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US wants astronauts back on Moon within five years: Pence

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Vice President Mike Pence announced Tuesday that the United States intends to send astronauts back to the Moon within five years, with a woman first in line to set foot on the lunar surface.

“It is the stated policy of this administration and the United States of America to return American astronauts to the Moon, within the next five years,” Pence said in a speech in Huntsville, Alabama.

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“Let me be clear, the first woman and the next man on the Moon will both be American astronauts launched by American rockets from American soil,” he said.

The first manned Moon mission in more than half a century had been scheduled for 2028.

But the program has encountered frustrating delays in the development of a new heavy rocket for the Moon missions, the SLS, whose first flight was recently pushed back to 2021.

In his speech, Pence criticized the “bureaucratic inertia” and “paralysis by analysis” that he said had resulted in the SLS delays, and called for a “new mindset” at the space agency.

He threatened to use commercial launch systems if NASA is not ready in time.

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“If commercial rockets are the only way to get American astronauts to the Moon in the next five years, then commercial rockets it will be,” he said.

“Urgency must be our watchword. Failure to achieve our goal to return an American astronaut to the Moon in the next five years is not an option.”

NASA’s chief, Jim Bridenstine, recently said a woman would undoubtedly be the first human to set foot on the Moon since 1972, the last time there was a manned mission to the Moon.

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GOP senator flops hard when CNN’s Tapper asks him to name one case where Trump cared about foreign corruption

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Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) on Friday furiously tried to deflect when CNN's Jake Tapper asked him to name one instance other than Ukraine where President Donald Trump held up foreign aid to a country because he was concerned it was not fighting corruption.

During an interview, Tapper asked Lankford if he agreed that Trump's primary concern in holding up military assistance to Ukraine was because he sincerely wanted to root out corruption in the country rather than urge it to investigate his political opponents.

"Yes, I do actually think he's concerned about corruption and the people of Ukraine," the senator replied.

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Fox & Friends audience revolts after Geraldo Rivera hammers ‘diminished’ Rudy Giuliani

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"Fox & Friends" hosts were shocked by Geraldo Rivera's blunt assessment of Rudy Giuliani -- who had appeared on the show a short time earlier.

President Donald Trump's attorney spun wild claims about Joe Biden's dealings in Ukraine, as the Senate considers impeachment charges involving Giuliani's own actions there and the president's pressure scheme against its government, and Rivera expressed shock and alarm.

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New report blows the lid off a shadowy Christian nationalist group’s effort to re-write the law

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Bills that that are popping up in Tennessee and other states which seek to discriminate against LGBTQ people and bring religion into the public sphere are no coincidence; they're the result of a coordinate effort by Project Blitz -- a consortium of three Christian nationalist groups: the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, the National Legal Foundation, and the Wallbuilders.

Washington Monthly spoke to Fred Clarkson, who's been studying the Christian right for decades, and he says that these bills "reflect the theocratic vision that’s animated a meaningful portion of the Christian Right for some time." According to Clarkson, Project Blitz's strategy is to divide their "model legislation" into three categories, depending on how much opposition each bill is expected to receive:

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