COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Vice President Mike Pence spoke about America's future in space and our increased emphasis on space security at the 34th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs on Monday.
Pence took the stage shortly after noon and spoke to a packed house at the Broadmoor International Center. He said the current administration is committed to securing our space technologies and working with contractors to develop new equipment for NASA.
Pence is the chairman of the National Space Council and spoke about touring the country to see different projects being worked on, including a new Mars lander being developed here in Colorado and "the world's most powerful rocket" in Huntsville, Alabama.
A mission to mars is among several exploration initiatives Pence hopes to the space community, including returning to the moon to "harvest the resources" it has to offer.
The Vice President also said the U.S. would ease its role with the International Space Station, saying the government would soon be a "tenant and a customer" of the ISS, and not the landlord. He also touched on a return to the moon and pointed to progress made by private engineering firms.
Pence spoke for about half an hour before immediately heading back to the airport.
Prior to his speech, he met briefly with Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and several industry leaders.
Pence hopes the Department of Commerce can relieve the Air Force by taking on more of a monitoring role with regards to space assets.
Transferring some of that responsibility, especially with regard to commercial assets, would allow the military to focus more exclusively on national security issues.
The event is at The Broadmoor International and is expected to have 14,000 in attendance. Pence flew into the Peterson Air Force Base early Monday morning and will speak at noon. He will leave immediately after, the White House says.
Pence is the chairman of the National Space Council, a group that advises President Trump on space policy when it comes to both military and commercial space operations.
The Council was essentially dissolved in the early '90s before President Trump revived it in 2017.
The resurrected group held its first official meeting in October.
The Vice President flew to Colorado Springs just one day after return from Peru, where he represented the United States at the Summit of the Americas.
President Trump was expected to travel to Peru, but opted to send the Vice President and remain in Washington following the chemical attack in Syria.
The Space Foundation made the announcement in March.
“The Vice President’s participation at the Symposium indicates the priority this White House is placing on America's position in space,” said Thomas E. Zelibor, Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer.
The symposium will continue until Thursday. More information can be found HERE.