On Friday, Donald Trump turned to Twitter to tell NASA that it should focus on landing on Mars rather than going to the moon.
Trump’s tweet read: “For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years ago. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!”
Trump’s tweet reads as though he believes that Mars is part of the Moon and left a lot of people questioning Trump’s knowledge of the planets in our solar system.
His tweet came just one day after Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, stated that the agency would not be able to meet the 2024 deadline to put astronauts on the moon unless additional funding is approved by Congress.
NASA says that its planned expedition to the moon offers an important opportunity to test “new tools, instruments, and equipment” for future Mars exploration.
It did not take Twitter uses long to comment on Trump’s confusing tweet.
“frank sinatra voice. Fly me to the moon. Let me play among the stars. Let me tell you facts I know. The moon is part of Mars.” Rachel Syme tweeted,
Paul Tompkins tweeted “Please please it’s easy to make jokes about Trump’s clumsy wording that makes it sound like he thinks the moon is part of Mars but let’s not lose sight of the funniest part of this, which is this was Mike Pence’s one thing.”
Ariel Edwards Levy tweeted that “The best thing about this is that now there’s going to be partisan gap in favorability ratings of the moon.”
“So this week Trump continued his feud with a dead man, picked a new one with Bette Midler, attacked a royal family member, said Ireland should build a wall on its border with N. Ireland, that he didn’t serve in Vietnam b/c it was far away, & the moon was part of Mars. Cool cool,” another user tweeted,
NASA’s current plans to go to the moon have been named Artemis, after the Greek goddess of hunting, who was the twin sister of Apollo. Bridenstine says that the mission will put the first woman on the moon.
Back in December of 2017, Trump signed the Space Policy Directive 1, which is an executive order that outlined NASA’s mission priorities. The order did not set a timeline for the missions until just a few months ago.
The focal point of NASA’s plan is a space station called the Gateway. The Gateway is a space station, but it won’t orbit the Earth. The space station plans have it orbiting the move. It would serve as a launching ground for missions to the lunar surface. The plans have the Gateway being built up over the next decade into a robust space station.
NASA’s 2024 goal seems unattainable especially with funding still in question. Trump’s insane tweet just adds more speculation and doubt to the mission’s future.