Dec 9, 2020
Mike Pence Chairs 8th National Space Council Meeting Transcript December 9
VP Mike Pence chaired the 8th meeting of the National Space Council on December 9. Read the transcript of the event here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
… Dan [inaudible 00:00:01]. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the chairman of the National Space Council, Vice President Mike Pence.
VP Mike Pence: (00:47)
Well, good afternoon. And thank you all for joining us and all of you that are joining us from afar. To the members of the president’s cabinet on the National Space Council, to leaders across our administration, to members of the National Space Council’s user advisory group, and to all those present, welcome to the eighth meeting of the National Space Council, men and women who have revived American leadership in space. It’s a particular pleasure to be back here in Florida on the Space Coast and also to be here at the World’s Premier Gateway to Space. Join me in thanking the Kennedy Space Center and Director Bob Cabana for their tremendous hospitality and leadership for space. So it’s wonderful to be here at this Apollo Center, Bob, and it’s an incredible place. People have come from around the country and around the world to be inspired by the past and now the present and the future of American leadership in space.
VP Mike Pence: (01:59)
And we’re truly grateful to Kennedy Space Center for all that you’ve done to continue to advance American leadership. Allow me to also bring greetings from a champion of American space exploration, someone who has revived American’s leadership in human space exploration in just four short years. I bring greetings from the 45th president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. Today at this eighth meeting of the National Space Council, we will have updates from all of our councils members about the progress that we have made both in civilian, in economic and military advances in space. But before I start, let me at least acknowledge the passing of an extraordinary American whose life and contributions to American aviation have undoubtedly led to inspire the advances that we’ve made in the vast expanse of space.
VP Mike Pence: (03:02)
This past Monday, America lost one of our greatest heroes, one of the greatest heroes, not just in the history of the United States Air Force, but in the history of American aviation, General Chuck Yeager. He was a man of a humble background, grew up in rural West Virginia. Enlisted in the military, he would go on to become one of the greatest aviators of all time. Chuck Yeager was a war hero, shot down 13 Nazi aircraft, was himself shot down over France. Flew more than 150 military planes, a total of more than 10,000 hours, 30 years of active duty, and as history records, was the first man to break the sound barrier. General Chuck Yeager has now left us, made his final ascent, but it was my great honor as we renamed two Air Force bases as space force basis just a short while ago. To announce it at the direction of President Donald Trump, we are initiating today efforts to rename an upcoming United States military base after the late and great General Chuck Yeager.
VP Mike Pence: (04:16)
I think people here at Kennedy Space Center know, and all of a sudden the space council know, we literally would not be here today, but for the achievements of General Yeager and all of those who’ve been inspired by his courage, and America will never fail, will never fail or never forget the life and contribution of General Chuck Yeager. So as we gather for this eighth installment of the National Space Council, allow me to express my appreciation to all of the members of the space council and to reflect for just a few moments before we get started on how much has changed over the last four years since the very first meeting of this council. When you look at national security, the progress that we’ve made in civil and private space sectors, one thing is clear. In four short years, America is leading in space once again, it’s true.
VP Mike Pence: (05:18)
When we took office, the National Space Council had lain dormant for more than 25 years. President Trump articulated an inspiring vision for renewed American leadership in space. In his inaugural address, the president said, and I quote, “We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space.” And so we have set out to do. In our first year in office, the president revived this council to reinvigorate and coordinate space activities all across the federal government. The president brought together some of the best minds in government and the private sector to strengthen America’s space enterprise. And so many of you are here with us today and we’re truly grateful. And whether it’s providing for the common defense or growing our space economy across America, that’s exactly what we’ve done throughout the past four years.
VP Mike Pence: (06:13)
In the very first days of our administration, the president signed multiple executive orders in presidential directives to reorient our space program to human space exploration. He took steps to unleash America’s commercial space companies and to safeguard our national interests in the increasingly complex and competitive domain of space. In our first year in office, the president signed Space Policy Directive 1 and gave NASA a clear goal that we are going to go back to the moon and this time, we are going to stay. We made clear in our first year that the moon is not a final destination, but it’s a base for developing and training for future deep space missions. We’re going back to the moon and then we’re going to Mars and beyond.
VP Mike Pence: (07:14)
As we gather here in this historic place, I can’t help but think back 48 years ago, December 1972, to Apollo 17, the last Apollo mission to the moon. It would be December 14th, 1972, that Apollo 17’s commander, a Navy pilot named Gene Cernan and a graduate of Purdue University in Indiana, he prepared to depart for earth from the surface of the moon. And he spoke words that have really echoed through our time as an ongoing admonition. He said, and I quote, “America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow.” And he said, “As we leave the moon, we leave as we came, and God willing, we shall return with peace and hope for all mankind.” Gene Cernan was the last man to walk on the moon, but he didn’t want to stay the last. He spent the rest of his natural life advocating for America to go back to the moon and we are going to honor Gene Cernan’s memory by putting the next man and the first woman on the moon in just a few short years.
VP Mike Pence: (08:42)
As you’ll also hear updates today, the president also set NASA and the private sector, the entrepreneurial companies that have been involved in space exploration and development in motion to ensure that we would return to the moon and then the next astronauts on the surface of the moon and all the economic development in space would be driven by American ingenuity. And we’re going to ensure that Americans, we’re going to be the very first. The very first, not only to develop on the moon and Mars, but also to continue to develop the economic potential of space exploration. Even in this challenging year in the life of our nation when Americans have sacrificed so much, we’ve continued to make steady progress toward that goal of renewed American leadership in space. This spring, it was my great honor to attend the first crewed launch along with the president of the United States from right here at the Kennedy Space Center.
VP Mike Pence: (09:39)
It’s the first time we sent American astronauts into space from Kennedy Space Center in nearly a decade. And then not to wait a minute further, this last November, I returned again to see the second crewed full-scale launch and mission of American astronauts from American soil back into American space. That’s the result of real leadership and renewed American leadership in space. And what’s remarkable is those rockets were built by American private enterprise in this new partnership that we have forged and built upon in the United States over the last four years. When a businessman turned president decided to renew our commitment to space, he knew it was important to unleash the power of America’s private sector and so we have done. As you will no doubt hear today from the Secretary of Commerce, we went to work early on to cut and streamline out-of-date regulations that made the United States the number one country in the world for space business, and will continue to accelerate investment and development in space.
VP Mike Pence: (10:50)
This past April, the president signed an executive order to recognize and promote the rights of private companies to recover and use space resources. That order we believe will provide the kind of clarity and stability that our businesses need to thrive. It will give our entrepreneurs the incentive to take our commercial space activity to all new heights. And just last week, NASA made its first commitments to buy lunar material from private companies and will continue to build on creating the kind of incentives that will generate investment in space development for generations to come. And even as we make great progress in expanding America’s commercial activity in space, we also recognize the challenges of digital threats to our space operations. And that’s why the president established cybersecurity principles for all of our space systems, whether government or private.
VP Mike Pence: (11:43)
The president put in place the world’s first comprehensive space traffic management policy as well and made it clear that we’re going to use the resources, the capabilities and the technologies of the private sector to make all space activities safer and more secure than ever before. It’s amazing as you think about all these accomplishments in renewed human exploration in space from here in the United States the difference that all these distinguished members of the National Space Council have made in America’s future in space. But at the time that we acknowledge the progress that we have made in expanding human space exploration and reviving American space enterprise, we also recognize that there are challenges and even threats in space as well. As I just said, as we dedicated two Air Force bases now as the first two space force bases in America, space is a vacuum, but we aren’t operating in a vacuum when it comes to our national security.
VP Mike Pence: (12:47)
The space race that began in the 1950s continues today. We are in the lead, but we are not alone. As you will hear today in the National Space Council from the Director of National Intelligence and others, China and Russia are continuing to develop space weaponry. Russia demonstrated a space-based anti-satellite weapon earlier this year. China is developing a new manned space station and its robotic spacecraft will return samples from the moon in just a matter of weeks. In fact, China is increasingly emerging as a serious competitor in space, just as they are in other areas of the global economy and to the strategic interests of the United States. As the world witnessed, China recently landed and unmanned craft on the moon, and for the first time, robotically raised the red flag of communist China on that magnificent desolation.
VP Mike Pence: (13:49)
All of that competition and the investment of other nations on earth in security in space is among the reasons why our commander in chief took the unprecedented step of establishing the first new branch of our armed forces in some 70 years. President of the United States, now almost a year ago, signed into law the creation of the United States Space Force. Under President Trump, the highest priority of our administration is the safety and security of the American people. And where too often, too often in the past, America’s neglected growing security threats in space, this president had called for extending our dominance on land and sea and air to the final frontier. It would be June of 2018 when President Trump laid out his vision for American military power in space. He called for the creation of that new military service that we spoke of today at the dedication of those bases.
VP Mike Pence: (14:57)
I believe it is a attribute to the president’s leadership, as well as the leadership of all the military personnel that are gathered here today, that literally in just a year and a half after our president first called for the establishment of a space force after it had been talked about for a half a century, he was able to sign it into law. Extraordinary to think of the contribution, the contribution that the United States Space Force will make to the security of our nation and the perpetuation of our freedom. As Deputy Secretary Norquist will reflect in a few minutes, the space force is growing stronger by the day. In fact, Secretary Barrett and I were not long ago in Colorado Springs when we saw the first 86 company grade officers commissioned into the United States Space Force. And we’re pleased to be joined today by the chief of space operations, the man who has been working around the clock to stand up the United States Space Force.
