Vice President Mike Pence was standing in front of the Discovery shuttle yesterday when he announced that there is a renewed focus that will see the United States make a return to the moon. While addressing members at a meeting with the National Space Council, the vice president said that the project would not only focus on landing on the moon but will offer a foundation on which America will use to send astronauts to Mars. The National Space Council is responsible for coordinating policies with the relevant department and organizations. This could be the Department of Defense and NASA. However, the council had not been in operation since 1993 when it was banned. It was revived by an executive order by President Trump. The meeting was streamed live on the internet and was being held at the National Air & Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Some of the council members include Office of Management and Budget director Mike Mulvaney, national security advisor General H.R and Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce. Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also make up the council. However, during his speech, the vice president didn’t lay a timetable or set a strategy that would be used to implement the project.
The initial remarks of the vice president described the current United States space program as declining. He also reserved some criticism for the Obama administration by accusing it of capitulation rather than working hard to compete with other nations. He asked the aerospace executives whether the United States had fallen back. He also asked their judgment on the same issue. This is a question that was largely sidestepped by the executives. Lockheed Martin chief executive Marillyn A. Hewson also addressed the committee. She talked about the importance of being vigilant. She was addressing the issue of intelligence and communication satellites and attacks. During her speech, she also addressed other aspects of the space program. She talked about its spiritual, educational and economic benefits to humanity. Boeing chief executive Dennis A. Muilenburg also addressed the gathering. He insisted on the importance of steady commitment and consistent financing in achieving the long-term goals and objectives related to the space program. There were concerns for the inclusion of public-private partnerships in these programs. These concerns were raised by Jeffrey P. Bezos of Blue Origin and Elon Musk of the SpaceX program. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell also graced the occasion.