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Scientists expect the mission to yield a bounty of new information about the moon, but don’t count on the U.S. sending astronauts back anytime soon. The Constellation program was canceled last year by President Barack Obama, who favors landing on an asteroid as a stepping stone to Mars.

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Online:

Mission details: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/grail/news/index.html

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Follow Alicia Chang’s coverage at http://www.twitter.com/SciWriAlicia