President Donald Trump’s tweet about the space program sparked confusion among people in several ways, not the least of which being the implication that the moon is a part of Mars. What could he have meant?
Moon And Mars Missions
On Friday, President Trump tweeted about NASA’s plans to go back to the moon, saying that they should focus on going to Mars instead. The tweet sparked confusion among people due to several factors, one of which being the part where the president implied that the moon is a part of Mars. While some believe that it is possible that he was implying that the moon missions are stepping stones toward an eventual Mars mission, what he truly meant remains unclear.
To be clear, the moon is a satellite of the Earth and perhaps may even be considered as a part of our own planet. In fact, lunar materials even have a chemical fingerprint that is nearly identical to Earth’s. Mars, on the other hand, has its own moons, Phobos and Deimos, whose names come from the Greek words “panic” and “dread.”
For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon - We did that 50 years ago. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2019
Another thing that confused many is why the president is suddenly speaking out against a moon mission, when it is one of his administration’s goals to go back to the moon by 2024. In fact, just last month, the president also tweeted that his administration will restore NASA to greatness by going to the moon, and then to Mars. Furthermore, just last March, Vice President Mike Pence also announced the administration’s goals of returning to the moon in the next five years.
Hours after the president’s tweet, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine also tweeted regarding the matter, saying that NASA will be using the Moon to get to Mars. In fact, it is stated in NASA’s website that the explorations of the Moon and of Mars are “intertwined.”
As @POTUS said, @NASA is using the Moon to send humans to Mars! Right now, @MarsCuriosity and @NASAInSight are on Mars and will soon be joined by the Mars 2020 rover and the Mars helicopter. pic.twitter.com/Br1sTYfNzd — Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) June 7, 2019
Whatever President Trump meant, what is clear is that the administration is intent on going to space in a big way, whether it is to further explore previously visited locations or to explore a planet humans have never set foot in before.