Trump blasts NASA plans for moon return, despite his own policy

The moon is old hat to President Donald Trump. Trump hit up Twitter on Friday to poo-poo NASA's ambitious plans to return American astronauts to the moon by 2024. Those plans stem directly from a Trump administration Space Policy Directive 1 the president signed in late 2017.

For all of the money we are spending, NASA should not be talking about going to the moon, Trump wrote, saying we already did that 50 years ago. He suggested NASA should instead focus on "the much bigger things, including Mars, defense and science.

Trump wrote that the moon is a part of Mars, which may reference NASA's view of the moon as a jumping-off point for deeper human space exploration, but that's just speculation. This interpretation seems at odds with his apparent newfound dislike of NASA's moon mission.
  • NASA now aims to return astronauts to the moon within 5 years
  • NASA's moon mission hits a roadblock as additional funding rejected
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, Vice President Mike Pence declared in March as the administration shortened the timeline for the moon return, directing NASA to shoot for 2024.

Trump tweeted his support for NASA in May, saying, Under my administration, we are restoring NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars." This came at a time when the White House updated its budget to include an additional $1.6 billion to support the agency's moon focus. That funding didn't come through.

Neither NASA nor the White House immediately responded to a request for comment. 

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