Pence: America will 'lead in space again' under Trump

Pence: America will 'lead in space again' under Trump
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence in a new op-ed vows that the U.S. will "lead in space again" under the Trump administration.

Pence, in the piece published Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, said that the "Soviet Union launched the world's first satellite into orbit, changing the course of history" 60 years ago this week.

"The race for space was on, and the Soviets had taken an early lead. But the sight of Sputnik blinking across the October sky spurred Americans to action," wrote Pence, chairman of the National Space Council.

ADVERTISEMENT
"Twelve years later, with 'one giant leap for mankind,' the U.S. claimed its rightful place as the undisputed leader in the exploration of the heavens."

But, Pence said, that "pre-eminence in outer space is now under threat."

The vice president added that the U.S. needs to act.

"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," Pence wrote.

"On Thursday the council will hold its first meeting in nearly 25 years, and as its chairman, I will deliver a simple message: America will lead in space again."

The nation's prosperity and security is reliant upon U.S. leadership in space, Pence said.

"The president has charged the National Space Council with restoring that leadership," he wrote. "The council’s objectives are clear."

Pence said the administration will refocus the space program toward "human exploration and discovery," adding that the U.S. will be the first nation to "bring mankind to Mars."

Pence said he and Trump, in the coming weeks, will put together a Users' Advisory Group including leaders from the nation's commercial space industry.

"The National Space Council will enable our nation to bring American values to this infinite frontier. It will renew the American spirit itself, as we lift our heads and reach our hands toward the heavens, in pursuit of peace and hope for all mankind," Pence said.

"As the National Space Council meets Thursday, our nation can know with confidence: Under President Trump, America will lead in space again," he wrote.