Trump Seems To Think The Moon Is Part Of Mars?

Eloise Marshall
June 8, 2019

Hours after NASA announced it will allow private companies and astronauts to use the International Space Station as the agency continues to focus on returning Americans to the moon in the coming years, President Donald Trump blasted the agency in a strongly worded tweet.

The 2024 landing will take place near the moon's south pole, where water ice appears to be common on the floors of permanently shadowed craters, and will involve at least one woman, NASA officials have said.

Trump wrote that the moon is a part of Mars, which may reference NASA's view of the moon as a jumping-off point for deeper human space exploration, but that's just speculation.

With 2024 the new target for "boots on the moon", the Trump administration added $1.6 billion to NASA's 2020 budget request on May 13.

Trump rarely tweets about space or NASA, leaving the agency in the hands of Pence and focusing more on its military aspects such as the creation of a "space force".

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"They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!"

In an article dryly datelined as being written "On Earth (of which NY is a part)", The Guardian suggested that Trump's tweet may have been "a comment on Nasa's broader plan to eventually travel to Mars from the moon". NASA has been energized by the lunar return mission, but the price now seems a possible threat to other NASA programs.

Trump tweeted his support for NASA in May, saying, "Under my administration, we are restoring NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars".

Last month, the president said he wanted to include an additional $1.6 billion in his budget so the United States could "return to Space in a BIG WAY!"

During his March speech at Marshall, Pence said that "after years of cost overruns and slipped deadlines, we're actually being told that the earliest we can get back to the moon is 2028". NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said Trump was only reaffirming NASA's space plan. On Friday he tweeted dismissively about NASA's upcoming moon missions - something he celebrated just last month.

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