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Pence vows United States will return to moon, go to Mars

Pence vows United States will return to moon, go to Mars

"The moon will be a stepping stone, a training ground, a venue to strengthen our commercial and global partnerships as we refocus America's space program toward human space exploration", Pence added.

Pence delivered his remarks at the first meeting of the reconstituted National Space Council, the body's first such gathering in almost 25 years.

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

And the moon 'will be a stepping-stone, a training ground, ' he said, on the way to Mars. Versions of the SLS rocket and Orion capsule were originally conceived as part of the Constellation program - an effort under Bush to take astronauts to the Moon that was canceled by Obama.

Pence said then that he saw the future of space exploration including trips to the moon, Mars and beyond.

"The President has charged us with laying the foundation for American to maintain a constant commercial human presence in low-Earth orbit".

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The announcement joins the revival of the National Space Council, a special Trump administration resurrection slated to hold its first meeting in nearly a quarter of a century.

"We will renew America's commitment to creating the space technology needed to protect national security".

Pence said that in the coming weeks, he and President Trump will assemble a Users' Advisory Group partly composed of leaders from the commercial space industry. "And, as we learned 60 years ago, when we drift, we fall behind". Trump re-established the National Space Council in an executive order signed in June.

"Space is vital to our national security".

In a statement today, US Vice President Mike Pence stated that NASA will once again put people on the moon, though no time frame for this planned project was given.

Pence, who has been meeting with NASA researchers at centers across the country for the past few months, said he was humbled to be the chairman for the revived council. SpaceX's Gwynne Shotwell touted the company's successful Falcon 9 rocket launches and landings, while Boeing reminded NASA of its long history building the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. But for now, NASA's route to the Moon isn't truly certain.

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