Trump administration officials are pledging to send Americans back to the moon - and then on to Mars. He mentions an advisory group composed of commercial space leaders and says, "business is leading the way on space technology, and we intend to draw from the bottomless well of innovation to solve the challenges ahead". And they're promising that in five years, astronauts could be working around the moon. "We will return Americans to the moon ... and build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond".
President Trump has revived the National Space Council to assist him in developing and implementing long-range strategic goals for our nation's space policy.
The Vice President said the meeting will outline the Trump administration's vision for space enterprise for the first time in over 25 years.
The primacy of these stated goals was reflected in the makeup of the panelists at today's meeting, which was held at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
"We will refocus America's space program toward human exploration and discovery", Pence wrote.
Left unsaid is how NASA will get humans to the Moon and (eventually, probably decades from now) Mars.
Pence served on the NASA subcommittee during his days in the House of Representatives, and has spoken often about watching rocket launches on TV as a child.
The acting administrator of NASA said he was "confident and excited" about bringing a plan to the president to further NASA's work.
'We started [it], but we never completed. "We can only decide to match and raise our adversaries who are already weaponizing space", former NASA chief Michael Griffin said. Coats, Vice President Mike Pence, other top officials and outside space experts said the United States has to counter and perhaps match potential enemies' ability to target USA satellites. "And we will once again astonish the world as we boldly go to meet our future in the skies and in the stars".
"America must be as dominant in space as we are here on earth", Pence said. Perhaps we'll see some changes to the budget later this year, or perhaps with the president's budget request early next year.