Pence says NASA will put people on the moon again

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He called the moon a "stepping stone" and "training ground" to help refocus the program on "human" space exploration. Pence also said that there will be a "constant presence" in low-Earth orbit. Coats, Vice President Mike Pence, other top officials and outside space experts said the United States has to counter and perhaps match potential enemies' ability to target US satellites. "American companies are on the cutting edge of space technology, and they're developing new rockets, spaceships, and satellites that will take us further into space faster than ever before", Pence said.

Past presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and to a lesser extent Barack Obama have proposed spectacular missions to the moon or Mars or both, only to have funding trouble keep them from coming true, said space expert Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation.

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

"By reviving the National Space Council, President Donald Trump has declared to all of the world 'America will lead in space once again, '" Pence said from a podium standing in front of the Space Shuttle that was previously used for sending astronauts to space. It will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and include participation by acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot, as well as a number of Trump Administration cabinet members and senior officials, and aerospace industry leaders. And they're promising that in five years, astronauts could be working around the moon, but it will be some time before they land there.

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Trying to tamp down expectations, the State Department said later there were no signs Pyongyang was interested in talks. As China takes a tougher stance, North Korea appears to be looking to Russian Federation for support.

The council consists of professionals from various sectors of the space industry, including the Civil Commercial and National Security Sector.

'According to the USA intelligence community, Russian Federation and China are pursuing a full range of anti-satellite technology to reduce US military effectiveness, and they are increasingly considering attacks against satellite systems as part of their future warfare doctrine'.

Left unsaid is how NASA will get humans to the Moon and (eventually, probably decades from now) Mars.

Among the participants in the council meeting Thursday were CEOs Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin, Dennis Muilenburg of Boeing and David Thompson of Orbital ATK, who each emphasized the importance of the space program to the nation's well-being.

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