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Donald Trump has confirmed that he wants to see humans on Mars in the next three years.

The president was speaking to Peggy Whitson, an astronaut who just broke the record to become the American who has spent the longest time in space, at 534 days.

In the talk between the White House and the International Space Station Trump asked Whitson when she thought NASA would be able to get humans to Mars.

She replied saying: "Well as your bill directed, it will be approximately in the 2030s.

"We are building hardware to test the new heavy launch vehicle and this vehicle will take us further away than we've ever been from this planet.

"Unfortunately, space flight takes a lot of time and money, so getting there will require some international 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."

Seemingly unaware of his own bill, Trump replied instead with an ambitious target saying that he'd like to see humans on Mars by the end of his first term as president, or 'at the very latest' by the end of his second term should he win again, which would give NASA until 2025 to complete the mission.

It wasn't clear whether Trump was joking about the new, highly ambitious target.

The President has actively supported exploration of other planets like Mars, even taking funding away from Nasa's Earth science work to focus instead on missions into our own solar system.

During the call, Trump joked that he wouldn't want to go to the International Space Station, because it is flying around the Earth at 17,000mph. That is "about as fast as I've heard," he said.

"I wouldn't want to fly" at that speed, but it's "what you do", he added.

He also joked that the call to space was possible because of "great American equipment that works, and that is not easy", and said that he liked speaking to the astronauts more than he enjoyed speaking to politicians on the ground.