Vice President Pence Delivers Remarks Regarding the Administration's Space Policy Priorities
Well Thank You administrator bridenstine. To the members of Congress, who are here director. Guy owed all our distinguished, guests. Including. The chief of the astronaut, office Pat, Forrester, and nine, members. Of the astronaut. Corps. Who are with us today to all the men and women, of NASA, who, are here in. This hall and watching, around the. Country. Men. And women who pushed the boundaries of human knowledge for, the benefit, of all it is my great honor to. Be here at the home of human. Spaceflight. The, Johnson, Space Center. It's. Great to be back and, before. I begin let me bring greetings from. A great champion. Of American. Leadership. At home and in, the boundless expanse of, space, I bring greetings from the 45th, President of the United. States President, Donald Trauma. Really. Is an honor to be with you today at. Such a time as this in the life of our space program and in, the life of our nation, thanks. To president, Trump's vision and decisive, action with strong support, from our partners in Congress and thanks to the pioneering. Work and, courage. Of the, innovators, and astronauts. Represented. Here past, present, and future and because of the enduring, commitment of the, Johnson, Space Center and NASA. America. Is leading, in space, once, again. We're, grateful to all of you let, me begin tonight it today as well by saying. How grateful we are for our NASA Administrator. Jim bridenstine he, served as a lieutenant commander of the United States Navy he served in the Congress and, now, he is leading NASA with distinction, at the dawn of a, renewed age of human space, exploration. Led. By, the United, States of America, Jim thank you for your leadership. Great. Job. I also. Want to thank the still kind. Of new director. Here at Johnson Space Center, Mark Guyer. Recipient. Of NASA's, Distinguished, Service Medal. His career, here has actually spanned, more than three decades and. I. Couldn't, be more impressed with the job that Mark Guyer is doing or the fact that he's a graduate of Purdue University, join. Me in thanking. Wow. I. Also. Want to thank a few other people before we get going I want to want, to acknowledge your two senators, who are both champions, of this space program, I know, they're not with us today they're working on Capitol Hill but join, me in thanking Senator, John Cornyn and Senator, Ted Cruz they, fight, for, this space. Program. Every. Day. And, I know I got mentioned before but we actually served together when I was in the Congress and I just I just want to give some special recognition, to someone. Who I've, known since the first day we met in 2001, has been a, passionate. Champion of, NASA and, of the Johnson Space Center and of American, leadership. In space, Congressman. John Culberson. You, got to know congressman, Culberson, is not just a congressman, from Texas he's the chairman, of the, subcommittee, that oversees the, budget for NASA and. Because of president, Trump's leadership, and vision and because of the strong support of. Congressman. Culberson, and, our bipartisan. Support in the Congress president Trump, signed the largest, budget. For NASA since the days of the Apollo program, thank. You John. We, really thank them all so, it's great to be back at the Johnson Space Center today, I've got. To look around a little bit and. I was like a kid in a candy store. I'm. Telling you what it was amazing. Talking, to astronauts, training at the neutral buoyancy lab, I looked, at some lunar samples, it's. Told that the samples we were looking at still incased haven't. Been opened since they were gathered, nearly a half a century ago and. It was my privilege to. Wander around this place with a with. A great American a hero. Of Apollo 17, and. A, man that all America. Is proud of one of the last two, men, to walk on the, moon Jack Schmitt it is always, an honor to be with you. We. Wrote over in my car together which is kind of cozy, lots of stuff piled in there and I was just imagining maybe, I was in them.
