Donald Trump Says: We’ll Go to Mars, and Beyond

We know that Donald Trump is rarely praised in science-oriented blogs, but — at the risk of offending our readers — we want to give credit when it’s due. We just saw this at PhysOrg: Trump tells NASA to send Americans to Moon. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

US President Donald Trump directed NASA on Monday to send Americans to the Moon for the first time in decades, a move he said would help prepare for a future Mars trip.

You’re shocked, aren’t you, dear reader? That’s not what one would expect from a science-denier, is it? Then PhysOrg quotes him:

“This time we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint,” Trump said at the White House as he signed the new space policy directive. “We will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars and perhaps someday to many worlds beyond.”

[*Gasp!*] What would ol’ Hambo think? Obviously, Trump doesn’t care. PhysOrg continues:

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the newly revitalized National Space Council, have previously vowed to explore the Moon again, but offered few details.

Flanked by Pence and two female astronauts, Trump said the directive “will refocus the space program on human exploration and discovery,” and “marks an important step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972.” The goal of the new Moon missions would include “long-term exploration and use” of its surface.

Egad — Pence too! And they were flanked by two female astronauts! Surprised, dear reader? Here’s one last excerpt:

A White House statement said the US “will work with other nations and private industry to return astronauts to the Moon, developing the technology and means for manned exploration of Mars and other destinations in our solar system.”

So there you are. Trump may not be everything you’d want, especially in the area of climate change, but he’s definitely not the creationist ignoramus you thought he was. We anticipate some disagreement. That’s okay, we’re used to it.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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52 responses to “Donald Trump Says: We’ll Go to Mars, and Beyond

  1. Has to be satire!!!

  2. And while we’re at it: let’s hear it for Mussolini! Man, did he get those notorious Italian trains to run on time!

  3. Derek Freyberg

    From the press release:
    ” Apollo 17 was the last manned mission to the Moon, launched 45 years ago on December 7, 1942.”
    They can’t even count.
    And they want to send people to Mars.
    Give me a break – heck, give us all a break.

  4. Michael Fugate

    Is the president volunteering to go? How soon? Will Roy go with him?

  5. Sorry Curmudgeon, I have to agree with the other naysayers; Trump no doubt has his eye on building the first lunar casino. Yep, Trump is that despicable.

  6. @Megalonyx

    Joe Biden mentioned that some leaders think Trump reminds them of Mussolini.

  7. How does sending a man to the moon exclude Trump from being a creationist ignoramus? After all, James Irwin was an astronaut and a creationist. Also, Pence is the flak leading this effort politically and he has make his ignorance public.

  8. Yes, Curmudge, I am shocked–shocked that you would fall for this latest bout of posturing from this detestable hustler. Trump knows & cares nothing about the conquest of space or any other scientific frontier. What’s space got to do with golf or beauty pageants or making more money? It’s pure smokescreen to look “visionary” & distract the public from his screw-ups. Good luck with that, DJ.

  9. Michael Fugate

    I get the feeling that this shallow MAGA grand-standing. We have learned much, much more about the solar system/ universe by giving up sending humans into space. I honestly can’t see how this helps scientific knowledge gathering.

  10. Neither of these science deniers (Trump/Pence) knows squat about the moon or Mars. Also, Trump’s nominee for the head of NASA was just some yahoo who worked in a planetarium in Oklahoma, never worked in a big agency like NASA for sure. If Pence has his way, any new rockets will be fueled by angel farts.
    Work with other nations? Scratch China, Russia, and the rest of the world as Trump continues his solo journey for America into the future.
    Timetable 2030’s? Trump will be (fortunately) long dead. Too, where’s the money going to come from for these ventures considering the massive tax giveaway he’s planning for himself and his swamp mates.

  11. Bad comment when you have to explain it 🙂 My ‘satire’ comment was satire/sarcasm. The announcement is so distanced from the orange draft dodger’s usual crazy that it could pass for an Onion article.

  12. Michael Fugate

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_Me_to_the_Moon
    Bart Howard 1954
    Fly me to the moon
    Let me play among the stars
    Let me see what spring is like
    On a, Jupiter and Mars
    In other words, hold my hand
    In other words, baby, kiss me

    Nostalgia?

  13. In Trump`s mind, this is just another BIG Hollywood production. Has he contacted Brad Pitt?

  14. Trump is grandstanding, creating distraction as usual. Nevertheless, I’ve always been saddened that humans haven’t gone to the moon or beyond, despite the dangers, for well over 40 years. Back in 1969 “2001 A Space Oddesy”, though fiction, seemed within grasp. However, the Hubble, the Mars rovers, the earth based telescopes, the ISS have been great substitutes. So much good science.

  15. Back to the moon? I can’t believe the Conspiracy Theorist in Chief would make a mistake like that. What would Alex Jones say?

  16. SC links to a WH statement: “President Donald J. Trump Will Make America a Leader in Space Exploration Again.”

    Did NASA ever stop being the world’s leading space agency?

