President Donald Trump is scheduled to sign his administration's first space policy directive in a White House ceremony December 11, one that will formally direct NASA to send humans back to the moon.
In a release noting highlights of the administration's space policy, the White House said Trump would "create incentives for private industry" to assist in pursuing its goals of exploration and the development of new technology.
He was asked by CNBC host Jim Cramer if he believed Boeing or SpaceX would "get a man on Mars first", to which Muilenburg replied, "Eventually we're going to go to Mars, and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket". However, Space Policy Directive 1 is now only an empty order without the funds to back it up.
Past presidents, including George HW Bush and George W Bush, have also proposed returning to the Moon and missions to Mars, but budget constraints derailed their plans.
The policy halts NASA's current work to send astronauts to an asteroid.
President Trump signed the order during a ceremony in the Oval Office, surrounded by members of the recently re-established National Space Council, or NSC (which provides recommendations to the president on space policy), as well as active NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch and Peggy Whitson, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and retired astronaut Jack Schmitt, who flew to the moon on the Apollo 17 mission.
Mr Trump also said the program would lay the foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, although he did not give a date for this.
And his excitement was evident in his four-minute speech at the White House when he said: "This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint", reported IANS.
Lunar sample 70215 was retrieved from the Moon's surface and returned by Mr Schmitt's Apollo 17 crew.
"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.
Under the directive, the US Government is also expected to work closely with other nations and private industry.