Heading to the Moon and Mars
July 20, 2019
Future Moon and Mars Expeditions
By: Michael R. Pence
Vice President of the United States
Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing when “one small step for man” became “one giant leap for mankind.”
At that moment, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins helped to win the “space race,” answering the call made by President John F. Kennedy eight years before to “put a man on the moon” before the decade was out.
But when President Kennedy issued that challenge, our nation was not yet prepared to meet it. We didn’t have the rockets, launch pads, spacesuits, or so many other vital technologies to get there safely — or, just as importantly, to return home.
History records that President Richard Nixon prepared a speech in the event of a tragedy, explaining to the nation that the mission had failed.
But thanks to the courage, grit and determination of the three space pioneers of Apollo 11, the hard work of the men and women behind their mission at NASA — that speech was never delivered.
Instead, the United States did the impossible by placing the first man on the surface of the moon. The snowy images of Armstrong and Aldrin walking across the lunar surface left an indelible mark on the imaginations of the 600 million people across the Earth who waited with fear and wonder.
The crew of Apollo 11 did more than plant a flag and leave a footprint — they brought our world together.
Unity is the real legacy of Apollo 11 — and we must capture that same unity in our day by renewing our commitment to American leadership in space.
The United States will lead the creation of a base at the moon’s the South Pole where astronauts could reside for weeks and months. And from what we learn there, we will become the first nation in the history of humanity to set foot on the red planet of Mars.
Under President Trump, we are doing just that.
In our first year in office, President Trump revived the National Space Council to coordinate our nation’s space activities. The full force of the American national interest decisions driving our space enterprise.
President Trump recognises that in this new era of opportunity, America will fully unlock the mysteries of space beyond the halls of government for input, guidance and innovation.
American companies on the cutting edge of the space industry — developing the rockets, spaceships, and technologies that will take us further into space, faster than ever before.
America’s pioneering space companies are creating the American jobs of the future and blazing new trails into the skies above.
Cargo ships that are resupplying the International Space Station will supply the reusable lunar landers that will help put Americans back on the moon. The Space Launch System that will carry us deeper into space than ever before, American Space Industry is helping forge our future in the heavens above.
Men and women of Apollo knew that rules and values of space written by those dare to get there first and their commitment to stay.
America wants to continue the proud tradition established in the Apollo program. Ensure that our most cherished values prevail in the skies above. President Trump has made it our national policy to return to the moon in the next five years, and this time, we will stay.
The first woman and the next man on the moon will both be American astronauts, launched by American rockets, from American soil. The United States will lead the creation of a base at the moon’s the South Pole where astronauts could reside for weeks and months. And from what we learn there, we will become the first nation in the history of humankind to set foot on the red planet of Mars.
Under President Trump’s leadership, we’ve already signed into law one of the most massive NASA budgets since the days of the Apollo program. And I am proud to announce that the crew vehicle for the Artemis I mission — our first step back to the moon — is official “capsule complete.”
The tasks before us will involve hardship and hazard, sacrifice and determination. But shall go forth — not in spite of the difficulties, but because of them.
Apollo 11 united the world 50 years ago. The United States will astonish the world with the heights we reach and the wonders we achieve in our age.
Under President Trump, America will lead the world into space once again.