Michael R. Pence, Vice President of the United States, has announced that Trump and his administration intend to build a base on the moon, before heading to Mars.
The statement coincided with the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon landing, speaking of that mission he said, “Unity is the true legacy of Apollo 11 – and we must capture that same unity in our own day by renewing our commitment to American leadership in space.”
In the statement, Pence outlined the administration’s plans for a base at the moon’s South Pole saying, “So to continue the proud tradition established in the Apollo program, and to ensure that our most cherished values prevail in the skies above, President Trump has made it our national policy to return to the moon in the next five years – and this time, we will stay.”
The Vice President explained that the base will be used for astronauts, who could live on the moon for months, gaining valuable information and then taking the learned data and applying it in the race for Mars, adding “We will become the first nation in the history of mankind to set foot on the red planet of Mars.”
Pence also commented on the speed at which the administration has prioritized space travel, pointing out they have been in office for just one year, saying such missions have “laid dormant for nearly a quarter-century.”
The administration has made the change to national policy to return to earth’s natural satellite, the Moon, within the next five years. NASA’s budget is currently the largest since the Apollo missions.