Hours after NASA announced it will allow private companies and astronauts to use the International Space Station as the agency continues to focus on returning Americans to the moon in the coming years, President Donald Trump blasted the agency in a strongly worded tweet.
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.
Ironically, Trump's dismissal of lunar missions as something that was done 50 years ago echoed what his predecessor in the White House, Barack Obama, said when he made a decision to drop the Constellation back-to-the-moon program in 2010: "We've been there before".
"They should be focused on the much bigger things we are going, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!"
That counters his administration's policy that NASA should focus on returning to the Moon for a landing in 2024.
During a March 27 meeting with NASA managers and aerospace officials at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Pence said the Trump administration was ordering NASA to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024, four years earlier than had been planned.
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.
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. Ladies and gentlemen, that's just not good enough.
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.
The budget increase was on top of the initial $21 billion budget request from NASA to accelerate the return to the lunar surface.
There are probably some frantic emails flying between NASA headquarters and the White House right now.