Me. And Jack Schmidt in close quarters. As. Close as I'll ever get Jenny. Thank. You thank you for your leadership and your courage and your commitment. A member of the user advisory, group advising, the national space Council, to, take NASA to even higher levels thank you again jack with. The strong support of all these leaders I'm. Pleased to report to the whole team here at NASA president, Trump has brought renewed vision and renewed action to America's space program, last. Summer as, Jim mentioned after it had lain dormant for nearly a quarter of a century President. Trump, revived, the National, Space, Council. And put us all to, work. As. We speak the National Space Council bringing together all different agencies of government that, bear on this program, and bringing together the best minds, in and. Around American, space leadership. We're forming a cohesive, a comprehensive, strategy for, America's space activities, it's, my honor to serve as chairman, and we've already forged, new partnerships between the federal government leaders in industry and academia. We're. Enacting new space, traffic management, policies, to protect our assets, in that crowded, realm we're rolling back stifling, red, tape so we can tap the bottomless well of American. Innovation, we're, also renewing, our national. Commitment to discovery, and, exploration. And, to write. The next great chapter, of our nation's journey, into space that's why last December. 45. Years almost to. The minute since. Jack Schmitt and Gene Cernan landed, on the moon President. Donald Trump signed space policy. Directive, 1, it is now the official, policy of the United, States of America. That we will return, to, the moon put, Americans. On Mars, and once, again explore. The farthest, depths. Of outer space. The, president's, leadership and all of your great work is, with the cause of what brings me here today but. This is the mission this. Is the future of the Johnson Space Center for. More than 50 years this storied Center has been at the forefront of America's journey to the Stars this is the home. Of the astronaut, corps and here. From the Mission Control Center you've guided every, American, crude, space expedition. Since, 1965. The. Names and the voyages, that you directed, from this place adorn. The mantle, of American. Greatness, project. Gemini you steered some of our earliest astronauts, high above what they, called the Blue Marble. Into. Low Earth orbit, in, the Apollo program you, navigated, the first members.
Of The human family to the moon and back at this very hour, you. Walk with our astronauts, through, their duties as they walk 200 miles above us orbiting the Earth every 90, minutes on the. International, Space Station the, Johnson, Space Center is. A. National. Treasure, and all the, men and women who work here are a national, asset. I have, to tell you I'm just speaking as a small-town, guy from southern Indiana but I I know the. American people admire they. Admire the work done here past present, and they they. Look for even greater things in the future here at Johnson Space Center and. Let me say to all of you and. All of those that might be looking on the. Most important. Work and the, best days for the Johnson Space, Center are, yet. To come. Downtown. Our. Administration, has laid out a new vision for space. President. Trump's vision to push. Our nation farther get. There faster than ever before, is. Being implemented even as we speak and. Unlike prior administrations, we have a vision with the budget to match as I. Mentioned, thanks to congressman culbertson's, leadership, and strong bipartisan, support in the Congress President, Trump already signed into law historic, funding for NASA and, we've also fully funded, NASA's most important, endeavors from from, deep space human exploration, America's. Rocket, the Space Launch, System and the Orion space, capsule these. Projects, as you all well known our, emblematic, of American leadership in the cosmos, the, Space Launch System will, be the largest and most powerful, rocket ever built. It. Will generate a staggering. Eleven point nine million. Pounds of thrust and reach, speeds of nearly seven miles per second and all this force all this energy will. Lift, American. Astronauts. Into space aboard, the Orion capsule. I just, saw one of those Orien capsules, floating, out in that big tank I know, we're getting ready to put that thing up in the air it'll. Be up before you know it the, next Americans, who set foot on the moon will start their journey by stepping through Orion's, hatch this. Extraordinary, spacecraft. Will one. Day bridge the gap between our planet in the next the. Orion will be a critical part of the, vessel that carries American. Astronauts. To Mars. And. You here at the Johnson Space Center will guide these journeys, while. Our sites are once again set on our lunar neighbor this time where we're. Not content, with just leaving, behind footprints. Or. Even to leave it all this. Time, as. Good a time has come we really. Believe for the United States of America. To. Take what we have learned over these so, many decades, put. Your ingenuity, and creativity to, work and establish. A permanent, presence, around and, on the, moon. Now. Some say that America, doesn't need to go back to the moon. We. Ought to focus on, issues. Closer to home that. Attitude was probably best described, in one of my favorite movies called, interstellar. Remember. That scene on the front porch. There's. An incredible, quote. One. Of the characters in the movie said. And I quote we used to look up at the sky and wonder at. Our place in the stars now, we just, look down and worry about our place in the dirt. That's. Not how Americans, think. Truthfully. That kind of thinking, led. People in the past they even canceled the constellation, program that. Would have put Americans back on the moon by 2020. And set, the stage for exploration, of Mars and beyond that, decision, was a mistake, it. Said to NASA it said to our country to the entire world that America was no longer serious, about human space exploration, we. Talked about going to Mars but without the moon as a stepping, stone without stronger, commercial partnerships, to help us get there a crewed mission to. The red planet was, not, much more than a mirage. But. Those days are over. America. Will lead mankind. To. The Stars once, again. Our, administration, has restored the moon as the focal point of our national space activities, because we recognize, its pivotal importance and. That's why under President Trump's leadership, our administration, is swiftly advancing, the most important, precursor, to outposts, on the moon and the, mission to Mars the, first space station that will orbit our nearest neighbor the lunar, orbital. Platform. Last. Year NASA began to. Work with American innovators, to design this gateways, unique electrical, propulsion system, we're working with the Congress to provide an unprecedented.
