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Elon Musk doesn’t think Trump’s new NASA law will help SpaceX get to Mars

After the president signed the bill, Musk tweeted that more money and support are necessary.

President Trump Holds Policy Forum With Business Leaders Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Elon Musk is apparently no fan of the new federal law that authorizes the country’s space program — and doesn’t think it’ll help SpaceX or other companies get to Mars any time soon.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed the NASA Transition Authorization Act, a bipartisan bill that sets the funding level for the country’s space program at $19.5 billion — and legally commits NASA to draft plans that could get a “crewed mission to Mars in the 2030s.”

Despite that commitment, Musk has reservations: In tweets (responding to our own Kara Swisher), the SpaceX founder said the measure “changes almost nothing about what NASA is doing. Existing programs stay in place and there is no added funding for Mars.”

He added: “Perhaps there will be some future bill that makes a difference for Mars, but this is not it.”

The rebuke is an interesting one from Musk, who has connected fairly regularly with President Trump and VP Mike Pence. He didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment.

The bill’s backers in Congress, however, certainly don’t see the bill the way Musk does.

"We have the commercial companies going to and from the International Space Station and we have NASA going out and exploring the heavens," said Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who leads a key committee that oversees NASA. He then specifically added: "And we're going to Mars."

That drew Trump’s praise at the bill’s signing at the White House on Tuesday. “Good,” he said, “I love that.”

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