Friday, 20 October, 2017

Pence says NASA will put people on the moon again

Enlarge  Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Kennedy Space Center earlier this Enlarge Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Kennedy Space Center earlier this
Wilma Wheeler | 06 October, 2017, 00:27

"We won the race to the moon a half century ago, we will win the 21st century in space", he said at the first meeting of the revived National Space Council at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.

"American leadership in space will be assured", Pence said. He said that the government has not been able to match the spirit the American people have for space travel.

Pence criticized previous administrations for allowing NASA to fall behind the space programs of other nations, specifically Russian Federation and China, while noting that in the half-century since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the famous first lunar landing aboard Apollo 11, the United States has "ceded ground" due to "apathy and neglect" for space exploration. Led by Cabinet members, national security officials, scientists and business leaders, it will review current policy and set long-range goals. "Not only to leave footprints and flags, but to send Americans to Mars and beyond".

According to NASA, the council was known as the National Aeronautics and Space Council from 1958 to 1973, and as the National Space Council from 1989 to 1993.

"Rather than lead in space, too often, we've chosen to drift", he said.

The Trump administration is committed to sending astronauts to the moon as part of a broader push to prioritize human spaceflight and firm up US dominance in the final frontier, Vice President Mike Pence said. Pence also stressed the importance of commercial companies maintaining a permanent presence in lower Earth orbit so that NASA could focus on deep-space missions.

This seems to clearly be a reference to innovative rocket design and reusability coming from new space companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin. 'But now we start again'.

Among the participants in the council meeting Thursday were CEOs Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin, Dennis Muilenburg of Boeing and David Thompson of Orbital ATK, who each emphasized the importance of the space program to the nation's well-being. "With the upcoming budget process, we will look to solidify this work with our new goals in place", NASA's acting administrator, Robert Lightfoot said in a statement.

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