VP Pence to Hold National Space Council Meeting in Virginia

VP Pence to Hold National Space Council Meeting in Virginia

VP Pence to Hold National Space Council Meeting in Virginia

"And from the foundation of the moon, America will be the first nation to bring mankind to Mars", Pence wrote.

For now, it's unknown how this destination shift will affect NASA's long-term plans.

Indeed, as Pence put it, "Business is leading the way on space technology, and we intend to draw from the bottomless well of innovation to solve the challenges ahead".

Pence explained that America "seems to have lost our edge in space".

The location of the first ever meeting of the National Space Council, with Space Shuttle Discovery in the background. "That means launching American astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit for the first time since 1972".

But it could be some time before we know how the Trump administration plans to lead in space again.

In the latest flip-flop of national space priorities, Vice President Mike Pence says Barack Obama's focus on Mars will take a back seat to the moon. The first, "on the Moon", is fairly obvious. 'But now we start again'.

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Pence said that along with space exploration, the Trump administration wants NASA to renew America's commitment to creating the space technology needed to protect national security. In recent years NASA has talked about sending humans to a space station near the Moon but not landing astronauts there.

Space industry leaders said they and NASA are building the spaceships to get there.

'According to the USA intelligence community, Russian Federation and China are pursuing a full range of anti-satellite technology to reduce US military effectiveness, and they are increasingly considering attacks against satellite systems as part of their future warfare doctrine'.

The group "ensure [s] that all aspects of the nation's space power - national security, commerce, worldwide relations, exploration, and science, are coordinated and aligned to best serve the American people". Pence repeatedly connected space exploration with national security.

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the country needs to "deter and when necessary defeat adversaries' counter-space efforts..."

In a panel on commercial spaceflight, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell described her companies development of reusable rockets and spacecraft, including the Big Falcon Rocket and Big Falcon Spaceship, which the company plans to use to transport people to the moon and Mars.

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