VP Mike Pence: (15:57)
Join me in thanking General Jay Raymond who’s with us here today. General. So we’ve made great progress. We evidenced that today in the dedication of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and also Patrick Space Force Base right here on the Space Coast in Florida. And I know the lieutenant governor of Florida is with us here today and is pleased to see that. But just like 42 years ago when Gene Cernan was on his way to the moon, just like when Chuck Yeager was breaking the sound barrier in the 1940s, the United States continues to face an era of competition. And as members of the National Space Council know, it’s competition that America is winning today and we’re going to keep on winning in space for generations to come. And that’s one more reason today while I’m pleased to announce that the president as of today has issued a new national space policy that we will articulate at this meeting of the National Space Council.
VP Mike Pence: (17:06)
The national space policy provides the president’s direction to the executive branch on all space activities. It emphasizes that space is critical to our security and our way of life and lays out the fundamental principles to put America first in space. Dr. Scott Pace will go into more detail about the president’s new national space policy in just a few moments, but it represents our ongoing commitment at the National Space Council and throughout this administration to ensure American leadership in space. But for now, let me just say that because of the hard work of all the men and women in the National Space Council putting our president’s vision into effect because of the hard work of all of the dedicated me and women on our Space Council Advisory Group and the support of the American people and leaders in the Congress, we’ve made great progress in the last four years. But as you will hear again today, there is a renewed determination all across this nation and all across this government and all across every level of government to continue to build on the extraordinary progress that we’ve made. And today we will hear about that progress, the ongoing challenges and opportunities that America faces. So let me say once again, welcome to this eighth meeting of the National Space Council. Let’s get to work. Again, let me call this meeting of the National Space Council here at the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s historic Space Coast into session. Today’s meeting will include important updates and announcements from council members and the council’s executive secretary. First and foremost, allow me to turn our attention to the economic progress that we’ve made. Policies have been advanced. The Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, has been a great champion of space, even as we’ve seen the American economy over the last four years reach all new heights.
VP Mike Pence: (19:37)
I think we set another record on the stock market again today, Mr. Secretary, but let me just say how grateful we are for your immediate appreciation for the impact that space exploration and entrepreneurship could have on the American economy. And why don’t you give us an update on the Department of Commerce’s activities related to space traffic management, international space development, and investment and other encouraging space news. But join me in thanking Secretary Wilbur Ross for his great leadership on his cabinet and on the national space [inaudible 00:20:12].
Sec. Wilbur R.: (20:16)
Thank you, Vice President Pence, for the opportunity to update the National Space Council on the growth of the space economy and the related work that is taking place at the Commerce department. Here at Cape Canaveral last week, SpaceX executed its 100th successful commercial Falcon 9 rocket launch. They sent a crew and thousands of pounds of supplies and research gear aboard a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. I’m reminded that it wasn’t long ago when travel among the stars was merely a distant goal before it was even a race among nations. Indeed, our country has achieved remarkable progress in the space sector, and now again as American business people continue creating new ways to make space more commercially feasible. I toured such an example earlier this year, Astrobotic’s new headquarters in Pittsburgh, one of the many small companies doing very creative things.
Sec. Wilbur R.: (21:37)
Their facility will support unmanned missions to the moon and drive technological development that brings us closer to NASA’s plan 2024 human moon landing. Such landmark accomplishments in the commercial space field come alongside record-breaking economic investment in space activities. Globally, another $4.9 million was invested in space companies in the third quarter alone. This not only marks the most productive quarter on record, but it also raises the total 2020 investment to 17 and a half billion dollars in the overall industry. And wonderfully, the US accounts for 62% of the industry’s total investment. Morgan Stanley projects that revenue generated by the global space industry may top a trillion dollars by the year 2040. And the recent explosion of the industry here in the US is due in no small part to the efforts of the Trump administration.
Sec. Wilbur R.: (23:08)
The administration’s pro-space agenda and the work of the National Space Council has already had significant impacts. NOAA has removed red tape that previously surrounded remote sensing technology, but [inaudible 00:23:27] shortening the licensing timelines from 74 days to 28 days at present. This enables companies to sell data from satellites more easily and more efficiently, helping commercial satellite operators stay competitive in a rapidly changing global marketplace. Commerce department has also taken steps over the last year at the [inaudible 00:24:00] to the vice president to identify new space missions and get them the necessary authorizations to proceed in line with our treaties. The goal here is to alleviate the administrative and regulatory burden on emerging companies and technologies, and we enthusiastically continue in that mission. Financial indicators and regulatory procedures aside, one simple way to observe the growth of our space industry is to look at the number of satellites in orbit.
Sec. Wilbur R.: (24:45)
This year alone, the number of active satellites in orbit is set to increase by more than 50%, 50% to 1,250, of which about 80% are small sats. And the Satellite Industry Association estimates that up to 110,000 new satellites could be in orbit by 2030. This is good news for projects like SpaceX’s Starlink as well as for smaller companies that can benefit from the growing accessibility of private satellites. But the increase in satellites has also created a unique set of challenges when it comes to managing orbital traffic. We are seeing more and more frequent near misses that could cause unprecedented new amounts of debris. If two significant objects were to collide, they could create such a shower of debris that it could endanger the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. It could endanger billions of dollars of US and other investments in space.
Sec. Wilbur R.: (26:13)
And it could also interfere with the growth of space commerce. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of brilliant men and women who have made remarkable headway toward managing this problem. In 2018, the Trump administration Space Policy Directive-3 provided a unique approach to the management of orbital traffic. The Commerce department’s Office of Space Commerce and our inter agency partners took on the missions laid out by this initiative. And today I’m proud to report that we’re in the midst of finalizing the Department of Commerce, Department of Defense MOU that will provide a detailed plan for the improvement of space situational awareness and ultimately space traffic management. We have also drawn on existing newer resources to establish a new open architecture data repository. This system allows both private and government entities, including those of our allies to share data increasing all parties’ situational awareness amidst an increasingly crowded orbital environment.
Sec. Wilbur R.: (27:46)
We continue to work with our allies and industry on the norms, standards and best practices that will inform new rules of the road for space. We have also worked with private business and technology leaders from around the globe in this issue. In fact, just before Thanksgiving, the Office of Space Commerce hosted an industry day with over 250 companies participating, virtually of course, to discuss our approach to the open architecture data repository. We will continue to work collaboratively with the public and private sector to tackle this challenge. It’s not the only one we face. China’s lunar landing last week underscores that we are not the only ones invested in the business of space and that competition for American companies operating in this sector is real competition. Similarly, Japan became the first country to bring back to earth a soil sample from an astronaut.
Sec. Wilbur R.: (29:09)
Looking ahead, my department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis will publish within the next two weeks innovative experimental statistics that will help us further measure and understand the space sector. And I look forward to sharing this informative new data with all of you. The United States remains an incubator for greatness like no other, and I’m confident that we will retain our position as the premier hub for space-based exploration and business. Thank you.
VP Mike Pence: (29:56)
Excellent. Thank you, Secretary Ross, and more importantly, thank you for your leadership on the national-
VP Mike Pence: (30:03)
And more importantly, thank you for your leadership-
Speaker 2: (30:03)
Thank you Mr. President.
VP Mike Pence: (30:03)
On the National Space Council, on behalf of American entrepreneurial leadership in space, truly extraordinary accomplishments. And my favorite one is that you said at the present point, $17.5 billion in investment in the last year and more than 60% of that is invested in the United States of America.
Speaker 2: (30:22)
VP Mike Pence: (30:22)
So thanks for helping to facilitate that. The Secretary of Energy, a member of our cabinet, Dan Brouillette, is here with an update on space nuclear power efforts, and under his leadership, the collaborations between the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and NASA. Mr. Secretary, let me also thank you for your energetic and tireless efforts in forging exactly the kind of partnerships across government that are facilitating advances of American technology and space exploration. Secretary Dan Brouillette, the Department of Energy, everyone.
Dan Brouillette: (31:06)
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Thank you, Mr. Vice President for that kind introduction. I’m honored to join you today to provide the National Space Council with a brief update on the initiatives that our department, the US Department of Energy, has undertaken since the council’s last meeting in may. In July of this year, NASA hosted our first ever NASA, DOE executive committee meeting right here at the Kennedy Space Center. The executive committee that was established under our new NASA DOE MOU, that Administrator Bridenstine and I signed allows us to strategically pursue opportunities that will advance our cooperation between our two departments in space activities. At that July meeting, NASA and DOE agreed to establish three joint working groups.
Dan Brouillette: (31:49)
One group is focused on power infrastructure for the proposed Artemis lunar space camp. The second group focuses on developing nuclear power and propulsion systems for future moon and Mars missions, as well as robotic deep space exploration. And the third group, Mr. Vice President, is focused on pursuing space science and innovation interests, particularly high performance computing initiatives that hopefully will address the challenges of traffic management that Secretary Ross just spoke about, weather issues and planetary defense from near earth objects. These working groups will ensure that DOE international laboratories are effectively harnessing the capabilities of our world-class scientists, our engineers, our technicians, and our research facilities to partner with NASA to solve some of the greatest technical challenges facing the United States.
