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Nasa laying the foundation for the Gateway to the stars

US goal: A man and a woman on the Moon in 2024, followed by a crewed mission to Mars

Under a blazing Florida sun one recent Friday afternoon at the sprawling Kennedy Space Centre (KSC), with Launch Pad 39B shimmering in the distance, some employees took a short break.

Biologists, engineers, astrophysicists and computer scientists came out on to the balconies with mobile phones and binoculars, peering at the aquamarine blue channel through the emerald green carpet of mangroves leading straight to the pier. Some walked out of their buildings to the pier and waited.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2019, with the headline 'Laying the foundation for the Gateway to the stars'. Print Edition | Subscribe