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Australia to help Trump reach the moon, and beyond

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U.S. President Donald Trump and Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison chat throughout an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S. September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia will make investments A$150 million ($101 million) in its firms and expertise to help U.S. President Donald Trump’s bid for a moon touchdown by 2024 and subsequent U.S. missions to Mars, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated over the weekend.

Morrison, visiting NASA headquarters in Washington, stated the five-year funding plan would help companies help U.S. automation programs, construct gear for area craft and play a job in mineral exploration.

“We’re backing Australian businesses to the moon, and even Mars, and back,” Morrison stated.

The announcement got here after Morrison made a state go to to the White House on Friday, with the crimson carpet rolled out, signaling Australia’s sturdy ties with the United States after a interval of tense relations with China.

The funding is a part of a broader Australian plan to beef up its area sector, with Morrison saying the authorities needs to triple the dimension of the sector to A$12 billion and create some 20,000 further jobs by 2030.

Trump, when requested at a joint information convention with Morrison about the U.S. area program, stated the focus was on Mars.

“We’re stopping at the moon,” he stated, in accordance to a transcript.

“The moon is actually a launching pad. That’s why we’re stopping at the moon. I said, ‘hey, we’ve already done the moon. That’s not so exciting’. They said, ‘no, sir, it’s a launching pad for Mars’. So we’ll be doing the moon but we’ll really be doing Mars.”

Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Robert Birsel

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