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Prime Minister Morisson and President Trump. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Australia is set to invest $101 million into President Trump's efforts to achieve another Moon landing by 2024 and send future U.S. missions to Mars, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the investment while visiting NASA's headquarters in Washington, D.C., over the weekend. Morrison outlined the 5-year investment plan as part of a broader effort to triple the size of Australia's space sector and create 20,000 new jobs by 2030, per Reuters.

Between the lines: "The announcement came after Morrison made a state visit to the White House on Friday, with the red carpet rolled out, signaling Australia’s strong ties with the United States after a period of tense relations with China," Reuters' Lidia Kelly notes.

Go deeper: NASA's long trip back to the Moon

Go deeper

10 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.