U.S. President Donald Trump stated Thursday that his administration’s goal is to top former President John F. Kennedy’s Moon mission by attempting to reach Mars.
Speaking at the Friends of Ireland luncheon in Washington, Trump said the U.S. was making progress on a trip to the red planet.
“We’re looking at Mars, by the way,” Trump said. “Trying to top [Kennedy]. We’re going to get there. It’s moving along pretty good. A lot of things have happened… having to do with that subject. Way ahead of schedule.”
At Friends of Ireland luncheon, Pres. Trump praises JFK for setting U.S.'s sights on reaching the moon. "We're looking at Mars, by the way…We're trying to top him." https://t.co/NkJuIoh4fP pic.twitter.com/0AA6ZV07gx
— ABC News (@ABC) March 15, 2018
The president made similar remarks Wednesday while speaking at a Marine base in California, telling troops that the U.S. would begin a trip to Mars “very soon.”
“Very soon we’re going to Mars. You wouldn’t be going to Mars if my opponent won, that I can tell you,” Trump said. “You wouldn’t even be thinking about it.”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 13, 2018
In December, Trump signed the “Space Policy Directive 1,” which outlined the administration’s policy towards space.
According to White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley, the directive orders NASA “to lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the Moon, and eventually Mars.”
The president also signed in March of last year the NASA Transition Authorization Act, which provides the agency $19.5 billion in funding for fiscal year 2018.
“With this legislation, we support NASA’s scientists, engineers and astronauts and their pursuit of discovery,” Trump said at the time. “This bill will make sure that NASA’s most important and effective programs are sustained.”