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Nasa will return to the surface of the moon 'sooner than you think'

Working with US companies is the next step to achieving long-term scientific study and human exploration of the Moon and Mars

IANS  |  Washington 

The moon is seen near the Illimani mountain during a full lunar eclipse in La Paz, Bolivia, July 27, 2018. Photo: Reuters
The moon is seen near the Illimani mountain during a full lunar eclipse in La Paz, Bolivia, July 27, 2018. Photo: Reuters

After the historic touchdown on Mars, is now set to focus on by announcing new partnerships with American companies, the US space agency said.

Working with US companies is the next step to achieving long-term scientific study and human exploration of the Moon and Mars, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We are announcing partnerships with American companies... The US is returning to the surface of the Moon, and we're doing it sooner than you think!" Jim Bridenstine, tweeted.

The agency will reveal details about its endeavour to return to the moon at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

NASA will unveil the names of future partners chosen to send astronauts back to the Moon, for the first time in nearly five decades.

Known as the "Moon to Mars" project, NASA will lead an innovative and sustainable exploration of the Moon together with commercial and international partners.

The initiative falls under the Space Policy Directive-1, signed by US in December 2017.

"The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space programme on human exploration and discovery. It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use," Trump had said.

"This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints -- we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, worlds beyond."

First Published: Wed, November 28 2018. 13:08 IST
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