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US President Donald Trump signed a directive on 11 December that instructs NASA to send astronauts back to the Moon. 

The order comes with no specific time frame and, as yet, no funding. But the Trump administration had been signalling its interest in returning humans to the Moon's surface, raising lunar scientists' hopes for a formal change in policy.

“This is huge,” says David Kring, a geologist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, who has worked in recent years on possible lunar landing sites for astronauts.

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