Pence pitches U.S. return to the moon
WASHINGTON » In opening the first meeting of the resurrected National Space Council, Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that the United States would regain a leadership role in human space flight by embarking on a return mission to the moon, building the foundation to go to Mars.
Pence offered no specific timeline. Speaking before a group of cabinet members and the chief executives of several top space companies, he said the moon would be a “steppingstone, a training ground” that would eventually propel humanity deeper into the cosmos in partnership with the growing commercial space industry.
While he called for a renewed emphasis on exploration, he also said the council, designed to help guide U.S. policy in space, would need to create a more robust national security response to advancements made by Russia and China in developing “jamming and hacking” capabilities that can “cripple” military and intelligence satellites.
Pence’s call to return to the moon was the official declaration of a much- discussed goal of the Trump administration.