Donald Trump instructed Nasa astronauts to get to Mars within his first term – or failing that, his second term, in a livestream with Peggy Whitson.
He was calling up the Space Station to congratulate Ms Whitson for her record-beating stay in Space: she’s been up there for more than 534 days, which was the previous record.
The President congratulated her via video link from the Oval Office alongside his daughter, Ivanka, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins.
He said: “All over we have astronauts and we have everybody who are flying right now 17,000 miles per hour.
“That’s about as fast as I’ve ever heard, I wouldn’t want to fly 17,000 miles an hour but that’s what you have to do.
“534 days in space – that’s an incredible record to break, and on behalf of our country and on behalf of the world we would like to congratulate you”.
Appearing to forget he had signed a bill directing Nasa to send astronauts to Mars by the 2030s, Mr Trump asked: “Tell me, Mars, what do you see a timing for actually sending humans to Mars?”
Politely, Ms Whitson replied: “Well, I think as your bill directed it will be approximately in the 2030s”.
Mr Trump said: “We want to do it during my first term and at worst during my second term so we want to speed that up, OK? ”
The President also expressed disgust about the drinking habits of astronauts in the International Space Station.
“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,” Ms Whitson said.
Grimacing, he replied: “That’s good, I’m glad to hear that. Better you than me.”