Dan Brouillette: (32:43)
Since our last council meeting, we’ve also continued our space related engagement with the US Department of Defense. In October DOE senior leadership teams went to the Pentagon for a space technology mini summit to discuss how DOD and DOE could cooperate strategically on space related challenges. Our senior policy teams and our technical leaders met with acting Secretary of Defense for research and engineering, as well as with representatives from the strategic capabilities office, the space development agency, and DARPA to explore ways of strengthening DOE contributions to the space mission areas of each of those offices. We were extremely encouraged by the outcome of the mini summit, and we will continue to work with the under secretary’s office, as well as other elements of DOD.
Dan Brouillette: (33:34)
As DOE looks to the future, we will continue to leverage our global leadership in nuclear power technologies to provide sustainable power solutions for space applications, such as radio isotope power, surface fission power, and nuclear thermal propulsion. Following the successful launch of the Perseverance rover, which is powered by a DOE developed radioisotope power system, DOE and NASA began formal engagement with nuclear aerospace and commercial power sectors to design and develop a surface power system for a lunar demonstration in the late 2020s. We’re also working on engagement opportunities with private industry to advance thermal nuclear propulsion technologies. We want to move that ball even further forward. DOE, NASA, and DOD are also working with industry to establish advanced nuclear fuel production capabilities to support future terrestrial and space demand needs, and seeking to establish and maintain a nuclear supply chain capability that enables us to address a very wide range of applications.
Dan Brouillette: (34:48)
In addition to those things, DOE and NASA successes in ramping up plutonium 238 isotope production have now eliminated projected supply shortfalls, increasing the opportunities for deep space missions in the 2020s and beyond. Through our strategic investments, DOE and NASA have also modernize large portions of the radio isotope power system supply chain, eliminating single point failures and improving reliability to support quicker mission tempos. Yet there’s so much more that we at DOE can do, and we will do it. We’re looking for ways to apply our next generation computing technologies to address the tracking, modeling, and data analysis challenges of space weather warnings, space debris tracking and avoidance, and large scale analysis of space radiation and cosmic microwave environments.
Dan Brouillette: (35:47)
Mr. Vice President, this is all possible because of your leadership of the National Space Council and the President’s focus on significant space goals. And our work at the DOE is enabled by the great work of my colleagues across the inter agency. So I’d like to especially thank all of those who are partnered closely with us, especially Jim Bridenstine, and Jim Morhart at NASA, and of course, Michael Kratsios at DOD. Finally, it’s in this spirit of collaboration that I’m pleased to announce DOE’s new space strategy, which we will soon publish. This decade outlook will directly support the national space policy and will focus DOE on being a key technology developer to support the space missions of our inter-agency partners.
Dan Brouillette: (36:35)
Thank you again for inviting me. Thank you for allowing me to join you. DOE, or as I like to call it, the department of exploration, looks forward to a future of powering innovation, of driving exploration, and for reaching for the stars. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
VP Mike Pence: (37:00)
Thank you Secretary Brouillette and I hope it’s not lost, particularly on anyone looking on, I know all the experts that are gathered here, civilian and military understand it, but the innovation that you’re promoting through the Department of Energy on the development of nuclear power is what will precisely enable us to do deep space exploration and to put American astronauts on Mars. Even a lay person like me understands that when you’ve got nuclear power, you can run the engine the whole way there. And I’ve been assured it would take us about half the amount of time to get to Mars and get back from Mars on nuclear power. And I just want to commend you for the way you’ve used the department. You’ve worked with the Department of Defense, closely with NASA, to promote the development of that innovation. Truly, it’s going to be a game changer for American leadership in human space exploration.
Dan Brouillette: (37:55)
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. [crosstalk 00:37:56]
VP Mike Pence: (37:56)
So thank you. Another round of applause for the Secretary of Energy, he was just great.
VP Mike Pence: (38:05)
Someone that I’ve come to admire and appreciate very much, a key member of our administration is the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, he’s been involved in advancing policies that will give us the capacity to continue to monitor planetary weather issues from space so vital to the life of the nation. He himself is a legendary weather man, and he’s brought that discipline and that creativity to the National Space Council. Join me in welcoming Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier. Dr. Droegemeier.
Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier: (38:43)
Thank you so much, Mr. Vice President. It’s an honor and privilege to be here today on this historic occasion. I really appreciate so very much your leadership of the council and your extraordinary service to America as our Vice President. Thank you so very much for that.
Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier: (38:55)
Under the President’s leadership and under your leadership, Mr. Vice President, this nation has recommitted itself to space discovery and exploration and the advancement of humanity’s expansion into the heavens. Today, I would like to highlight two areas where we have made really significant progress over the recent months and years, where I believe our continued effort is needed. The first of these topics is space weather. Now we’re all familiar, as the Vice President said, with terrestrial weather, the towering clouds and beautiful thunderstorms we see every afternoon in the summer here in Oklahoma, the very powerful storms that we see in the Midwest, like places like Indiana. They’re beautiful, but they’re also very destructive. And so we have to really understand and look to predict those.
Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier: (39:34)
Well space weather is basically no different. It encompasses a wide array of phenomena that are equally in some cases, very beautiful, but also they complicate our exploration activities and really have a potential to degrade and even destroy some of the infrastructure that is most critical to our nation’s security and our economy. So the importance of both understanding and forecasting and accounting for space weather is very, very important as we reinvigorate our human space exploration program. In October, 2020, the President signed the PROSWIFT Act. That’s an acronym which established, as US policy, and I quote, “To prepare and protect against the social and economic impacts of space weather phenomenon. The PROSWIFT Act also provide statutory authority for existing space weather coordination activities under the national science technology council.”
Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier: (40:21)
Now in March of last year, that same national science technology council released a national space weather strategy and action plan. And that very same day, the President signed an executive order on coordinating national resilience to something called electromagnetic pulses. Now they’re relevant here because the sorts of geomagnetic disturbances that occur in the sun that are disruptive, they’re called space weather disruptive to our space activities, they’re both a space weather phenomena and they’re also naturally occurring as EMPS. So since the release of those documents, federal agencies that worked very, very hard on their implementation and together with the academic and private sector and also international partners, we’ve made great progress.
Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier: (40:58)
And I want to highlight very quickly three areas. First, the US Geological Survey is working toward completing a survey of the ground conductivity across the United States. Now we’re familiar with conductivity, lightning across the sky, and conductivity on power lines, but there’s actually conductivity in the ground and these data help USGS and also NOAA develop new operational and geoelectric field maps. The actual mapping of the geoelectric field provides much more accurate estimates of electric currents that are generated by geomagnetic storms. And those things can then disrupt power operations and resilience and things like that. So that hazard map is going to be a very, very important tool that we have to sustain electrical power during geomagnetic storms.
Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier: (41:39)
A second, as a result, also a partnership between NOAA and NASA, NOAA’s Space Weather Follow-On Spacecraft is scheduled for launch in 2024, that magical year of when we’re going to return to the moon. This will ensure continuity of observations critical to space weather prediction, and forecasting, and also to NOAA’s geomagnetic storm watches and warnings it issues regularly. And third NOAA, NASA, and also the National Science Foundation have funded several research opportunities. They’re going to advance solar and geospace modeling and improve space weather prediction. It’s just like we have models to predict terrestrial weather, we have models to actually predict space weather. Net research targeted key administration priorities established through the space policy directives that the vice President mentioned, including human space exploration and space traffic management, as Secretary Ross mentioned. These agencies are also working very, very closely together to implement a framework to accelerate transition of space weather research to operations, very, very important transition. And they will help inform key decision making for operations of critical infrastructure like our electric power grid.
Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier: (42:39)
Finally, the second topic I want to address really briefly is planetary protection. Now, what is planetary protection? It’s basically the practice of mitigating risks to earth of harmful biological contamination due to space activities. There is actually two sides of that coin. It includes protecting the search for extraterrestrial life by controlling the introduction of biological contaminants from earth to other celestial bodies, we call that forward contamination, but it also includes protecting our own biosphere here on earth from potentially harmful biological contamination, from things like returning spacecraft. We call that backward contamination. So as we prepare for human exploration of Mars and other solar system bodies as the Vice President mentioned, now is the time to review and update our planetary protection policy. Existing US policy was established back in the Apollo program and it’s not really been substantively updated since then, so it’s been many decades.
Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier: (43:32)
Meanwhile, of course, as you all know, there’ve been very, very significant technological and research developments in the field of space, a lot of new actors, including a lot of private companies. And so things are accelerating very dramatically. So to address this challenge OSTP in the National Space Council staff, all the wonderful folks here have partnered over the past six months to co lead an inter-agency working group on planetary protection. It’s really a whole of government effort and we deliberated several topics. First of course, as I mentioned, how to accelerate commercial space exploration and development, while we also preserve the scientific integrity in the search for life on other terrestrial bodies. We want to avoid that backward contamination to earth. Likewise, we want to avoid that forward contamination as well. And then also third, making sure that private sector activities are protected because we all know that commercial activities, as we’ve seen here, are extremely important.
Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier: (44:22)
So looking forward, planetary protection has to really be a key element of our strategy. And it certainly is across all of the federal government, but also with our academic and our industry partners. We want to absolutely ensure a safe, sustainable, and predictable earth and space environment as we continue to advance US leadership in space exploration and commercialization. Mr. Vice President, I am completely grateful to the wonderful opportunity you’ve provided to me and others that OSTP, to work with all these great folks on the National Space Council and these initiatives of the last several months and years. And we look forward to that the wonderful days that Les had for America in space. Thank you very much, Mr. Vice President.
VP Mike Pence: (44:58)
Thank you so much. Kelvin, great job. One of the enduring lessons that I’ve learned as chairman of the National Space Council is you actually have weather in space. So thanks for your great leadership on that, and so vitally important to our nation’s economy and nation’s security, as you mentioned. So thank you Kelvin, great report.
