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NASA plans longer stay on Moon, Mars

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Three U.S. astronauts and one Italian will carry out research that will help the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to prepare for longer duration stays on the Moon and Mars, the NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, has said.

The astronauts and the Italian arrived in the International Space Station (ISS) some 16 hours after blasting off from the Earth for the investigation.

They are U.S. astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins as well as Samantha Cristoforetti, an astronaut from the European Space Agency (ESA).

“Kjell, Bob, Jessica, and Samantha will carry out research investigations that will help NASA prepare for longer duration stays on the Moon and eventually Mars,’’ Nelson said.

NASA said the new crew was to replace the astronauts currently stationed onboard the ISS, including the German Matthias Maurer.

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