space Coast. “I was pleased to hear the President talk about space and its importance to our national security and future,” said Posey in a statement. 

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program. Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration, and the weekly news roundup podcast "The Wrap."