VP Mike Pence: (45:25)
We’ve talked a lot about the impact on the economy on this National Space Council over the course of the past four years. We’ve talked just as much about our national security. And as I reflected in my opening remarks with the encouragement of all the members of the National Space Council, this administration has taken strong strides to advance our national security in space. So today I wanted to turn our attention to our security issues, for the first time in his role as Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe joins us today. He’s going to provide an update on international space threats and the competition that we face.
VP Mike Pence: (46:10)
John, you and I have talked, you wrote a compelling piece over the last several days, particularly about the strategic competition that China poses us here on earth, as well as in the heavens. We appreciate your leadership very much. But as I said before, I think you understand, the President understands is, space is a vacuum, but we’re not operating in a vacuum, especially when it pertains to the security of the people of the United States of America. So join me in welcoming the Director of National Intelligence, our DNI, John Ratcliffe, to the National Space Council.
John Ratcliffe: (46:53)
Thank you Mr. Vice President, and let me start, I know this is a common refrain as you listened to all of my fellow council members, but it’s because we all marvel at your success and leadership over this space council, and I think everyone here wants to express our gratitude and appreciation from the council and on behalf of a grateful nation. So thank you very much. To my fellow council members, thank you for allowing me to update you on the threats that we face in space and how the intelligence community is taking unprecedented action in order to increase the effectiveness of our National Security Space Enterprise, and to respond to the President’s new space policy. By almost any measure, the dramatic increases in space-related capabilities and services over the past decade have been game changers, with profound implications for life on earth. Currently over 80 nations operate in space, and 50 countries have dedicated government budgets for space.
John Ratcliffe: (47:57)
And governments are not the only players in space. Dozens of new commercial space companies have emerged with plans to launch tens of thousands of satellites in the coming years, more than all of the satellites that have been launched since the dawn of the space age. Over the past five years, US companies have launched more commercial remote sensing satellites into orbit than the rest of the world. But today that trend is reversing. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, which I oversee, predicts that in this decade, the rest of the world will launch at least twice as many commercial remote sensing satellites as the United States. Economically, the global space industry has grown rapidly in recent years and is now approaching $500 billion in annual revenue, but more critical is that broad sectors of the US economy have come to rely upon space-related capabilities. Our estimates suggest that industries with reliance on space based services now contribute over $5 trillion to our gross domestic product.
John Ratcliffe: (49:07)
Simply put, we depend on space systems as critical infrastructure directly supporting the American way of life. If these space based services are disrupted, we could see adverse effects on nearly all sectors of the US economy, including consumer supply chains, transportation, telecommunications, agriculture, and finance. Mr. Vice President and fellow members, to a degree unparalleled in American history, the nation’s economy and security rely upon space systems that our competitors are challenging and that our adversaries are increasingly threatening. To that point, America’s vital interests are increasingly at risk as China and Russia develop and field destructive weapons to threaten US and allied space capabilities.
John Ratcliffe: (50:05)
As I wrote in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal last week, the intelligence is clear, China poses the greatest national security threat to the United States, and that includes China’s actions in space, where China is pursuing weapons capable of destroying our satellites, up to geosynchronous earth orbit, where many of our critical space systems reside. China has also deployed a ground-based missile intended to target and destroy satellites in low earth orbit. Russia has a similar system to China in development that is likely to be operational in the next several years. And Russia has also fielded a ground-based laser weapon, which could blind or damage our space-based optical sensors. And I’ll note that Russia in particular has recently demonstrated provocative behavior, creating a potentially dangerous situation in space. Over the past year, the Russian government, as the Vice President noted, launched a satellite that began to actively maneuver close to a US government satellite.
John Ratcliffe: (51:06)
I want to make clear to the members of this council that we consider this to be threatening behavior, especially considering that the Russians have previously launched a very similar satellite that exhibited characteristics of a weapon when it released a high-speed projectile. Our Space Force Chief, General Raymond, agreed by recently saying, “This is not the behavior of responsible space-faring nation.” In short, the threat to the United States and allied space systems continue to grow, and we should not allow that threat to grow unabated. And because of that, the President’s new National Space Policy recognizes that space is and should be a priority intelligence domain, something the intelligence community has already begun to take action on and to move out. Earlier this year, we directed our intelligence agencies to increase support to space defense and added new funding to counter space threats.
John Ratcliffe: (52:12)
Although those numbers are classified, this represents a significant new investment, which will directly address the emerging intelligence requirements of the Space Force. Additionally, we are working directly with the Space Force leadership to create a new National Space Intelligence Center, which will deliver intelligence support necessary to achieve our national security objectives. The establishment of this new center will provide the nation unparalleled, scientific and technical intelligence on space-related threats, and it will serve as the service intelligence center for the Space Force.
John Ratcliffe: (52:51)
As I described earlier, America’s entrepreneurs and innovators are demonstrating amazing new capabilities in commercial space marketplace. The new National Space Policy recognizes that the rapidly expanding commercial space industry is a vital element of national power. Consistent with this recognition, I recently approved the creation of the Intelligence Community Commercial Space Council. This is a high level forum, which will facilitate collaboration across the intelligence community and with industry, focusing on the intersection of commercial space services and national security. The council will deepen our understanding of the capabilities and trends of both the United States and foreign commercial space industries. It will provide recommendations to bolster our use of commercial space capabilities, and it will support the growth of a robust US commercial space industry that is responsive to our national security needs.
John Ratcliffe: (53:55)
As an example of our increasing engagement with the commercial space sector, the National Reconnaissance Office, or NRO, recently conducted a national security mission on a small commercial rocket launched from outside of the United States. An achievement, which was a first for our intelligence community. The new National Space Policy also recognizes that the intelligence community and the Department of Defense are co equal partners in the national security space enterprise, with both operating a variety of spacecraft that perform vital missions to our nation. However, countering the increasing threats we face now and in the future will require an even higher level of collaboration and integration than in the past.
John Ratcliffe: (54:45)
Previously, we reported to this council that the intelligence community and Department of Defense have agreed to align US Space Command and the NRO under a new protect and defend strategy for the purposes of jointly guarding our vital space systems. Should a conflict ever extend to space, for the first time, there will be a unified structure that fully integrates intelligence and defense, plans, authorities, and capabilities to ensure seamless execution of space defense actions. I’m pleased to report that the NRO and Space Command are testing this emerging construct in a series of war games and experiments that are designed to pressure test the new arrangement before Space Command reaches its full operational capability.
John Ratcliffe: (55:36)
Finally, I am very pleased to report that my team at the office of the Director of National Intelligence is working with our Space Force leadership to evaluate the potential for the Space Force to become the 18th member of the United States intelligence community. We anticipate a decision on this history making opportunity in the next month or two, which would profoundly strengthen the partnership between the Department of Defense and our intelligence community. In conclusion, as adversaries increasingly threaten our vital interest in space, the actions that I have described here for you today, plus many more of a classified nature that I cannot discuss publicly, will continue to provide us with a competitive advantage, will allow us to counter emergent threats in space, and allow us to achieve unified action should conflict ever extend to space.
John Ratcliffe: (56:35)
I want to assure each of you, my fellow council members, as well as the American public, that if our adversaries challenge us in space, they will face a truly united National Security Space Team. Thank you again, Mr. Vice President for the opportunity and members of the council, to address you on these important efforts. Thanks very much.
VP Mike Pence: (57:00)
That’s excellent. Well, thank you Director Radcliffe. Thank you for that stirring summary, but also thank you for the visionary recommendation. We very much look forward to that and the notion of adding the United States Space Force to the infrastructure of our intelligence community makes great sense. And I want to commend you for leaning into this and making such a meaningful contribution to this eighth meeting of the National Space Council.
John Ratcliffe: (57:38)
Thank you very much.
VP Mike Pence: (57:39)
Thank you very much, John. There has always been a chair on the National Space Council for the Secretary of Defense and successive secretaries of defense have played the role and have been full partners in renewing America’s commitment to our national security in space. We’re deeply grateful to them for their service, but a common denominator, a consistent ally and advocate for advancing America’s national security interest in space has been the Deputy Secretary of Defense, David Norquist. And I just want to take this opportunity to thank the Deputy Secretary of Defense for taking the guidance of this National Space Council, taking the vision of the Commander in Chief and moving out so quickly, at the Department of Defense. You’ve made a great, great difference in the security of this country in the vast expanse of space. So join me in thanking Deputy Secretary of Defense, David Norquist, for a job well done. [inaudible 00:58:45]
David Norquist: (58:48)
Good afternoon everyone. And thank you, Vice President, for chairing this meeting today. You just heard about some of the challenges and threats facing us in space. Since the last National Space Council meeting back in May, the Department of Defense has made tremendous progress in adjusting to the challenges of space as a war fighting domain. Today, I want to highlight our developments across the department, the US Space Force, US Space Command and within the office of the Secretary of Defense, and in doing so, I want to thank those around the table. Your efforts and partnerships are vital to achieving our nation’s objectives in space.
David Norquist: (59:23)
So let me begin with an update on the Space Force. In order to grasp the magnitude of what the Department of Defense has accomplished, it is worth pausing to reflect on the timeline. The Space Force was officially established when President Trump signed the fiscal year 2000 National Defense Authorization Act on December 20th, 2019, less than one year ago. It was originally planned that the Space Force would be established one year after the NDAA was signed. So Mr. Vice President, that would been 11 days from today and I would have been spending today explaining to the things we hoped to get done and might get done in the future. But instead the President-
David Norquist: (01:00:03)
… Get done in the future. But instead, the President and Congress understood the urgency of strengthening our space-based military capabilities and they directed us to get right to work.
