NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine had a chance to address the president's comments during a town hall-style gathering with employees of the Glenn Research Center in Ohio on Monday.
The question came in via the moderator, who asked if Trump's tweet signaled a shift in the White House's support for NASA's Artemis mission, which includes returning humans to the surface of the moon by 2024.
Trump's tweet left itself wide open to interpretation. Some thought the president mistook the moon for a part of Mars, where others suspected he was referring to the moon as a jumping-off point for deeper human exploration into space. The latter is how Bridenstine is reading it.
"The moon is valuable because it's a proving ground for how to get to Mars," Bridenstine said. "And that's exactly the case that the president made."
The Artemis mission is still a go as far as Bridenstine and NASA are concerned. "Nothing has changed. Some people have tried to read more into this than there is," he said.
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We landed on the moon with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine