US President Donald Trump today said he wants to send men to Mars during his first term. “Well, we want to try and do it during my first term or, at worst, during my second term. So we’ll have to speed that up a little bit,” he said in a video conference with two NASA astronauts at the International Space Station from his Oval Office. NASA is currently planning to send men to Mars in 2030. Trump said he was very proud that he signed a bill committing NASA to the aim of sending America astronauts to Mars. “So we’ll do that. I think we’ll do it a lot sooner than we’re even thinking,” he said.
He asked the two astronauts whether they were ready to go to Mars. “We are absolutely ready to go to Mars,” said Peggy Whitson, who today broke the record for most days in space by a US astronaut, speaking also for her colleague Jack Fisher at the ISS. “We will do our best,” she said. “This vehicle will take us further than we’ve ever been away from this planet.”
“It’s going to be a fantastic journey getting there, and very exciting times, and all of us would be happy to go. But I want all the young people out there to recognise that the real steps are going to be taken in a few years. And so by studying math, science, engineering, any kind of technology, you’re going to have a part in that, and that will be very exciting.” First Daughter Ivanka Trump, and fellow astronaut Kate Rubins were also present in the Oval Office during the call.