David Norquist: (01:00:13)
Following the spirit of speed, we have moved rapidly to advance the Space Force, and we have reached many milestones. Operationally, the Space Force has launched satellites into space and provided support to NASA’s two successful human space flights launched from right here in Cape Canaveral. The Space Force has also engaged with our allies and partners to enhance cooperation in space. We have now seen them place a higher priority on this domain as well; the UK, which announced the creation of a Space Command last month, and France, which has adjusted from the Air Force to now having the French Air and Space Force.
David Norquist: (01:00:48)
Through all of this, the Space Force has continued delivering new capabilities for the United States. In fact, in August, the National Aeronautics Association recognized our X-37B space plane with one of its most prestigious awards, a distinction also given to Orville [inaudible 01:01:06] and the Apollo 11 team.
David Norquist: (01:01:08)
Structurally, we have created a new and leaner field organization, comprised of three field commands and nine space deltas, that cover missions such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, space electronic warfare and space domain awareness.
David Norquist: (01:01:25)
The Space Force’s success thus far are reflected in its people. Since its founding, it has grown substantially, which is a trend we expect to continue. Over the last three months, more than 2,100 members have transferred from the Air Force into the Space Force. We anticipate that an additional 3,700 airmen, skilled in fields such as intelligence, acquisition, engineering and cyber, will transfer in the next three months. These men and women have great leadership in General Raymond, who will become a statutory member soon of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. With the right people and leadership in place, we have focused on cultivating the culture of the service.
David Norquist: (01:02:11)
In this respect, we have also made great strides. For example, just seven months after the Space Force was established, the service released the Space Capstone Publication, its first doctrine document. This is a military service’s fundamental responsibility, because it articulates their unique purpose, identity and operational mindset, and it informs the joint doctrine. Significantly, this Space Capstone Publication identifies space power as a distinct form of military power that is vital to US prosperity and security. The Space Force’s motto, “Semper Supra”, captures their role well; safeguarding US advantages in the ultimate high ground requires them to be always above.
David Norquist: (01:02:58)
Next, I’ll provide an update on US Space Command.
David Norquist: (01:03:02)
Just as we have at sea, it is important to establish responsible standards and norms in space. US Space Command is promoting these efforts, and calling out those like Russia who violate these standards and norms.
David Norquist: (01:03:16)
In August, we welcomed General Dickinson to the helm through US Space Command’s first Change of Command Ceremony. He made history by becoming the first army general to lead the combatant command. I should note that his predecessor, General Raymond, had served in a dual capacity, Chief of Space Operations and Commander of US Space Command. The department is grateful to General Raymond for stepping up to serve in these two consequential roles.
David Norquist: (01:03:44)
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t share the progress the department has made within the Pentagon. In June, we released a new Defense Space Strategy. Over the next 10 years, this document will guide the department in achieving our desirable conditions for a space domain that is secure, stable, and accessible.
David Norquist: (01:04:02)
Similar to our National Defense Strategy, we pursue our objectives through four lines of effort. These are; build a comprehensive military advantage in space; integrate space into national, joint and combined operations; shape the strategic environment; and cooperate with allies, partners, industry and other government departments and agencies.
David Norquist: (01:04:24)
If you have not done so and had a chance to read it yet, I would encourage you all to do so. It will give you a clear sense of how the department’s thinking has evolved on space from a policy perspective. This Defense Space Strategy served as a part of our department’s contribution to the development of the new National Space Policy, which we are proud to support.
David Norquist: (01:04:46)
Another indication of our prioritization of space was creating an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy. I established this office in response to the bipartisan fiscal year of 2000 National Defense Authorization Act, and to fulfill your [inaudible 01:05:01], Mr. Vice President, when you announced the Space Force in August, 2018. Congress rightfully identified civilian oversight of the space enterprise as an area of necessary change. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy will now be responsible for inter-agency coordination and international engagement on space policy and strategy. With this elevated level of leadership, we will bring heightened focus to the space domain as we prepare for long-term strategic competition and ensure alignment with the Space Force and US Space Command.
David Norquist: (01:05:37)
In conclusion, the Department of Defense has had a significant and successful past seven months. We remain committed to continuing this important transformation of our National Security Space Program, which prepares us for deterring the high end fight. Thank you all very much.
VP Mike Pence: (01:06:03)
Thank you so much, Deputy Secretary Norquist. And again, I know I speak on behalf of the President and everyone on the National Space Council, and our Secretaries of Defense over the last four years, when I say how grateful we are. You are the “Get it done guy” at the Pentagon. And thanks for getting it done so quickly and standing up our United States Space Force in all the ways that you’ve described.
VP Mike Pence: (01:06:32)
Someone else who deserves a tremendous amount of credit is, and I want to call on for maybe just a few brief reflections following the Deputy Secretary’s remarks. He’s a former Commander of the United States Strategic Command, he’s led forces in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, led and commanded Air Force Space Command, and now, fortunately, we arrive at a time and a moment in our history when, as we are standing up American military leadership in space, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff brings a lifetime of dedication and experience to America’s military security in space.
VP Mike Pence: (01:07:13)
So let me invite all gathered here first to thank General John Hyten for his lifetime of service. And General Hyten, any reflections that you have on this first year of the United States Space Force.
VP Mike Pence: (01:07:29)
General Hyten, everybody.
General Hyten: (01:07:37)
Thank you, everybody. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
General Hyten: (01:07:39)
I have a million reflections. To choose from everything that’s going through my mind right now is nearly impossible because this is an exciting time. This is an important time. But it’s a time that, as Director Radcliffe [inaudible 00:01:07:54], we have a threat, and what we’re doing, and what we’ve been doing, is about, “How do we respond to that threat?” And the partnership we have with the intelligence community is as strong as it’s ever been. And I was so excited to hear the concept of the Space Force being the 18th member of the intelligence community. That presents so many opportunities for us to do things in much better ways of how we do surveillance, how we do intelligence. All those things open up by just that simple idea.
General Hyten: (01:08:25)
So as I sit here, I’ll just say that Space Command and the Space Force have two basic functions. When you look at the Saturn V that’s above us, you like to look up and dream. And I was involved in the previous edition of the United States Space Command, and I’ll say that that command really liked to look up. And we need to look up and we need to surveil, and we need to understand the threat. And you heard the Vice President and the Director of National Intelligence talk about the Russian threat that we watch very closely through the partnerships we have with our own sensors, with the intelligence community sensor. So we know exactly what’s going on and exactly what they’re doing.
General Hyten: (01:09:01)
But the reason the United States Military is in space is really to look down; to look down and make sure that our planet is safe, and that we support the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, all of the elements of our national security; support the joint force, and make sure that it is secure. And if you look at everything that we do every day, and you heard the Deputy talk about the amazing organizational changes that are under … But actually, it’s the mission, and the people that do that mission every day, that are the key piece of it.
General Hyten: (01:09:29)
And you just look back in January when missiles were launched from Iran into Al-Assad, in Iraq, and you look at the warning that was provided immediately from the operators in the United States Space Command that allowed people to take cover, and the exquisite indications and warnings that were put together by Space Command people, Space Force people working together with the intelligence community to make sure that no American died in that attack. That’s a remarkable piece. So, Mr. Vice President. Thank you for your leadership. It is actually a joy to work with you in any meeting I’ve ever been in. And I want to say that I look forward to the future. You know, the one thing about all four stars, General Raymond, is that we’re all circling the drain. We’re all pretty much done. But the other thing about all of us is, man, wouldn’t you like to go back and be a Second Lieutenant in the United States Space Force today and do it all over again? That would be exciting.
General Hyten: (01:10:35)
So, Mr. Vice President, thank you.
VP Mike Pence: (01:10:38)
General John Hyten, everybody.
VP Mike Pence: (01:10:47)
I think it’s worth noting for the record then I gave him absolutely no notice prior to those remarks. I think that you can hear the heart and the mind of someone who’s been absolutely committed for a lifetime to American security in space. And as I’ve said to you before. General Hyten, I can’t help but feel that for such a time as this, you’re Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. So thank you for your stalwart leadership and a lifetime of service. Join me in thanking General Hyten one more time.
VP Mike Pence: (01:11:17)
VP Mike Pence: (01:11:22)
Closer to home on security, and I apologize that I didn’t give him any notice at all, the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. I’ve come to know him over the last four years of service and have been deeply inspired at his implementation of American law, of security on our border. But the members of the National Space Council deserve to know that under Acting Secretary Chad Wolf’s direction, the Department of Homeland Security has also been working to increase outreach to the private sector to ensure cyber security in space systems, which is of equal importance to our economy, to the privacy of the American people.
VP Mike Pence: (01:12:06)
So for a few minutes of reflections on the progress, the efforts DHS has made, join me in thanking Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, member of the National Space Council.
Acting Secretary Chad Wolf: (01:12:16)
Well, let me start off by, again, expressing my gratitude, Mr. Vice President, for your leadership of the council. As all of our council members have said today, the work that, not only you, but the staff have done over the last four years in advancing American leadership in this area, I think is a testament.
