Donald Trump Wants To Send Manned Mission To Mars In The Next Three Years

First Posted: Apr 26, 2017 05:50 AM EDT

Donald Trump is reportedly not too satisfied with NASA’s current plan to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s. The U.S. President apparently wants the American space agency to send astronauts to the Red Planet by the end of his first term in office -- in the next three and a half years. Furthermore, if the mission is not possible in his first term as president, then Trump wants to put man on Mars at least by the end of his second term -- if he is elected.

The President spoke about his Martian aim during an Earth-to-space call with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS), which was made especially to congratulate American spaceflight record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson. “Well, we want to try and do it during my first term or, at worst, during my second term,” Trump said, referring to a manned Mars mission. “So we will have to speed that up a little bit, okay?”

According to Quartz, it is not clear whether the President was joking or serious. Sending a crewed mission to Mars will need technical and specialist equipment far advanced than used on any space mission so far -- a point that was also reiterated by the astronauts who were on the phone. They mentioned that such technology is only now being invented and built.

Incidentally, the President is actively supporting exploration of the Solar System and its planets like Mars. However, while the Trump administration has pushed the American space agency to consider adding a crew to test flights of its new space exploration system, the mission is not aimed for Mars.

Furthermore, even if NASA develops a deep-space rocket and spacecraft ready by Trump’s second term, it will still lack a space habitat to send astronauts in deep space or a spacecraft to land and lift them from Mars. Though Trump has the support of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who also wants to put humans on Mars, aiming for a manned Mars mission in the next seven years is stretching it a bit too far.

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