Twitter erupts over Trump claim that the Moon 'is a part' of Mars
President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted out a mysterious Mars comment that has social media users blasting off their best jokes.
"For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon - We did that 50 years ago," he wrote. "They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!"
The tweet came one day after NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told USA Today that the space agency will not be able to land astronauts on the moon by 2024 unless Congress approves the Trump administration's $1.6 billion budget increase request for the project.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 7 June 2019
Although Mars, indeed, has its own moons — two, to be exact (named Phobos and Deimos) — the moon, which orbits Earth, is not a part of the Red Planet.
Naturally, many Twitter users were quick to make jokes about the seemingly erroneous comment.
"As JFK famously said, 'We choose to go to the Moon not because it is easy, but because it is Mars,'" 'Daily Show' employee Jason O. Gilbert joked.
As JFK famously said, "We choose to go to the Moon not because it is easy, but because it is Mars"— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) 7 June 2019
"Moon is part of Mars is going to lead to moon truthers and Qanon people joining forces," reporter Yashar Ali jokingly predicted.
Moon is part of Mars is going to lead to moon truthers and Qanon people joining forces pic.twitter.com/faIakE0rs6— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) 7 June 2019
CNN's Haley Bird pointed out that the president's statement, despite its awkward phrasing, may refer to "the fact that NASA's plans for Mars exploration deeply involve the Moon."
y'all. "Of which the moon is part" may refer to the fact that NASA's plans for Mars exploration deeply involve the Moon. https://t.co/7gfit7oHEu— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) 7 June 2019
Dr. Eugene Gu, a surgeon and scientist specializing in pediatric heart and kidney diseases, backed up Bird in a Twitter thread of his own, predicting Trump may later claim his tweet referred to "using the moon as a staging point for a mission to Mars."
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."
So I'll call it out here first. There's no way in hell Trump knows the names Phobos and Deimos let alone that Mars has its own moons.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) 7 June 2019