NASA ought to NOT be speaking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years in the past,” Donald Trump tweeted
President Donald Trump on Friday criticized NASA for selling its plan to return to the moon earlier than human exploration of Mars, a technique that Trump endorsed in a directive early in his tenure and championed as lately as final month.
“For the entire cash we’re spending, NASA ought to NOT be speaking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years in the past,” Trump said on Twitter. “They need to be targeted on the a lot larger issues we’re doing, together with Mars (of which the Moon is a component), Protection and Science!”
The tweet, despatched from Air Power One as Trump returned from a visit to Europe, didn’t clarify whether or not he thinks the technique ought to be totally deserted or whether or not he was extra involved about how NASA was branding the technique.
A White Home official sought to downplay any distinction between what Trump had tweeted and present coverage.
“Our Administration’s objective has at all times been to get to Mars,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity, in an email. “Now we have requested Congress for extra sources to get to the Moon by 2024, which is able to allow us to get to Mars roughly a decade after making a sustainable presence on the lunar floor. Beneath POTUS, America is main once more in area.”
A tweet later Friday by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine did little to make clear the affect of Trump’s tweet.
“As @POTUS stated, @NASA is utilizing the Moon to ship people to Mars!” the tweet said. “Proper now, @MarsCuriosity and @NASAInSight are on Mars and can quickly be joined by the Mars 2020 rover and the Mars helicopter.”
Trump’s tweet was despatched shortly after Fox Enterprise host Neil Cavuto questioned on air why NASA is “refocusing on the moon, the subsequent type of quest, if you’ll” and asked: “However did not we do that moon factor fairly just a few a long time in the past?”
The coverage of first going again to the moon grew from a unanimous suggestion by the brand new Nationwide Area Council, chaired by Vice President Pence, after its first assembly in October 2017.
At a ceremony the place Trump signed a directive concerning the coverage two months later, he stated first returning to the moon would “set up a basis for an eventual mission to Mars, and maybe sometime, to many worlds past.”
In a tweet three weeks in the past, Trump touted his administration’s dedication to area exploration, writing: “Beneath my Administration, we’re restoring @NASA to greatness and we’re going again to the Moon, then Mars.”
In a fiery speech in March, Pence introduced that NASA was shifting its timeline for touchdown people again on the moon up by 4 years, to 2024. He solid the mission as a part of a brand new area race in opposition to superpowers reminiscent of Russia and China, which landed a spacecraft on the far aspect of the moon earlier this yr.
In public paperwork, NASA has argued that “exploration of the Moon and Mars is intertwined.”
“The Moon offers a possibility to check new instruments, devices and gear that may very well be used on Mars, together with human habitats, life assist methods, and applied sciences and practices that would assist us construct self-sustaining outposts away from Earth,” the company says in a single doc out there on its web site.
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