  17. Most of the people who really mattered in history – even those that did much good – were not personally admirable. I don’t admire Trump, but for this alone – provided it happens – I would forgive him anything short of mopery, dopery and spoiling the paintwork. Say what you like, he does things.

  18. Charles Deetz ;)

    Trying to shake NASA’s interest in the climate. Pence still thinks the moon is cheese, I’ll bet.

  19. Charles, Pence probably has the cheese franchise locked up
    .

  20. The Curmudgeon: “[Trump]’s definitely not the creationist ignoramus you thought he was.”

    Which part did “we” get wrong?

    I’ve got my guess. Trump is a stranger to all religions.

  21. Has Trump or Pense stated how they are going to fund this, given the huge tax cuts for the rich that they are steamrolling in congress? Why do you still fail to recognize that nearly everything (if not actually everything) that Trump says is a lie? Is he making America Great Again? He has even gone back to his Obama was not born in the US and now also claims that it isn’t his voice on his sexual harassment recording.

    As far as creationism not being involved: Trump’s son Barron is being sent to a religious school for his “education” and Pense is well known for his creationists antics.

    http://www.newsweek.com/barron-trump-school-maryland-st-andrews-660374
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/shaenamontanari/2016/11/10/vp-elect-mike-pence-does-not-accept-evolution-heres-why-that-matters/#1426361015a7

  22. Michael Fugate asks:

    Is the president volunteering to go?

    The truly ancient readers of this blog (and I am certainly among the very most ancient) may also recognise the forerunner of your comment from a satirical LP recorded (on vinyl, of course) circa 1962, entitled The First Family – -which was a brilliant satire by Vaughn Meader on the Kennedy administration. Of course, it overnight stopped being funny on 22 November 1963, but I still remember this exchange, purportedly from a press conference:

    REPORTER: Mr. President, when will America send a man to the moon?

    KENNEDY: Whenever Senator Goldwater wants to go.

    More remarkable to me now is the recollection of how Goldwater was portrayed by liberals as an extremist of the far right! Today, of course, the Bannonites of the American right would be denouncing him as a RINO agent of the Deep State along with other Bolsheviks like John McCain &c &c

    O tempora, o morons! (with apologies to Cicero)

  23. O Great Hand of Correction! I humbly beseech thee to ungarble a sentence posted above [details deleted].

    In your heart, you know I’m right!
    AuH2O 4 64!

    [*Voice from above*] In my guts I know you’re nuts!

  24. Based on evidence if the Orange Trumpkin says X, believe not-X

  25. @Dave Luckett: “Say what you like, [Trump] does things.”

    Well, I’d just like to say that he promises much more than he ever intends to deliver.

    And what he does do is always self-serving, usually hateful and often destructive to this country and our values.

  26. Pence is an eloquent spokesman for creationism; see his speech to the House of Representatives, which I give in full at https://paulbraterman.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/sahelanthropus-evolution-and-the-word-theory-what-mike-pence-really-said/

    Others have already commented on the relationship between what comes out of Trump’s mouth, and reality.

    But seriously, If you are interested in the science of space, using machines, not people. You can leave machines out there working for years, and you don’t need to bring them back again. Human space exploration is circus.

  27. Agreed: the best Trump can offer is panem et circenses, but without the panem

  28. Trump accepted the recommendation of the National Space Council which was to change NASA’s priority from landing people on an asteroid, to returning peoole to the moon. Given that sending people is likely too politically sexy to pass up, I think I prefer Trump accepting the council’s recommendation.

  29. What results have there been from human space programs? I am not arguing against human space programs. That’s still better than a lot of thngs to spend money on.

  30. Indeed. What we should be working on is unmanned sample collection and return

  31. There is a feature film, I don’t recall the name (sorry), about the US faking a moon landing and then holding a funeral for the killed astronauts, only to have one of them escape from the movie studio and surprise the folks at the funeral declaring it was all faked! In a similar fashion, what Trump could do is fake moon and Mars landings, then hold big funerals for the astronauts, take credit for their efforts and blame the failures on Obama and the fake news media. In that way he wouldn’t have to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on the real thing, and if anyone in his administration objected, he’d simply fire them, or worse. Then Pence could likewise come up with some creationist, religious mumbo-jumbo why we should not venture from our Trump-polluted earth.

  32. He could just announce tomorrow that he has accomplished it all, and the fake news media refuses to admit his wonderful achievement!

  33. Totally off topic, but breaking news:

    https://news.sky.com/story/oumuamua-mysterious-interstellar-object-probed-for-signs-of-alien-life-11167415

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/12/12/is-this-visitor-from-beyond-our-solar-system-an-asteroid-or-a-sign-of-life/?utm_term=.b3da693c0e3c

    This is a golden opportunity to test the Design Filter! I have no doubt that the IDiot “scientists” already have formed a long queu – to remain silent.

  34. Michael Fugate

    A new nickname “The Rug” is appropriate.

  35. “Trump may not be everything you’d want.” Understatement of the year by SC.

    “Give credit where credit is due.” Fine, but what about giving criticism where it’s due?

    Maybe they can build a rocket that runs on clean beautiful coal. Think of all the jobs.

