Focus on Mars, Not Moon — Trump Slams NASA

James Marshall
June 8, 2019

The moon is old hat to President Donald Trump.

"At the direction of the president of the United States, it is the stated policy of this administration and the United States of America to return American astronauts to the moon within the next five years", Pence said.

President Trump seemed to question his own accelerated human space program Friday afternoon with a surprise tweet saying NASA "should NOT be talking about going to the Moon".

CNN's Brian Stelter noted Trump has been focused on going back to the moon for some time. However, it is likely that Trump's "Mars (of which the Moon is a part)" comment referred to NASA's talking point that going to the moon again would help efforts to later reach Mars.

The leading theory is that a collision between Earth and a planet-sized entity, many years ago, resulted in debris that eventually became the moon.

Collins said that many experts consider the moon as a gateway to Mars, but that he stands with the minority view that going to Mars should be the priority. So, the somewhat confusing latter part of the president's tweet - calling the moon a part of Mars - may be a reference to the horizon goal laid out in SPD-1.

Irrespective of whether the moon is part of Mars (it isn't), Trump's announcement was doubly surprising given his previous enthusiasm for a moon trip.

Buzz Aldrin visited the moon.

Trump hit up Twitter on Friday to poo-poo NASA's ambitious plans to return American astronauts to the moon by 2024.

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. One hour before the president offered his take on the moon's origin and his criticism of Nasa, Fox News guest Neil Cavuto had expressed scepticism over a moon trip.

There are probably some frantic emails flying between NASA headquarters and the White House right now.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER