VP Pence sets 5-year deadline for moon landing

National Space Council meeting

Vice President Mike Pence addresses the audience attending a meeting of the National Space Council at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama with an American flag, space artifacts and rocket models in the background. (NASA via YouTube)

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 at a meeting of the National Space Council at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., next to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

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.”

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.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
This entry was posted in GeekWire and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.