“NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon,” he asserted in a tweet, before charging that the agency should instead be focused on “Mars (of which the Moon is a part).”
Now, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has stepped up to clarify what the president was actually ordering the agency to change about its focus: nothing.
On Monday, Bridenstine appeared before employees of NASA’s Glenn Research Center for a town hall-style discussion.
When asked by the moderator if Trump’s Moon tweet meant the White House no longer supported NASA’s Artemis mission, Bridenstine denied the interpretation.
“Nothing has changed,” he told the audience, according to CNET. “Some people have tried to read more into this than there is.”
As we posited in our coverage of the tweet, Bridenstine seems to believe Trump was trying to ensure that the agency stays focused on the ultimate goal: putting humans on the Red Planet.
“The Moon is valuable because it’s a proving ground for how to get to Mars,” Bridenstine said Monday. “And that’s exactly the case that the president made.”
READ MORE: NASA head responds to Trump moon tweet: ‘Nothing has changed’ [CNET]
More on the Moon tweet: Trump: “NASA Should NOT Be Talking About Going to the Moon”