    Trump also said he would build the world’s tallest building.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1985/11/19/nyregion/trump-announces-plan-to-construct-world-s-tallest-building.html

    Not that he would ever exaggerate.

  36. Holding the Line in Florida

    Heck, didn’t Bush the 1st say we were going to Mars with a Moon Base back in 1989 with the VP Dan Quayle in the lead? Then Bush the 2d said back in 2004 that we were going to do the same by 2020? Well I haven’t seen much progress towards that. I just get a sense of deja vu. Every time I listen to the Jimmy Buffett song, “The rocket that grandpa rode” it makes me irritated with the lack of progress in human space travel. I guess that a lot of us from that time, growing up in the 60’s, feel that sense of loss. Maybe I am wrong and un-manned is the way the go. Too much Sci-Fi and Star Trek I reckon!

  37. So he signed a directive. That has all the force of wishful thinking with no plans to make it a reality. It’s a grand gesture signifying nothing. Where is the call to greatly increase NASA’s budget so they could actually do this? Nowhere, because he has no intention of actually following through with this.

  38. @Holding the Line in Florida YES if only the hot air of Republicans promising we’d go back to the Moon or Mars were enough to loft us to the heavens.

    Actually, since the Shuttle was retired we finally do have a chance to leave the dead end zone known as low earth orbit. There is project Orion, which is a poorly funded political football that gets passed around with meager funding.

    As for going to the Moon and Mars…interesting places but there is a better target. To visit a near earth asteroid would be a fantastic mission. Asteroids have both the capacity for profit and peril. To visit one would be the first trip to interplanetary space with the bonus that the return trip requires less energy than boosting off the Moon. Imagine seeing the Earth rapidly disappear into an inconspicuous blue star.

    But yeah…if we do make it back to the Moon and to Mars Trump’s celestial gum flapping will have nothing to do with it.

  39. Michael Fugate

    Here is a federal judge nominee – if Trump is not a creationist, then why this guy?
    https://thinkprogress.org/senate-judge-religious-attacks-science-31db5ec7f3d9/

  40. @mnb0 — Rendezvous with Rama!

  41. Trump doesn’t care about the guy’s religious views; only about his legal positions, and about pleasing his core supporters. He’d appoint flat earthers if that would do the trick

  42. I dread any attempts to follow through on this. I remember how the predictable overruns on the International Space Station budget undercut the exobiology science budget (on which my own research depended at the time)

  43. Re. fake moon landings:

  44. Michael Fugate

    https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2507
    4. What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of President Trump? (Numbers are not percentages. Figures show the number of times each response was given. This table reports only words that were mentioned at least five times.)
    Tot
    idiot 53
    liar 44
    incompetent 36
    leader 35
    strong 35
    asshole 26
    great 21
    moron 19
    arrogant 18
    disgusting 17
    unqualified 16
    crazy 15
    bold 14
    buffoon 12
    dangerous 12
    ignorant 12
    corrupt 11
    dishonest 11
    honest 11
    racist 11
    businessman 10
    different 10
    stupid 10
    business 9
    change 9
    egotistical 9
    fraud 9
    good 9
    narcissist 9
    president 9
    American 8
    jerk 8
    trying 8
    unstable 8
    awesome 7
    bombastic 7
    disaster 7
    pig 7
    childish 6
    dumb 6
    evil 6
    joke 6
    powerful 6
    courageous 5
    disgrace 5
    fantastic 5
    hard-worker 5
    insane 5

  45. It just dawned on me that Trump probably saw some of the old Apollo video of the astronauts playing golf and just assumed there was an eighteen hole golf course on the moon,

  46. Just thnk how nice it would be to have the name Trump on the Moon.

  47. TomS
    Here’s a quote from the Wikipedia article on Heinlein’s story “The Man Who Sold the Moon”:

    “The technical problems are solvable with money and talent. To solve the tougher financial problems, Harriman exploits commercial and political rivalries. He implies to the Moka-Coka company, for example, that rival soft drink maker 6+ plans to turn the Moon into a massive billboard, using a rocket to scatter black dust on the surface in patterns.”

  48. I was thinking of a president who orders that a rocket to the Moon write his name on the Moon. So everyone for millennia can see it. Even if they think evil thughts about the ego who would do that, they are thinkig of him. And then, there are the technicians change the graffitti so that it reads, for eternity, “DUMB”. So that he is remembered as the biggest loser of alll time.

  49. Restarting manned lunar and planetary exploration sounds great to me. We’ve learned a lot from automated probes, but there’s no substitute for humans when it comes to reacting quickly. Even for probes on the moon, there’s a 2-1/2 seconds’ delay in reacting to anything unexpected (the round-trip time for signals at the speed of light); beyond that, there’s a longer and longer lag with distance.

    All of that said, we’ve been here before. Remember George H. W. Bush’s vow, “Back to the moon, this time to stay”? Whatever happened to that idea?

    Trump is a blowhard with no clue what it will take to fulfill his grandiose vision. I seriously doubt anything will come of it.

  50. Typical Trump. All style (bad) and NO substance.