500, Million dollars to, move the lunar orbital platform, from proposal, to, production we're. Only a few short years away from launching the gateways first building. Blocks into space turning science fiction into science fact, and. Our administration, is working tirelessly to, put an American crew aboard, the lunar orbital, platform, before the end of. 2024. Men, and women of the Johnson Space Center it's. Not a question of if it's, just a question of when. We're, on the cusp of a new golden age of exploration I, believe it with all my heart, and. We've got the courageous astronauts, that are ready to lead us there again as. NASA continues to push back the, borders, of this still. New frontier, we will empower America's, private pioneers. As well to. Cultivate the vast expanses, that we've already explored, we'll ensure that American, security. In space is, attended, to as well you. Know the moon sits at the edge of the known and the unknown but, between here and there there are some. 240,000. Miles the region between the earth and the moon is ripe for opportunity, and nowhere. Is that more apparent and. Immediately beyond our atmosphere, low. Earth orbit, is critical, to, America's, national interests, it, holds immense, strategic, scientific, and commercial, value, and we, know this because of your work here at the Johnson Space Center with. The International, Space Station you. Know ever since bill Shepard first floated aboard the ISS in, the year 2000. There's been a continuous. Human presence in. Low-earth, orbit, and the, results have really been extraordinary, the. ISS, has conducted groundbreaking research on, microgravity, life-support. Systems it's been a testbed. For cutting-edge. Space technologies. And systems including, 3d printers, and zero-gravity. Fostered. Medical discoveries, for cancer and other diseases and give us new ways to. Treat our nation's veterans the. International. Space Station has spurred unprecedented. Collaboration, between. Our federal, government and a new generation of innovative American companies as well let. Me say this clearly the. International. Space Station, has been an. Unqualified. Success. And, the, men and when of Johnson, Space Center. Deserve. The credit for the history you've met. You, do. But. Like Skylab before it the ISS, as you all know has a finite. Lifetime with. The deadline for direct funding set for 2025, we have to prepare immediately for.
What Comes next, to, ensure American leadership, in low Earth orbit, tomorrow we are, taking action today in the. Words of mission controller and, legendary. Leader Gene Kranz we. Need to be tough and competent, to, achieve our goals together. With NASA we're already developing a comprehensive, plan. To do just that the Johnson. Space Center knows, well the high cost of inaction the. Men and women of NASA has all have always been committed to American leadership in space but but. Too often our policymakers. Have failed to match your. Conviction, with. Action, and investment. For the future, the. Last decade is proof, the. End of the space shuttle program in 2011, left, America, without a viable human space, launch program. While. I was a member of Congress actually had the opportunity to attend three. Different shuttle launches some. Of the most inspiring, experience. Of my little. Family's lives. Sadly. For more than seven, years we've, been we've. Been forced to hitch a ride to space. Many. Americans don't know that we've actually been forced to pay Russia to. Carry American, astronauts, to the International Space, Station and today. That. Cost runs about 82, million, dollars, per seat. Those. Days are about to be over. I'm. Gonna make you promise soon, and very soon, American. Astronauts. Will return to, space on American. Rockets. Launched, from American, soil. And, when they go of course they'll be guided. By the dedicated, team here, at the Johnson Space Center you. Know when we ended the shuttle program. It. Was more than a loss of momentum though. It. Was really a. Tremendous. Loss, for America's. Space workforce. You. All know that better than me the. End of the space shuttle program meant, that many of our leading researchers, technicians, and space professionals. No. Longer had a mission. Here. At the Johnson, Space Center alone, some, 3,200. Contractors, were laid off, cutbacks. And consequences. Rippled through University's research. Labs, our, space industrial, base and even the Department of Defense. These. Were men and women who you knew you. Worked with, there. Were men and women of creativity, and, intellect, and unparalleled. Skill but. They. Were frankly, victims. Victims. Of our governments, shortsightedness. In, those days. America. Lost nearly a decade, of space experience. And. Frankly we'll never know the opportunities, that we. Missed in the progress, that was. Missed at that time but. Let me promise all of you and all, of the men, and women of NASA and our national space, enterprise. Our, administration. Will not repeat, the mistakes of the past we will Forge this, new. Era, of American, leadership. In. Space on your. Innovation. And the extraordinary. Integrity. And intellect. And innovation. Of our space workforce. The, Johnson Space Center has already given us a glimpse of what the future will hold this. Center is now a thriving, hub of partnership, between the federal government and America's, pioneering space, companies. You've. Worked closely and Mark and I were just talking about this you've worked very closely with private, industry to, deliver critical cargo, and material to the International, Space Station through. The commercial resupply services which, has already successfully completed, 23 different missions with more, on the way as. We speak you're making remarkable, progress on the Commercial Crew program earlier. This month as, president, Trump celebrated, himself NASA.
Announced, The astronauts, who will conduct the first flights on Boeing's. Starliner. And SpaceX. Dragon. And they'll be going as early as next year. But. So. Really we're just getting started this is just the beginning as, NASA reorient, stored human, space, exploration our. Private, companies and visionary innovators, are going, to take the lead in developing, the region's closer to home, they. Will do as Americans have always done will, inspire the world with their ability, to create opportunity, and, frankly. Prosperity. Not. Out of thin air, out. Of nowhere. And. Our administration, as we speak is working with the Congress to give, NASA the funding you need to. Ensure to. Ensure that these new space. Pioneers. Are. Given the freedom and the flexibility, to be able to develop what they should develop and make. It a smooth transition, to an exciting future of collaboration. Johnson. Space Center is going to continue to play an essential and irreplaceable role in navigating America's, future in. Low-earth orbit, you can count on it America. Will. Not ever. Abandon. The critical, domain, of space, we, will open the way for innovators. And development, and we will lead once, again in human. Exploration. And. As I stand here today at, the home of our civilian spaceflight, program let me also assure my fellow Americans, that. Under president Trump's leadership we're also taking steps as we speak to. Ensure that American, national security, is as dominant, in space. As. It is here on earth, we're. Already deploying new technologies, and more Brazilian satellites. Earlier. This month at the Pentagon it was my privilege to lay out president, Trump's plan, to establish a, sixth, branch of our armed forces the. United States space, force, the. United States space force we. Believe is an idea whose time has come, just. As our nation established, the air force to ensure American, dominance in the skies in the mid 20th century in, this. Still, new, century. We. Will create an armed service, devoted, solely to advancing. American, security, in space, and the. Need is real, just. This week the Pentagon released a report showing the China is aggressively, weaponizing. Space. Russia. Too is, developing. And testing, new and dangerous weapons, and technologies, to, counter. America's, space capabilities. Let, me assure my fellow Americans. Here our administration. Is committed to. Keep. America ahead of our adversaries in. This critical domain, and as. We speak the Department of Defense is moving forward with initial, steps to, strengthen American, security, in space, and. We will continue to work with both parties. In Congress to, provide the necessary authorities. And fundings to stand, up a new branch of our armed forces and, the, United States Department, of space, force will, be a reality, by the year 2020. And. It really is incredible, to think about the history you all have made here and. It's. Humbling for me to. Serve. As your vice president but, also to, have. Been asked by the President to serve in the role as chairman of the National Space Council. The. Truth is our our. Nation has in not, only inspired, our people but we've inspired the. World by the progress that we've made and it's been because. Of all of you, because.
Of The work that you've done here, because. Of the tireless and, peerless. Work of NASA but. The, truth is as much as it's been important. For NASA to lead in the past you are the. Linchpin. To, American. Success in the future, the. Truth is with all of you we will go farther, farther. Than ever before, we'll. Bring distant, places and opportunities, closer to. The grasp of future Americans, will be remembered, in our time for. Having done our part for the. Ongoing, and limitless. Reach, of the American, dream, so. Today. I just simply want to leave you with the challenge as, we, write this new chapter of American exploration. I urge. You to embrace. This. New energy. And these. New opportunities. Rededicate. Yourselves. To. The mission of NASA after. You leave here today know. That you have in this president, in our entire administration. And. I believe in the hearts of the American people, and those that represent them, you. Have great champions, and great advocates, that are anxious to see your work expand, I. Just. Know in my heart in. Our lifetimes, with your renewed, energy and creativity, and dedication. We. Will do as Americans have always done. NASA. Will, all the world. With. Our daring heroes. With. Our discoveries, and, with our relentless determination to, bring new, horizons, and new, vistas, within. The reach of mankind. This. Is a fitting time to rededicate ourselves. To, the noble mission of this agency, for. This year marks the 50th anniversary of, really a seminal moment. Of. American leadership in space an. Achievement, that inspired not only our nation but all the world. It. Was Christmas Eve 1968. The. Heroes of Apollo 8 Bill, Anders Jim Lovell Frank, Borman. We're. Orbiting their craft. Above the moon's, foreboding. Surface. History. Records as they as they rounded. The. Moon on that fateful night on, the. Horizon they saw home. An. Oasis. Of light and color and warmth. Floating, untethered. In. The Dark Void. They. Were the first to. Catch a glimpse of, our. World as heaven season. Through. The ingenuity, and courage of your predecessors, they were farther away from us than any humans had ever been and on that night. They. Spoke to the world. From. That spacecraft. Not. About the gray moon that was beneath them but about the. Miracle that rose from the horizon before them and as the world listened. History. Records they read ancient verses. From. The book of Genesis. That. In the beginning God created the, heavens and the earth. And. They close with the verse and God saw it was good. Those. Pioneers, saw from that far perspective, that however deep into the cosmos we may reach. Our. Destiny. Mankind's. Destiny is, not only here, on earth, it is in the heavens, as well. So, men and women at the Johnson Space Center men, and women of NASA here. And watching around the country let's go forth and meet. That destiny, together and, do what Americans have always done let's let's. Seize it with ingenuity and courage and. What seize it with faith. You. Can be confident. The. American people have faith in all of you we've seen what you've done before and those that have, served.
In Your positions, before pushing, the boundaries of human, knowledge forging. A new era of American leadership in, space, you've. Done it before we know you'll. Do it again we. Go forth with faith and the ideals that bind us together as a nation and give us purpose as a people. Ideals. That, America. Will take freedom. Into. The farthest, reaches, of this new frontier as. Well and. Finally. Those. Of you who will guide this mission on a personal, level I just I want. To assure you that millions, of Americans will carry you in their. Prayers. And. They have faith and hope, you have confidence, that as you go you do not go alone. That. Millions. Of Americans will claim that ancient promise that if you. Rise. On the wings of the dawn if you go up to the heavens even there his hand will. Guide you his. Right hand will hold you fast our. Heroes will go with the prayers of the, American people. So thank you for thank, you for the warm welcome today, thank you for your extraordinary work I leave. Here today more. Confident, than ever with. The renewed commitment of all of you here at. The Johnson Space Center and all the men and women of NASA. We. Were advancing, America's, space enterprise every, single hour of the day with, the strong leadership of President, Donald Trump and a. Renewed vision for American leadership in space, led. By the president, supported, in our Congress. The. Strong support of the American people in with, God's help I know. That our nation has a brighter future than, ever in the, boundless expanse of, space and we. Will lead into, that future together. Thank. You god, bless you.