Donald Trump asked astronauts in space a question only he can answer

President Donald Trump spoke with NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson on Monday to congratulate her for setting the record for the most cumulative days in space. "Water is such a precious resource up here that we also are cleaning up our urine and making it drinkable, and it's really not as bad as it sounds", Whitson said.

"That's what we like, great American equipment that works", Trump said, according to The Washington Post.

"We want to do that during my first term or, at worst, my second", Trump said. The astronaut will be returning home in September, as her mission was recently extended for an additional three months to ensure the full six-member crew for the upcoming Expedition 52.

To exemplify the significance of STEM education, she pointed to both Whitson and Rubins, who previous year achieved the historical feat of becoming the first astronaut to sequence DNA in space.

Trump noted that he has "many friends" involved in commercial space exploration.

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

Joined in the Oval Office by First Daughter Ivanka Trump and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Trump also approached the subject of STEM education in his Earth-to-space chat with Whitson and Fischer. The president asked him about his trip.

Her fellow USA astronaut Jack Fisher arrived at the ISS last week for the first time.

The 18-minute livestream was watched by "hundreds of thousands of students" across the country, Trump said.

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Her latest, third, trip to space began on in November.

Russian astronaut Gennady Padalka holds the world record for most time spent in space, with 879 days.

Seeing the Apollo missions to the moon as a child had inspired her to become an astronaut, Whitson said.

"Getting there will require some global cooperation", Whitson told the president.

While the president sat in the Oval Office and Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer floated in the International Space Station, their conversation was facilitated by a live video call.

"So which one of you is ready to go to Mars?" .

"Tell me. Mars. What do you see as timing for actually sending humans to Mars?"

When Whitson was little, she had no female astronauts to look up to.

She is married to a fellow NASA biochemist, Clarence Sams.

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