White House “Leaks” Some News About NASA

Leaks may have spelled the end for Michael Flynn as national security adviser, and leaks certainly have been a source of frustration for the Trump White House.  Today, however, it was a different kind of leak that made news from the Oval Office as the president talked to American astronaut Peggy Whitson about her record-breaking mission at the International Space Station.

After she spent 535 days in space–longer than any other American in the history of manned space flight–the president talked to Whitson about NASA’s future, including the human exploration of Mars that he recently announced as a priority of his administration.  Part of their chat included the nuts and bolts of living in space for extended periods, which astronauts have been learning about during their time aboard the ISS:

“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.”

“Well, that’s good. I’m glad to hear that,” President Trump replied, before adding with a sly smile:  “Better you than me.”

I think that’s a leak that the White House can finally get behind.

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Marc Giller

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