Acting Secretary Chad Wolf: (01:12:39)
The Department of Homeland Security, as you said, is hard at work in helping to implement the National Space Policy in two primary areas; and that’s in cybersecurity and resilience. And so what we call the “left of launch”, or “before launch”, is a critically important time. Cyber security and supply chain security of space systems is paramount. And to support this effort, the department is leveraging our relationships and our processes with critical infrastructure owners and operators around the country through our cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency, or CISA. And CISA is leading the newly established Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or ISAC, and that’s a forum for US government and private industry can share information and best practices. And we do that through a number of other industries as well.
Acting Secretary Chad Wolf: (01:13:26)
We are also partnering with our colleagues at the Department of Commerce, Secretary Ross and others, to engage more small and innovative companies wanting to engage in this area as well.
Acting Secretary Chad Wolf: (01:13:37)
“After launch”, or to “right of launch”, as we say, DHS is leading in the testing, the resilience of federal and critical functions through the exercising of continuity of operation practices. These left of launch and right of launch approach will increase the security of our homeland, will certainly broaden our private sector and international partnerships, and will support the important work of the American space activities.
Acting Secretary Chad Wolf: (01:14:02)
So let me just close by, again, thank you, Mr. Vice President, for your leadership, for this council, and the department stands ready to support its ongoing work. So thank you.
VP Mike Pence: (01:14:13)
Thank you, Chad. Thanks for the kind words and thanks for your leadership. Thanks for your leadership, Mr. Secretary. We couldn’t be more grateful.
VP Mike Pence: (01:14:22)
I’m going to put a couple more people on the spot who’ve played just a leading role in our ability to move out on the policies that have been advancing our economy and our security.
VP Mike Pence: (01:14:33)
Brooke Rollins is the Director of the President’s Domestic Policy Council, and Russ Vought is the Head of the Office of Management and Budget. And I can tell you that, over the course of the last four years, both of them have been consistent partners in our effort to identify the resources on the security front and in reviving human space exploration here at NASA, but also in promoting the vital role that American leadership in space has played in our economy, as the secretary has reflected momentarily.
VP Mike Pence: (01:15:10)
I also want to recognize Brook Rollins, because while we are here at the Kennedy Space Center, we are on the space coast with Lieutenant Governor Núñez and a lot of proud Floridians, Texas likes to boast of their long history in space, in Houston, and Brooke Rollins is a daughter of Texas and counts the Lone Star her state home. So thanks for bringing all that natural Texas passion to your efforts on behalf of space. So I’m going to recognize Brooke Rollins, Domestic Policy Council, and then the Director of OMB, before we turn our attention to the National Space Policy and to the Director of NASA’s report.
VP Mike Pence: (01:15:52)
Brooke Rollins: (01:15:53)
Well, this is unexpected, Mr. Vice President, but thank you. It will only be one minute. And thank you for the shout out to Texas. It’s great to be here in Florida as well. I am struck as I sit here, as the mother of four children. I know everyone’s sitting in the room and watching in the audience and watching on TV at how inspiring that this group led by our president, and also you, Mr. Vice President. We have reignited America’s imagination, and for the young girl or young boy from the plains of Texas or from the coast of Florida, or from the cornfields of Indiana, that one day they too could go to space to the final frontier and to reach for the stars. And that is America. And so what an honor it is to be a part of this, and thank you for your leadership and for everyone here today. Thank you.
VP Mike Pence: (01:16:52)
Director of the Office of Management and Budgets is a man I’ve known for many years, and he is a tight-fisted steward of the public treasury, but I want to take this opportunity to thank Director Russ Vought for finding a way for the largest increases in NASA’s budget in the modern era, and for also finding a way to make sure that our standing up the United States Space Force had the resources necessary. So Mr. Director, thank you, and we’d welcome any remarks you’d have for the National Space Council today.
VP Mike Pence: (01:17:28)
Director Russ Vought, the Office of Management and Budgets.
Director Russ Vought: (01:17:35)
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. It is a privilege to be back here.
Director Russ Vought: (01:17:39)
Budgets are about priorities, and one of the things that this administration under the President and your leadership has been insistent upon from the very beginning is that we’re going to get back to space. We’re overjoyed that we’ve been able to increase the budget by 15%. Right now we’re in the midst of hard-fought negotiations to get our 12% increase, to make sure that we have the resources to get back to the moon and Mars and beyond.
Director Russ Vought: (01:18:01)
But I want to build off of what Brooke said in terms of the national momentum that’s been built around getting back to the moon and staying there. I’ve got two little girls, a six year and eight year old, and when there’s extra cardboard around the house, they’re building rockets. They’ve got pictures of astronauts in their room. And on Saturdays, we change the channel from the football game to watch the launches. And so you are getting a sense nationally of the momentum that’s building as a result of the leadership of the President and the Vice President and the Space Council, the important work of Jim Bridenstine, and we’re excited at OMB to play a behind the scenes role to get the resources that are necessary to bring agencies together, to build consensus, to make sure that documents and regulations go out that reflect all one view of the administration. And I thank you for the honor to be here.
VP Mike Pence: (01:19:08)
Thank you so much, Director Russ Vought. Thanks for your efforts. And thank you for that. Thank you for talking to us about your little girls. I think it’s one of the points you make, one of the points Brooke made, is that having revived America’s commitment to human space exploration and innovation, rededicating ourselves to American leadership in space for our national security, I can’t help but feel that it’s going to inspire our kids to pursue STEM education and to have their eyes on the stars. So thank you both for those, without any notice, remarks. Very inspiring.
VP Mike Pence: (01:19:52)
I’m going to ask Dr. Scott Pace, who has been the Executive Director of the National Space Council over the last four years, has been my right arm throughout this effort, to come forward.
VP Mike Pence: (01:20:03)
Today, President Donald Trump signed an updated National Space Policy for the United States of America, just in time for this eighth meeting of the National Space Council, and I’ve asked Dr. Pace to give us a very brief update. You all should have a copy. And for those of you looking on, the new National Space Policy of the United States of America will be available online for all of the country to review.
VP Mike Pence: (01:20:34)
But Dr. Pace, maybe you could just update members of the council on the policy, and specifically how it differs from previous space policy, at this important moment in the life of this program and in the life of the United States Space Force.
VP Mike Pence: (01:20:53)
But before I do that, I do want to give all of you a chance. We are only as good as the people who are behind us, supporting us, advising us, informing us. And I must tell you, it’s been one of my great privileges over these past four years to enjoy the friendship, but the extraordinary professionalism and guidance, of Dr. Scott Pace. So would all the members of the National Space Council join me in showing our appreciation for Scott Pace, for the great job you’ve done?
Dr. Scott Pace: (01:21:22)
Thank you, sir. And as several people have heard me say in speeches, there’s nothing more terrifying than having a boss who cares about what you do, and your caring and the caring of the President has been absolutely instrumental to whatever progress we’ve been able to make.
Dr. Scott Pace: (01:21:51)
And with the strong leadership from the president, your National Space Council staff has been working closely with all the members of the Space Council to develop the new National Space Policy. I promise not to read it. It’s rather thick and it’s there in front of you.
Dr. Scott Pace: (01:22:05)
I wanted to take the opportunity to express my personal thanks and appreciation to the members of the Inter-Agency Working Group that contributed to this policy; 11 agencies, five white house councils. There’s a lot of folks who were a part of this effort, as well as the thoughtful advice from the members of the User’s Advisory Group.
Dr. Scott Pace: (01:22:24)
The National Space Policy is the President’s direction to US government departments and agencies to advance the interest of the United States in space for the benefit of the American people. And this policy outlines fundamental principles of the United States regarding its activities in space and details future goals and executive branch tasks to achieve them.
Dr. Scott Pace: (01:22:43)
The policy reaffirms the nation’s interest to act responsibly in space to ensure safety, stability, security, long-term sustainability of space activities, and as such, it’s similar to past policies, in that it reflects longstanding efforts that extend back decades to the beginning of the space age, while recognizing new challenges and new opportunities in front of us.
Dr. Scott Pace: (01:23:06)
The National Space Policy at top level gives primary emphasis to four topics; commercial space activities, international cooperation, exploration science, and national security, which undergirds everything we do. And the policy expresses the nation’s commitment to leadership in space.
Dr. Scott Pace: (01:23:24)
The major point I wanted to make, as we have heard around today, is that the international environment we’re in is very dynamic. It’s influenced by competition and threats to the space capabilities on which we rely. And consequently, it’s important that the US space activities across all sectors, civil, commercial and national security, be coordinated at the highest levels in an integrated manner to advance our national interests, and those of our allies and partners. A policy of sustainable space exploration and development depends on an alignment with enduring national interests, such as security, economic growth, scientific advancement, and a stable international environment. Space does not exist for its own sake. It exists to serve the interests of the nation. And our alignment with those interests is crucial to our success.
Dr. Scott Pace: (01:24:11)
Establishing US capabilities to operate routinely out to the moon and beyond will deliver strategic assets, not only for ourselves, but for all like-minded nations who share our values; liberty, democracy, rule of law, free market economic principles. It is our values we carry with us into space, not merely our machines. Space exploration and development are not confined to one-time missions or any single destination. Closer to home, the United States is going to encourage commercial activities to lower the public burden of maintaining and enhancing space capabilities. And as the United States journeys, again, into deep space, it will do so with commercial and international partners. And at the frontiers of exploration, the United States will continue to lead, as it always has done.
