• Pence KSC visit focuses on returning to moon, getting to Mars

    By: Kelly Healey , Christopher Heath

    Updated:

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Vice President Mike Pence began his second day on the Space Coast Wednesday.

     

    Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence arrived Tuesday evening and got an up-close look at some of the private space flight companies, including the Blue Origin facility, which, along with SpaceX, is one of the biggest private space flight companies.

     

    Watch: SpaceX launches new rocket

     

    Their first stop was at the United Launch Alliance facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where Pence saw the rockets being processed for the next scheduled Delta IV Heavy launch, which will carry a solar probe into space.

     

    Pence’s Wednesday agenda began with a 10:00 a.m. National Space Council meeting at Kennedy Space Center.

     

    Read: Pence speaks on future of spaceflight at KSC

     

    Pence convened the meeting inside the building where NASA once prepped pieces of the International Space Station.

     

    This is the second meeting of the National Space Council. Pence, its chairman, named a group of candidates to advise the council that includes Buzz Aldrin and other former astronauts and aerospace industry leaders.

     

    Read: Space station gets 3 new astronauts

     

    Wednesday's meeting focused on the Trump administration's plan to return astronauts to the moon and get them to Mars and "worlds beyond."

     

    Space Florida officials said having the first meeting outside of Washington DC is an honor. Officials said the administration specifically chose to have it in Florida to focus on commercial space, as launching into space will increasingly move to enterprise. 

    Pence said the federal government will focus on helping where it can by balancing aiding commerce with national defense. 

    “Russian and Chinese destructive anti-satellite weapons, including lasers and missals, will probably reach operation in the next few years,” said Susan Gordon, Deputy Director of National Intelligence. 

    The Department of Defense is poised to receive an additional $1 billion to deal with the threat. 

    Meanwhile, the Space Council also discussed ways to lift private commerce by cutting red tape and regulations. 

    Pence later took a complete tour inside Kennedy Space Center.

     

    Watch below: Pence addresses crowd at KSC:

    Next Up: