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Trump seeks extra $1.6bn for Nasa to return to the moon by 2024

Washington — The Trump administration has asked Congress to increase National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) spending in 2020 by an extra $1.6bn as a “down payment” to accommodate the accelerated goal of returning Americans to the surface of the moon by 2024. The increased funding request, announced by President Donald Trump on Twitter, comes nearly two months after vice-president Mike Pence declared the objective of shortening by four years Nasa’s previous timeline for putting astronauts back on the moon for the first time since 1972. The proposed increase would bring Nasa’s…