Trump criticizes NASA plans for return to the moon

Pablo Tucker
June 8, 2019

President Donald Trump on Friday upended his long-stated goal of returning American astronauts to the moon by the end of a potential second term, instead saying his federal space agency should focus instead on the further reaches of space.

Flip-flopping a mere three weeks after declaring his administration's intention to stage of a revival of the moon landing, Trump declared that NASA should focus on "Mars (of which the moon is part)".

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

Turned out there was a possible explanation for the weird tweet.

Like the phases of the moon, it seems that US President Donald Trump is capable of showing us any variation between extremes that he wants.

As part of the budget increase, the administration said it would begin efforts to send the first woman to the moon, almost five decades after the last USA landing.

Donald Trump may have landed back in the U.S. today, but his head is clearly still in the clouds if his latest tweet is anything to go by.

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.

"The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery", Trump said of the directive. In making the announcement NASA officials reiterated the goal of returning humans to the moon by 2024.

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

Trump appeared frustrated that NASA said it is turning its attention to the moon and not Mars. "I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!"

The budget increase was on top of the initial $21 billion budget request from NASA to accelerate the return to the lunar surface. "But this is a good amount that gets us out of the gate in a very strong fashion and sets us up for the future".

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