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White House seizes on space to showcase US leadership

 Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The Trump administration has promised a permanent moon base as the centrepiece of a renaissance in the United States’ space leadership, amid omens of militarisation.

At a meeting of the National Space Council on 26 March, vice-president Mike Pence said the time had come for the US to make “the next giant leap” and build a permanent base on the moon.

“We will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars,” president Donald Trump said in a statement on the same day.

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