Wednesday, 18 September, 2019


Trump criticises Nasa in tweet saying the moon is part of Mars

Trump moon Trump criticises Nasa in tweet saying the moon is part of Mars
Kristine Garrett | 08 June, 2019, 07:53

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".

According to journalist Matthew Gertz, Trump's "of which the moon is part" business comes from his attempt to live-tweet what he saw on Fox News, whereon a NASA guy said that a mission to the moon will help them ultimately get to Mars.

In a head-spinning tweet, President Trump blasted NASA on Friday for its plan to return to the moon - a plan set in motion during a 2017 White House ceremony he presided over, and forcefully endorsed in March on the president's behalf by Vice President Mike Pence, chairman of the revitalized National Space Council.

"As @POTUS said, @NASA is using the Moon to send humans to Mars!" the tweet said.

US President Donald Trump is no longer happy with the direction Nasa is going in.

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins told CNN this week that NASA should prioritize a Mars landing - and said he has doubts about Trump's leadership on the matter.

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

NASA has organized its crewed lunar plans into a program called Artemis, which includes the construction of a small, moon-orbiting space station known as the Gateway.

Trump's moon tweet was just one of a series of outbursts on subjects ranging from immigration and trade to congressional investigations, and he soon moved on to hailing the stock market's performance this week (after a series of downward-trending weeks).

NASA officials have said bolstering their presence on the moon will be an essential step towards conducting further research on Mars. "This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints - we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond".

It did not appear that Fox can be blamed for the odd comment about the moon being part of Mars.

In public documents, Nasa has argued that "exploration of the Moon and Mars is intertwined".

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