Pence: America will return to the moon and go beyond

Under the wings of the Space Shuttle Discovery, Vice President Mike Pence announced that America will push the boundaries of human space exploration at the first meeting of a reconstituted National Space Council.

We will return American astronauts to the moon,” he said October 5, speaking in Virginia at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. “Not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond.”

Pence leads the National Space Council, which coordinates U.S. space policy. In the first meeting of the council in almost 25 years, he brought together space agencies and related industries. The meeting included U.S. military officers and business executives.

America “will look beyond the halls of government for insight and expertise,” Pence writes in an October 5 Wall Street Journal commentary. Representatives from companies such as SpaceX, Lockheed Martin and Sierra Nevada said they are ready to launch a new era of spaceflight. They outlined new spacecraft and capabilities that will assist future U.S. missions to the moon and Mars.

Pence and Cabinet secretaries are seeking advice on regulations that harm launch capabilities and on how to unleash innovation. “Under President Trump, America will lead in space again,” Pence said.

World Space Week lasts from October 4 to 10. Download a free poster and celebrate exploring new worlds in space.