Trump berates NASA for not talking about mission to Mars

Katie Ramirez
June 8, 2019

President Donald Trump on Friday upended his long-stated goal of returning American astronauts to the moon by the end of a potential second term, instead saying his federal space agency should focus instead on the further reaches of space.

There were several unclear aspects of the message, not least of which was Trump's description of Mars "of which the Moon is a part".

Nasa has not publicly responded to Trump's latest theory.

Donald Trump, the man in charge of the USA nuclear arsenal and the country's Commander-in-chief, says the moon is "a part" of Mars.

It also wasn't clear what prompted the president to issue the tweet.

"They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defence and science!" the commander in chief tweeted from aboard Air Force One while returning from D-Day commemoration in France.

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To make matters even murkier, Trump seemed pretty gung-ho about going to the moon just a month ago.

"I don't think he's too much aware of Mars", Collins opined of Trump. This interpretation seems at odds with what comes across as a downplaying of NASA's moon mission. Under NASA's plan, as many as two private astronauts per year could fly to the station and stay for up to 30 days on the space station - something estimated to cost $50 million per seat, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars", Trump tweeted at the time.

"As @POTUS said, @NASA is using the Moon to send humans to Mars!", he said on Friday in a tweet referring to the President of the United States. This came at a time when the White House updated its budget to include an additional $1.6 billion to support the agency's moon focus.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the additional money represented "a down payment on NASA's efforts to land humans on the moon by 2024".

Billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos last month unveiled a mock-up of a lunar lander being built by his Blue Origin rocket company and touted his moon goals as part of a strategy aimed at capitalizing on the Trump administration's push to establish a lunar outpost in just five years.

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