Pence: America Will Return to the Moon and Go to Mars

Pence: America Will Return to the Moon and Go to Mars

In advance of today’s first meeting of the National Space Council, Vice President Mike Pence penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal — published online last night — laying out the broad strokes of the Trump Administration’s plan for the U.S. space program.  Among the goals is an American return to the Moon and then on to Mars.

Vice President Mike Pence speaking at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, July 6, 2017. Screengrab from White House video.

How that and other goals will be achieved is not addressed other than to say that the Space Council “will look beyond the halls of government for insight and expertise” and create a Users’ Advisory Group “partly composed of leaders from America’s burgeoning commercial space industry.”

Overall, he promises that “America will lead in space again.”

Pence chairs the National Space Council.

In terms of civil space program goals, the op-ed is similar to a speech Pence made at Kennedy Space Center in July.

Such promises have been made by other administrations, of course, but the requisite budgets have not materialized.  Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is slated to attend today’s Space Council meeting, so he at least will be part of the discussion.

The approximately 2-hour meeting will be held at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.  It begins at 10:00 am ET and will be webcast by the White House and broadcast on NASA’s website as well.

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