Dr. Scott Pace: (01:24:56)
The United States is leading in space, but we also face determined competitors and adversaries. The President’s National Space Policy continues the quest to explore and develop the unknown while securing benefits for the American people, which has driven our country since its founding. This drive, rooted deeply in the spirit of the United States, will ensure that, as humanity expands into space, it will be the home of a free people.
Dr. Scott Pace: (01:25:20)
With that, Mr. Vice President, thank you for the opportunity, and be happy to take any questions.
VP Mike Pence: (01:25:31)
Great job. Thank you, Dr. Pace. And the National Space Policy of the United States; I was there literally when the Staff Secretary brought this into the President late yesterday. I know people worked around the clock on an inter-agency basis to get this completed before the eighth meeting of the Space Council. And where might people be able to review this today? We’ll make sure it’s on whitehouse.gov, but where else?
Dr. Scott Pace: (01:25:54)
I’m pleased to say that White House Digital Services has been great, and it’s available online.
VP Mike Pence: (01:25:59)
Okay. Available online, National Space Policy. And I would recommend it to the attention of any American interested in a broad outline of what our priorities are and what our objectives are with regard to American leadership for our economy and our security in space.
VP Mike Pence: (01:26:19)
But thank you. Thank you so much, Dr. Pace, for the report. How about another round of applause for really a tireless public servant, and all the work he’s done?
VP Mike Pence: (01:26:36)
Finally, we will now turn our attention to NASA’s activities with a report and a very exciting announcement today from the Administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine. Many of you may not be aware that prior to serving as the 13th Administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine was a Navy pilot, flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, flew more than 1900 hours. I first met him when he was a Congressman from Oklahoma serving on the House Armed Services Committee, but very early on, it was apparent to President Trump that this was a man who had a deep passion for American leadership in space.
VP Mike Pence: (01:27:26)
And I must tell you that when I think of all the progress that we’ve made in reviving American leadership in human space exploration, when I think of the historic steps that we have taken in the last four years to ensure American military dominance in space, as much as on land and sea and air, I am truly grateful, as I know the President of the United States is, for the service and tireless efforts and enthusiasm of the 13th Administrator of NASA. Join me in thanking Jim Bridenstine for all that he’s done, and for the important announcement today.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:28:28)
Wow. A standing ovation from the Vice President of the United States. I will tell you, sir, it’s been the joy of my life to serve this little agency called NASA that does just amazing things.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:28:42)
I will also say, and sir, I know that you’ve heard it today all day long from all of the people sitting around this table, but this has been a game changing administration, as it relates to space. From day one, this administration came in committed, and not just giving it lip service, but moving out on it. And you’re hearing it, not just from me, but from everybody around this table who has served with and for you, sir, and your leadership here has been astonishing. I have said, and I’ll keep saying it, one of the best things President Trump did was re-establish the National Space Council, and right after that, putting his number one guy, the Vice President of the United States, in charge of it. And it’s been just a real pleasure serving on this council with you, sir.
VP Mike Pence: (01:29:31)
Jim Bridenstine: (01:29:32)
So I’ll go through kind of where we are with the Artemis Program, which of course is our return to the moon, not just with the next man, but with the first woman, which was a very direct order from the Vice President of the United States, who is carrying out the direction of the President of the United States. And so here’s where we are, sir, and I’m very pleased to report the core stage of the SLS rocket is complete. It is at the Stennis Space Center, being tested. All four RS-25 engines have been integrated, and-
Jim Bridenstine: (01:30:03)
… four RS-25 engines have been integrated and we have now completed six of the eight tests for what we call the Green Run. Right now, we are in the midst of the seventh test, which we call the Wet Dress Rehearsal. And of course the next test after the Wet Dress Rehearsal is, no kidding, a live fire test of all four RS-25 engines. So we are very excited to be where we are. The SLS rocket, of course is the moon rocket. I know we’re sitting underneath the Saturn V and this of course reminds us of the history. But we are here today talking about the future. And I want to assure my friend, the Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, that that Saturn V is very secure. So, we are not going to need a new DNI today. I made sure of that.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:30:54)
I do think it’s important to note that the SLS rocket, Mr. Vice President, is back on track and moving forward. The Orion Crew Capsule is complete, it has gone through environmental testing, we have done the launch-abort testing, which is also complete and has been successful. It is mated to the European Service Module and of course it is here at the Kennedy Space C. enter waiting for some more processing. So that, again, is good news.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:31:24)
As we move forward, one of the big things that you gave us a direction to do, and this was at the IAC, the International Astronautical Congress, was to make sure that we partnered with freedom-loving countries. And we have done that. We put together the Artemis Accords which establishes, “What are the norms of behavior? What are the things we expect our partners in space exploration to do as we explore space together?” And so wrote out the Artemis Accords, we had great support from the State Department. I want to really tip my hat to what the State Department did.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:32:02)
The Artemis Accords are complete. We’re looking for transparency from all of our international partners. We’re looking for interoperability. We’re looking to make sure that if there are astronauts in distress, we all support each other. We’re looking to make sure that the future of space exploration is peaceful. And all of this was enshrined in the Artemis Accords and, of course, one of the reasons to do all of this is because when we go to the moon this time, it’s going to be with international partners, which we didn’t have last time. But also this time we’re going to have commercial partners. And we need to have the processes by which we can all agree to explore the moon safely, both with commercial and international partners, as the United States of America leads this coalition to the moon and eventually on to Mars.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:32:52)
I want to be clear. We already have nine countries that have signed up. Nine freedom-loving countries that signed up, and we just announced the Artemis Accords earlier this year. There are more countries that we’re talking to everyday that are interested. But here’s the thing, and this is my experience as the NASA Administrator, everybody loves Artemis. All of our international partners want to be part of the Artemis Program.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:33:15)
That gives us a great tool of soft power to say, “We want you with us. But when you come with us, there are basic standards of behavior that we need you to abide by.” And all of those standards, by the way, are enshrined in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. So all of that is very positive.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:33:33)
The Gateway, it’s not really a space station but it’s an outpost around the moon but it’s going to give us the extra energy that we need to get to low lunar orbit to the surface of the moon and then back to the Gateway. The Gateway is under development. We are rapidly moving forward on the Gateway. The power and propulsion element and what we call HALO, which is habitation and logistics outpost, is under development.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:34:01)
We’re going to put those two together, we’re going to launch them on a single rocket, and we’re going to do that by the year 2023. So the Gateway will be underway by 2023. We’re also very excited that the Gateway in fact, and this is for Dr. Droegemeier is we’ve already selected two science experiments to be on the Gateway in orbit around the moon. And those two science experiments have to do with space weather and the radiation of deep space. So this is going to enable us to get more science than we could otherwise get. And of course, we all know Dr. Droegemeier. You mentioned Oklahoma earlier, Dr. Droegemeier comes from Oklahoma, a very amazing weather scientist. And now expanding that field all the way to space weather. So we’re there with you, sir. And we’ll keep moving forward on that.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:34:48)
We think about our European partners recently signed a MOU with us on the Gateway. So we can very proudly say that when we go to the moon, we have already got commitments from the European Space Agency, not only to have astronauts with us but also to provide hardware that is going to be very significant for our sustainable return to the moon.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:35:16)
So we have also opened up the aperture a little bit. When we go to the moon one of my first initiatives, Mr. Vice President as you know, was we’re going to go commercially. As directed by you and the President of the United States. So we initiated the Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program to take NASA payloads to the surface of the moon, where we buy a service. We don’t own and operate the hardware, but we buy a service. We now have a number of companies that have signed up to be part of this program.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:35:43)
Sir, you mentioned earlier that we’re going to actually buy some of that regolith on the moon, we’re going to buy resources. And we’re going to prove that this is a model of operations that is workable and of course the Artemis Accords are a big part of that as well.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:35:59)
I saw Sean Mahoney is here from Masten Space Systems. I think Secretary Ross, you mentioned Astrobotic. So there are a lot of small, innovative, impressive companies raising money and moving up because of the policies that we’ve put in place to go to the moon commercially. So all of that is very exciting.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:36:20)
Finally, I’m going to anchor real quick on the Human Landing System. Which of course, we have the SLS rocket, we have the Orion Crew Capsule, we have the European Service Module, we have the Gateway. The one thing we have not had since 1972 is a Human Landing System. And now we have, Mr. Vice President, because of your leadership and the leadership of the President, we have a Human Landing System funded for the first time since 1972.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:36:50)
We have three companies. [inaudible 01:36:52] Yes. We have three companies that are under contract, there’s a lot of companies involved, I want to be clear. But three prime contractors that will be leading the efforts for the Human Landing System. We’re in a base period right now where we’re looking at how we’re going to land on the moon. And ultimately by February of 2021, we’re looking to do a down select from three to two so that we can come to a resolution on how we’re going to land on the moon by 2024.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:37:28)
Now, I want to be clear when I talk about the Human Landing System, Mr. Vice president, the budget requests… Thank you to the Director of OMB, Russ Vought. The budget request gave us what we needed to achieve a 2024 moon landing, and as of right now this agency is meeting all of its milestones. [inaudible 01:37:47] Yes.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:37:54)
As the Director of the Budget has said, we’re in the midst of negotiating to get that lander funded. The bill passed in the House, funded it to the tune for 2021 about $600 million in the Senate, it was about a billion dollars. Now a billion dollars is a lot of money and I want to be really clear, we are so grateful for the bipartisan support for this. That’s one of the biggest things that we have to have moving forward. This has to be generational in nature, which means strong bipartisan support is necessary. And we’re grateful for that.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:38:27)
But ultimately, if we don’t get the $3.3 billion, it gets more and more difficult. So I’m making sure to communicate as I do always to our legislators, if there’s anything you can do to help with the $3.3 billion, we are certainly asking for that. Sir, I’ve been told we’re going to show a video here. But I can see… Did you have anything to say before we go to the video?
