Monday, April 24, 2017
Trump responds in classic Trump fashion to the discovery that NASA is making ‘drinkable urine’
President Donald Trump called NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson on Monday to congratulate her for breaking the record for most cumulative time spent in space by any American astronaut, but during the call, he received some news he likely wasn’t prepared to hear.
“What are we learning from having you spending your time up there, I know so much research is done — I’m getting a glimpse of it right here in the Oval Office — what are we learning by being in space?” the president asked.
Whitson told Trump that NASA is researching how microgravity is affecting the human body, operations of space shuttles during long-duration missions, and the technological advancements for such a mission.
“For instance, on a multi-year Mars mission, we’re gonna need to be able to close the life-support system,” Whitson said from aboard the International Space Station. She then explained how NASA is currently using solar power and breaking apart the molecules in water to create more.
“But water is such a precious resource up here that we also are cleaning up our urine and making it drinkable,” Whitson said. “And it’s really not as bad as it sounds.”
Trump paused briefly and smiled before responding. “Well, that’s good. I’m glad to hear that,” he said. “Better you than me.”
In addition to spending 535 consecutive days in space, Whitson became the first woman commander of the International Space Station in 2008. At 57, she is also the oldest woman to travel in space.