President Trump signed an executive order on Friday, reinstating the National Space Council which has been dormant for nearly 25 years.
“Today’s announcement sends a clear signal to the world that we are restoring America’s proud legacy of leadership in space,” Trump said at the signing in the Roosevelt Room, which was attended by veteran astronaut Colonel Buzz Aldrin.
“With the actions we are launching today, America will think big once again. Important words: Think big. We haven’t been thinking so big for a long time, but we’re thinking big again as a country,” the president continued.
“We will inspire millions of children to carry on this proud tradition of American space leadership — and they’re excited — and to never stop wondering, hoping, and dreaming about what lies beyond the stars,” he said.
Vice President Pence, who announced the White House’s plan to re-launch the program in June, will serve as the council’s chair and will assist Trump with selecting people to serve on the board.
“I’m honored and frankly enthusiastic about the role POTUS has asked me to play in renewing our nation’s commitment to space,” Pence said in a tweet on Friday.
The council, which was created under former President Eisenhower, was last active under former President George H.W. Bush.
The council aims to centralize several federal agencies with oversight of space policy.