NASA set to announce partners for Moon missions

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NASA is ready to announce the U.S. firms that may assist take American astronauts again to the Moon.

The area company’s Administrator Jim Bridenstine will make the announcement at 2 p.m. ET Thursday. “Working with U.S. firms is the following step to reaching long-term scientific research and human exploration of the Moon and Mars,” NASA mentioned in an announcement.

The Trump administration has cited Moon missions a key factor of the 2019 NASA finances. President Donald Trump needs U.S. astronauts to return to the Moon as a basis for future Mars missions.

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In December, Trump signed a coverage directive instructing NASA to “refocus America’s area program on human exploration and discovery.” The transfer, Trump mentioned, “marks an vital step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the primary time since 1972 for long-time exploration.”

The final time a human set foot on the Moon was in the course of the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. Solely 12 males, all People, have set foot on the Moon.

Mars additionally looms massive in America’s area future. NASA’s long-term objective is to ship a manned mission to the Pink Planet within the 2030s.

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As half this effort, NASA’s unmanned InSight Lander touched down on the Martian floor Monday, changing into the area company’s first probe to achieve the Pink Planet in six years/

Fox Information Chris Ciaccia and The Related Press contributed to this text. Observe James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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