Trump offers epic response when astronaut explains NASA is making urine 'drinkable'

Until now, the record-holder, when talking about the USA astronauts, was Jeff Williams with 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes of cumulative time in space.

"I'd like to congratulate you", he said, describing Monday "as a very special day in the glorious history of American space flight".

Moreover, US President Donald Trump call from the International Space Station was accompanied by Ivanka Trump who set behind his side and Dr. Kate Rubins. That record was set previous year by Jeffrey Williams.

NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer speak with President Donald Trump during a video call.

"Water is such a precious resource up here that we also are cleaning up our urine and making it drinkable".

"Peggy is a phenomenal role model for young women, and all Americans, who are exploring or participating in STEM education programs and careers", Trump said.

Asked how she felt at breaking the record, Commander Whitson said it was "a huge honour" - adding "it's an honour for me basically to be representing all the folks at NASA who make this spaceflight possible, and who make me setting this record feasible".

The world record - 879 days - is held by Russian Gennady Padalka.

According to NASA, the space veteran would have spent over 650 days in space by the time she returns to Earth. Whitson, who started her latest space mission last November, became ISS commander for a second time on April 9.

Behind her, a banner read: "Congrats Peggy!"

Trump asked them about the timeline for stationing humans on Mars, and said he would like to speed it up and get it done "at worst, during my second term".

"Unfortunately, space flight takes a lot of time and money, so getting there will require some worldwide co-operation for it to be a planet-wide approach in order to make it successful because it is a very expensive endeavour but it is so worthwhile doing".

Trump's interest in sending a manned flight to Mars isn't anything new.

Trump was eager to talk about the potential for further space travel, including a greater role for entrepreneurs and a human trip to Mars.

Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discuss the "urgent security challenge" posed by North Korea in a phone call, the White House says.

"I've been dealing with politicians so much, I'm so much more impressed with these people, you have no idea".

  • Carolyn Briggs