The administration already had established a return to the moon as the focus of NASA's deep space exploration program in Space Policy Directive No. 1, signed by the president during a White House ceremony on December 11, 2017.
Does Trump mean that the moon is part of the MISSION to Mars, and is simply unable to communicate effectively in the English language? Those plans stem directly from a Trump administration Space Policy Directive 1 the president signed in late 2017.
US President Donald Trump has scolded NASA for focusing on a return trip to the moon and insisted that Mars was a better destination.More news: Man arrested for plotting to detonate explosives in Times Square
However, Dr. Gu said he took issue with such an explanation, slamming Trump's words as "confusing and incoherent beyond measure" and saying the president "speaks gibberish".
"The Moon provides an opportunity to test new tools, instruments and equipment that could be used on Mars, including human habitats, life support systems, and technologies and practices that could help us build self-sustaining outposts away from Earth", it says.
At that time, the president tweeted "we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars".
"I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!" he said. Under NASA's plan, as many as two private astronauts per year could fly to the station and stay for up to 30 days on the space station - something estimated to cost $50 million per seat, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has said NASA's other missions won't be affected, but a top NASA official said in meetings this week that they might.More news: Tyreek Hill will not face charges in child abuse case
"Moon is part of Mars is going to lead to moon truthers and Qanon people joining forces", reporter Yashar Ali jokingly predicted.
NASA's website on Friday said the Artemis program would send "the first woman and the next man to the Moon by 2024 and develop a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028".
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.More news: Putin says U.S. unilateralism undermines global trade