President Donald Trump sparked a Twitter uproar on Friday with a confusingly-phrased tweet that initially gave the impression he believed the moon was 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. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!” he wrote.
Trump’s tweet was most likely responding to a segment on Fox Business — one of Trump’s most frequently-watched news channels — in which NASA’s chief financial officer Jeff DeWitt discussed NASA’s initiatives on the moon and their planned moon expedition in 2024 with host Neil Cavuto.
“What we’re doing now is establishing a sustainable presence on the lunar surface,” DeWitt explained when Cavuto asked why NASA was returning to the moon. “We need to drive that innovation and complete those technologies to allow us to have a sustained presence on Mars.”
Shortly after Trump’s tweet, both “the moon” and “NASA” became top trending topics on the site.
Despite Trump’s tweet most likely referring to the moon’s essential role in enabling NASA astronauts to successfully explore Mars, his clumsy phrasing still prompted copious jokes and memes from the Twitterverse.