Few thing fascinate Americans more than space exploration.
After all, the United States has been leading the way in outer space for decades, having been the first nation to successful land a man on the moon all the way back in the 1960’s.
Now, as technology continues to grow both here and abroad, there is a renewed sense of importance out there in the unknown.
Vice President Mike Pence understands this, and has instructed NASA to get American boots back on the lunar surface.
Vice President Mike Pence today called for American astronauts to return to the moon in five years, laying down a challenge comparable to the 1960s Space Race.
“We’re in a space race today, just as we were in the 1960s, and the stakes are even higher,” Pence declared during a meeting of the National Space Council at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.
For an example, he pointed to China’s Chang’e-4 mission, which put a lander and a rover on the moon’s far side in January. He also noted that Russia has been charging NASA as much as $80 million per seat for rides to the International Space Station in the wake of the space shuttle fleet’s retirement in 2011.
“But it’s not just competition against our adversaries,” Pence said. “We’re also racing against our worst enemy: complacency.”
The Vice President was adamant.
Pence, who chairs the National Space Council, acknowledged that the cost of an accelerated push back to the moon would be great, but said that “the costs of inaction are greater.” NASA would be given authority to meet the five-year goal by “any means necessary,” Pence promised.
If the 2024 deadline isn’t met by NASA, the Vice President relayed that the government would then look to the commercial space industry for the innovations necessary.
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