20:04 GMT +307 December 2019
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    Phases of Trump: POTUS Denounces Moon Mission He Touted Weeks Ago

    Andrew Harnik
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    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. On Friday he tweeted dismissively about NASA’s upcoming moon missions - something he celebrated just last month.

    The US president is sending mixed messages about NASA’s new manned missions to the moon and Mars. While on Friday he attacked people at the space agency celebrating their upcoming return to the moon, suggesting “they should be focused on much bigger things,” less than a month ago he was celebrating it.

    “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. “They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!”

    Devoid of context, Trump’s message seems fairly unambiguous: sure, it’s great for humans to be returning to the Earth’s only natural satellite, but we’ve already done that, so it’s not really a “first,” right? 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.

    “Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars, Trump tweeted on May 13. “I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!”

    ​The May 13 tweet came amid a flurry of announcements by NASA, the US space agency, detailing the upcoming manned mission to the moon. Dubbed the “Artemis” program after the Greek goddess of hunting and of the wilderness, the mission hopes to put humans back on the moon in 2024 and establish a permanent base there by 2028, Sputnik reported.

    However, the new program is short on cash. On Friday, NASA announced a plan to open the International Space Station to commercial tourism in an effort to offset the $100 billion estimated cost of the entire Artemis program. 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. The announcement is likely what attracted Trump’s ire.

    One Twitter user noted that “For every Trump tweet there is an equal and opposite Trump tweet,” which another Twitterer dubbed “Newton’s First Law of  Idiocy.”

    ​However, few people took notice of Trump’s self-eclipse. Instead they focused on the second half of Trump’s tweet, which took a turn for the bizarre by suggesting that the moon was part of Mars.

    ​Others just sort of … let loose on the president:


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