Published: Sat, June 08, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Trump Seems To Think The Moon Is Part Of Mars?

Trump Seems To Think The Moon Is Part Of Mars?

The administration already had established a return to the moon as the focus of NASA's deep space exploration program in Space Policy Directive No. 1, signed by the president during a White House ceremony on December 11, 2017.

Space Policy Online's Marcia Smith, meanwhile, pointed to speculation that the tweet might have been sparked by a Fox News interview during which NASA's chief financial officer was asked why NASA hasn't gotten farther in space since the days of Apollo, or a jesting suggestion made by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins on CNN that Trump might not "understand that there is a planet Mars".

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

Instead, Trump framed the moon program - unveiled by Vice President Mike Pence amid much fanfare less than three months ago - as being merely part of a bigger push to Mars.

U.S. President Donald Trump receives a NASA jacket during a signing ceremony for S442, the NASA transition authorization act, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 21, 2017.

"For all the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon - We did that 50 years ago".

"I don't think he's too much aware of Mars".

NASA subsequently began refining long-range plans to assemble a mini space station called Gateway in orbit around the moon in the mid 2020s and to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2028.

The tweet is at odds with a directive Trump signed in December 2017 to send USA astronauts back to the moon for the first time since 1972.

"I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!" he said.

"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.

Speaking in April, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said "this time, when we go to the Moon, we're actually going to stay".

Twitter users on Friday also seized on Trump's new claim that the moon is part of Mars.

It would be challenging for NASA to talk about humans on Mars without first talking about the moon.

So last month Trump said NASA was heading back to the Moon, but now is saying that the agency should "NOT be talking about" doing so. has reached out to NASA for comment.

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