Trump trolled after he claims moon part of Mars

US President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania Trump attend the French-US ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer Normandy northwestern France

Trump trolled after he claims moon part of Mars

"Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars, Trump tweeted on May 13".

The tweet came one day after NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told USA Today that the space agency will not be able to land astronauts on the moon by 2024 unless Congress approves the Trump administration's $1.6 billion budget increase request for the project.

The moon is old hat to President Donald Trump.

And perhaps it might have been quietly nodded at and scrolled past, had Trump not both contradicted himself just weeks earlier, but also made some hilarious gaffes in the rest of the tweet.

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

"For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon - We did that 50 years ago", Trump tweeted on Friday. This interpretation seems at odds with what comes across as a downplaying of NASA's moon mission. In what would otherwise be considered a welcome break from attacks on Bette Midler, rants about the Mueller report, and tweets filled with racist agitprop, Trump expressed a seemingly left-field desire to explore new frontiers in the solar system.

CNN's Brian Stelter noted Trump has been focused on going back to the moon for some time. But his off-the-cuff advice to stop talking about the moon may make things a little tricky for the witnesses at next Tuesday's congressional hearing on space science - and for Bridenstine and other NASA officials who are trying to build support for Artemis among congressional skeptics. The Trump administration has been very clear in its desire to return humans to the Moon, alluding to the return as being something of a national security matter. He instead believes that NASA should focus on sending folks to Mars.

In a fiery speech in March, Pence announced that Nasa was moving its timeline for landing humans back on the moon up by four years, to 2024.

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