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NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on the new lunar program & # 39; Artemis & # 39 ;. There will be a funding battle this year that could affect the 2024 schedule.
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump used an Oval Office photo on Friday to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's moon landing to complain about NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and question recent space agency efforts

When the Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were standing next to the President's desk, Trump turned to Bridenstine, noting that the former Congressman of the GOP Oklahoma (the Texas Senator Ted Cruz in 2016 supported as President) this did not always support him.

"It was not an easy decision for me, but that's fine," said the president, referring to Bridenstein's nomination in 2017. "You know what I'm talking about." A bit later, Trump expressed confidence in his NASA administrator.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the occasion of a 50th anniversary photo of Apollo 11's moon landing in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, July 19, 2019, in Washington, DC (Photo: Alex Brandon, AP)

"They did a fantastic job," said Trump, a view that was supported by Vice President Mike Pence when he stood near National Space Council was instrumental in defending the election of Bridenstine participated during a month-long nomination contest that ended in May 2018 when the Senate narrowly confirmed it.

"Sir, I appreciate that," answered Bridenstine Trump.

Later, Trump seemed to question NASA's decision to send people back to the Moon by 2024 – a mission for which Trump denounced both and Trashed – which would serve as a springboard. An astronaut mission to Mars ,

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Once the president turned to Aldrin, a longtime friend, and the second person who ran on the lunar surface, asking him for an estimate of the space program. Aldrin said it was deflating to see US dominance in space diminish after NASA's daunting achievements in the 1960s.

"We have rocket number one in the US and we have rocket number one and they can not get into lunar orbit with significant maneuverability," he told Trump. "That's a big disappointment for me."

The President immediately contacted Bridenstine.

"What do you think about that, Jim?" he asked.

"We're working on it," the NASA administrator replied, noting that work on the Orion Crew Capsule is now underway.

"Well, I want you to listen to the other side too," Trump said to Bridenstein. "Because some people would like to do it differently, so you listen to Buzz and other people, I know it's been like this for a while and we're so advanced, but I'd like to do it." (You) to listen to the other side, OK? "

" Yes, sir, "said Bridenstine.

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When Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon they were supposed to take a nap Aldrin accepted the sacrament NASA asked him not to send.
USA TODAY

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