President Trump sent a bizarre tweet Friday afternoon in which he argued against continuing missions to the moon and appeared to state that he thinks the moon is part of Mars.
“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 Friday. “They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!”
Many who follow the president were baffled by the message, although Matthew Gertz, a journalist who often follows Trump’s Twitter posts and how they line up with Fox News segments on a particular topic, tweeted about how the president’s post came not long after Fox Business host Neil Cavuto had been talking about the plans for NASA to launch a new lunar mission in 2024.
A NASA spokesman, on that segment, had said something about getting to the moon helping in the quest to reach Mars.
“The president’s tweet seems to largely be commentary on how Jeff DeWit, the NASA chief financial officer who Trump was watching on Fox Business, frames his discussion of the agency’s plans,” Gertz tweeted.
Earlier this week, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, in a CNN interview, criticized Trump for not showing leadership when it comes to future Mars missions.
“I don’t think he’s too much aware of Mars. Maybe he doesn’t understand that there is a planet Mars,” Collins said.
There were some humorous responses to the tweet about the moon and Mars, including many who guessed the tweet was a reference of some type of conspiracy theory involving aliens or jokes involving the president’s oft-stated plans for a Space Force.
“Well it’s finally happened, the hairspray molecules have infected the entire brain,” comedian and actor Ike Barenholtz tweeted.
Trump just claimed the moon is a part of Mars in bonkers tweet attacking NASA https://t.co/4s4ZTLLkJ9
— Raw Story (@RawStory) June 7, 2019
“If it weren’t for my horse I wouldn’t have spent that year in college,” sportswriter Kimberly McCauley tweeted, in reference to an old stand-up routine by comedian Lewis Black.
“Neil Degrasse Tyson’s head just exploded,” tweeted the account of Funny or Die, although the celebrity physicist had not yet addressed the moon/Mars assertion as of Friday afternoon.
The tweet came as Trump returned to the U.S. Friday after a weeklong trip to Europe, during which the president and his entourage visited England, France, and Ireland and commemorated the anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with a well-received speech.