VP Mike Pence: (01:38:57)
Well, I think we’ve got a very exciting announcement coming up. But I just couldn’t be more grateful. For those of you looking on that are just now taking an interest in the program, we are beneath an Apollo Saturn V rocket. But we’re about to see a major and historic step in setting into motion, in one more way, the Artemis Program and the Artemis Rockets that will take to the skies over the next several years and onto the moon, and ultimately to Mars. I want any schoolchildren looking on to know that Artemis is the twin of Apollo. Except Artemis is going to go a lot farther and inspire the world once again. So join me in thanking Administrator Jim Bridenstine and then we’ll move on to a very exciting announcement.
Video Audio 1: (01:40:05)
The Apollo Missions were a daring success.
Video Audio 2: (01:40:09)
And highlighted what a generation of ambition can accomplish.
Video Audio 3: (01:40:14)
We choose to go to the moon, but in a whole new way.
Video Audio 4: (01:40:18)
Not as a destination, but as a beginning.
Video Audio 5: (01:40:21)
And not alone, but with a global coalition of explorers.
Video Audio 6: (01:40:25)
This calling, is part of what makes us human.
Video Audio 7: (01:40:28)
And it is this generation’s turn to set the tone.
Video Audio 8: (01:40:31)
We are going.
Video Audio 9: (01:40:33)
To lead a journey of discovery that benefits our planet with life-changing science.
Video Audio 10: (01:40:38)
To use the moon and it’s resources as a technology testament to go even farther.
Video Audio 11: (01:40:45)
To learn how to establish and sustain a human presence beyond earth.
Video Audio 12: (01:40:51)
This time we’re going as the Artemis Generation.
Video Audio 13: (01:40:54)
We will discover, prove that it is possible.
Video Audio 14: (01:40:57)
And bring all that we learn back home.
Video Audio 15: (01:40:59)
To benefit all of humanity.
Video Audio 16: (01:41:01)
And then we will take the next giant leap.
Video Audio 17: (01:41:04)
Video Audio 18: (01:41:05)
Video Audio 19: (01:41:05)
Video Audio 20: (01:41:06)
Video Audio 21: (01:41:20)
… to the Artemis Generation.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:41:21)
Welcome to the Artemis Generation. A lot of you in this room, you’ve heard me talk about the Artemis Generation. I’m the first NASA Administrator in history that wasn’t alive when we had people living and working on another world. And of course it is our goal that I’m the last NASA Administrator in history that wasn’t alive when we have people living and working on another world. Our goal is to go to the moon sustainably, to learn how to live and work on another world so that ultimately we can take all of that knowledge onto Mars.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:41:49)
And the Vice President of the United States came to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. And what he said to us at that time was, he directed us to make sure that we go back to the moon this time sustainably, and we’d go back to the moon with the next man and the first woman.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:42:07)
And that’s what this program is all about. And today we have this very special and unique milestone where it is time to announce who those people will be. And Mr. Vice president, if you would come up to the front here and share with the audience who our astronauts are going to be. This is the first cadre of our Artemis astronauts.
Jim Bridenstine: (01:42:32)
I want to be clear, there’s going to be more. And of course, there’s going to be astronauts that are in low earth orbit that are going to go to the moon and astronauts that go to the moon that are going to be in low earth orbit. But Mr. Vice President, please do us the honor of introducing who these folks are, and you’ll see on the video their images when he announces them.
VP Mike Pence: (01:42:52)
Thank you, Jim. It’s now my honor to announce the names of the Artemis Astronauts who will take us back to the moon and beyond. Joe Acaba, Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, Matthew Dominick, Victor Glover, Woody Hoburg, Johnny Kim, Christina Koch, Kjell Lindgren, Nicole Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir, Jasmin Moghbell, Kate Rubins, Frank Rubio, Scott Tingle, Jessica Watkins, and Stephanie Wilson.
VP Mike Pence: (01:44:54)
And now it’s my special honor to welcome five members of the Artemis Generation who are here with us today at the Kennedy Space Center. Jessica Watkins. Matthew Dominick. Anne McClain. Joe Acaba. And Jessica Meir.
VP Mike Pence: (01:45:51)
My fellow Americans, I give you the heroes of the future who will carry us back to the moon and beyond, the Artemis Generation. [inaudible 01:46:01]
VP Mike Pence: (01:46:01)
Well thank you all for stepping forward and for the excellence that you’ve shown throughout this program, and congratulations to you and all of those that were just named that are part of the Artemis Generation.
VP Mike Pence: (01:46:36)
It really is amazing to think that the next man and the first woman on the moon are among the names that we just read, and they may be standing in the room with us right now. We started today reflecting on a great hero of the past. The Artemis Generation are the heroes of American space exploration in the future. Would you join me in showing our appreciation for their great heroism and their character, one more time? [inaudible 01:47:06]
VP Mike Pence: (01:47:06)
Well, thank you all. We’re going to wrap up very quickly here this safe meeting of the National Space Council, with gratitude to these heroes who stepped forward. And let me just say a personal note of gratitude to all of the dedicated men and women in the staffs who’ve stepped forward to serve the National Space Council over the last four years. I think you could tell today in just summary fashion, the extraordinary difference for our economy and our security that the National Space Council, under the leadership of President Donald Trump, has made in renewing American leadership in space. And join me in thanking all the members of the National Space Council one more time. Would you please? [inaudible 01:48:03].
VP Mike Pence: (01:48:03)
I also want to take the opportunity to thank members of the User Advisory Group. This is an extraordinary group of Americans that had come from the very heart of the American space enterprise, and they brought their incredible professionalism and their incredible experience to bear on ensuring that we had the very best guidance to take the steps necessary to promote and expand America’s space enterprise.
VP Mike Pence: (01:48:40)
There are a few that are with us here today. And first I want to thank from afar Admiral Jim Ellis, who has led the User Advisory Group of the National Space Council with such great distinction. Join me in thanking Admiral Jim Ellis for his great work. There are 28 members of the User Advisory Group that have given us great counsel all along the way. They’ve dedicated countless hours to giving us their very best advice. A few are actually with us here today for this eighth meeting of the National Space Council. So in addition to Admiral Ellis, allow me to thank Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez, of the great State of Florida. Thank you for your contributions to the space program. Eric Stallmer who’s with us here today, who is a great space entrepreneur and pioneer. Thank you so much, Eric.
VP Mike Pence: (01:49:36)
Another great space entrepreneur who’s been leading the way and has become a great, great champion of American leadership in space Fatih Ozmen and his wonderful wife. Thank you for your great leadership. And to a great entrepreneur who brought great business acumen to this and the great counsel of his wife, Judy, has assisted all along the way. Join me in thanking Indiana’s own Fred Klipsch for his contributions to the National Space Council.
VP Mike Pence: (01:50:11)
I come to this eighth meeting of the National Space Council, just with a heart filled with gratitude. I’m humbled by the efforts of all of those that are gathered here. The military leadership from the Department of Defense, Secretary Barrett, General Raymond, General Hayden and others who have stepped forward to really transform the commitment of our nation to ensuring the security of the American people from space. But also the vitality of America’s ideals in space for generations to come.
VP Mike Pence: (01:50:45)
But I know I speak on behalf of the President as well when I just express my appreciation for all the members of this administration who caught the same vision. I love what Dr. Pace said a few moments ago. He said, “There’s nothing more terrifying than having a boss who cares about what you’re doing, has an interest in what you’re doing.” And all I can say is, “I can relate.”
VP Mike Pence: (01:51:09)
I’ll never forget the day, Jeanette, it was when we were campaigning for this job four years ago that I got a phone call. I was on my way to the Space Coast, and then our candidate called me up and he said he wanted to revive something called the National Space Council. And he wondered if I’d be willing, as other Vice Presidents had done in the past, to be willing to Chair it.
VP Mike Pence: (01:51:32)
There’ve been many kind words express for your Vice President today, but let me invite all of you to thank President Donald Trump and all of those that have served along side him for renewing American leadership in space.
VP Mike Pence: (01:51:45)
And as I close this meeting, and in the company of these extraordinary Americans, let me just also say that I think the best days for American leadership in space are yet to come. And I know with the caliber of the men and women that have stepped forward in this program, Artemis, that we’re going to make all new history. We’re going to fill up places like this again and again.
VP Mike Pence: (01:52:16)
I just want to assure all of you that we’ll be carrying America’s aspiration and ideals into the great unknown. That you go with the confidence of the American people. You will have the support of people all across this country, as you inspire the world. And I’m very confident that you will go with the prayers of tens of millions of Americans who are grateful for your courage and your service, and the service of all of those that we announced today as part of the Artemis Generation.
VP Mike Pence: (01:52:44)
And my prayer will be in those ancient words, that you would be confident that as you rise on the wings of the dawn, settle on the far side of the sea, but as a good book says, even if you go up to the heavens, my prayer is that you know that even there His hand will guide you and His right hand will hold you fast.
VP Mike Pence: (01:53:03)
So join me in thanking the Artemis Generation, the National Space Council, our User Advisory Group and every American who has contributed to this cause these past four years. Because of all of you, America is leading in space once again, and we will be leading for generations to come. Thank you very much. God bless you all.