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NASA admin: The US is returning to the moon 'sooner than you think'

The Thursday announcement is part of the a long-term plan to study the Moon and Mars.


A valley on the Moon.

Davy van der Hoeven

The US is returning to the Moon.

NASA  will unveil new "Moon partnerships" with US companies on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET, the space agency said in a blog post. Partnering with private enterprise is the next step for the US's long-term study and exploration of the Moon and Mars, the space agency said.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will make the announcement, which will be webcast live on the agency's site

The blog post is vexingly thin on details, but Bridenstine offered some hints in a tweet earlier this week, saying the US is headed to the Moon "sooner than you think."

The news comes just days after NASA landed its InSight probe on the surface of Mars. The solar-powered lander, the eighth NASA spacecraft to land on the planet, has already sent back images of the Martian surface.