President Donald Trump spoke with NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Monday, as one of them, Peggy Whitson, set the U.S. record for most cumulative days in space.
During the conversation, Trump said he wanted to speed up the timetable of a NASA mission to Mars — suggesting he could get it done during his second term as president.
“Who’s ready to go to Mars up there?” he asked the astronauts who responded by raising their hands on camera.
— NASA (@NASA) April 24, 2017
Whitson estimated that it wouldn’t be until the 2030s, citing the cost and time needed to move the mission forward.
“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 it up a bit. OK?” Trump said.
“We’ll do our best,” the astronauts replied with a laugh.
When Trump asked them what they were accomplishing on the International Space Station, Whitson said that conducting scientific experiments, fixing equipment, and utilizing energy resources and water.
“Water is such a precious resource up here, that we also are cleaning up our urine and making it drinkable and it’s really not as bad as it sounds.”
“Well that’s good, I’m glad to here that,” Trump said. “Better you than me.”