NASA will announce the American companies that will help US astronauts return to the moon.
The space company administrator Jim Bridenstine announces at 2:00 ET on Thursday. “Working with US companies is the next step to achieving long-term scientific studies and human exploration of the Moon and Mars,” NASA said in a statement.
The Trump Administration has cited Moon Mission as a key element of the 2019 NASA budget. President Donald Trump wants US astronauts to return to the moon as the basis for future Mars missions.
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In December Trump signed a policy directive instructing NASA to “refocus America’s Space Program for Human Exploration and Discovery.” The move, Trump said, “marks an important step to returning American astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972 for long-term exploration.”
The last time a human foot on the moon was during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. Only 12 men, all Americans, have set foot on the moon.
Mars also weighs heavily in America’s spaceframe. NASA’s long-term goal is to send a manned mission to the red planet in the 2030s.
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As part of this attempt, unmanned InSight Lander raided down on Mars surface Monday, the spacecraft’s first probe becomes now the red planet in six years /
Fox News Chris Ciaccia and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @ jamesjrogers