Pence Visits Marshall Space Flight Center

Pence Visits Marshall Space Flight Center

Vice President Mike Pence, chairman of the White House National Space Council, visited NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) today in Huntsille, AL.  It is his third visit to a NASA field center.

Vice President Mike Pence (right) and Rep. Robert Aderholt (left) visiting NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Sept. 25, 2017. Screengrab from NASALive.

Pence made the visit as part of a trip to Alabama to stump for Sen. Luther Strange in a run-off primary election tomorrow.  He also visited the Army’s Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (ARMDEC).

During his brief visit, Pence talked with three NASA astronauts who are aboard the International Space Station:  Randy Bresnik, Mark Vande Hie, and Joe Acaba.  Pence spoke to them at MSFC’s ISS Payload Operations Integration Center accompanied by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), who represents MSFC.

Vice President Mike Pence (left) and Rep. Robert Aderholt (right) view SLS engine section at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Sept. 25, 2017. Photo credit: NASA

Only a small portion of Pence’s visit was broadcast by NASA. He exchanged pleasantries with the ISS crew and NASA personnel in the operations center.  The only news was a comment that the Space Council will hold its first meeting “in a few short weeks.”

Pence visited Johnson Space Center in June when a new group of astronauts was introduced, and Kennedy Space Center in July where he provided a broad view of his ideas for NASA’s human exploration program.  During the KSC event, he said the Space Council would hold its first meeting before the end of the summer, but that date clearly has slipped.

NASA has six other field centers around the country plus the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (a federally funded research and development center operated by Caltech for NASA).  Any plans to visit them have not been announced.

At MSFC, Pence and Aderholt also received a briefing from Center Director Todd May on the Space Launch System (SLS) program, which is managed there.

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