Vice President Pence gets insider look at Kennedy Space Center

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 7, 2017

"For almost 25 years, our government's commitment seems to have not matched the spirit of the American people", he said. Pence added that the council will bring together experts from government agencies, the military, private industries and academic institutions to enhance the Trump administration's space policy. "It will restore our confidence and our confidence that we can and will achieve the impossible".

"We will beat back any disadvantage that our lack of attention has placed and America will once again lead in space", Pence said. President Donald Trump re-established the advisory group on Friday.

Pence also said space is vital to American national security interests, promising: "I can assure you that under President Donald Trump, American security will be as dominant in the heavens as we are here on Earth". "As the president has said, 'Space is, ' in his words, 'the next great American frontier.' And like the pioneers that came before us, we will settle that frontier with American leadership, American courage and American ingenuity".

He also toured NASA's Kennedy Space Center to see progress in constructing a NASA spaceship destined for deep space and privately built capsules created to send astronauts to low-Earth orbit in the coming years.

The vice president's visit to the Kennedy Space Center Thursday may offer the clearest look yet at how NASA may change under the Trump administration. The backdrop included three capsules: the first SpaceX Dragon to carry supplies to the International Space Station, NASA's Orion that flew into space on a test flight, and a training version of Boeing's Starliner crew vessel.

The White House has not released other details about the council, including who will serve as executive secretary, its day-to-day leader, but Pence said the council will be ready to start work later this summer.

Pence said the new National Space Council is the third interation of the Council.

And propelling people to Mars by the 2030s was a key feature of USA space policy under the previous administrations of Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

Other than reestablishing the National Space Council and signing a NASA authorization bill in March, the administration's actions to date have not matched that rhetoric.

The National Space Council, Logsdon said, has a "mixed record, and it totally depends on how the president relates to the vice president and how the vice president chooses to use his limited influence, whether he makes this an area of priority for him, which Humphrey and Agnew did not, Bush-Quayle did".

As for what Pence and the council might do in the near term, Logsdon cautioned not to expect any immediate changes in direction. "Then a year later, a year after taking office, he made his big space policy decision".

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