You know what hasn’t received much attention this election cycle? Science. But Republican vice presidential candidate and Indiana Governor Mike Pence spent four minutes talking about space on Monday at a rally on Florida’s Space Coast. So that’s something.
“Donald Trump and I have a plan to make the American space program great again,” Pence told a crowd in at the Space Coast Convention Center in Cocoa, Florida, near Cape Canaveral. That plan, according to Pence, involves “new leadership and a new vision” for NASA.
“We’re going to focus the mission of NASA on space exploration,” he said, as though NASA has been doing something else for its entire existence. “We all know that space is the final frontier, and just as we’ve always done before, America needs to lead the way on the final frontier.”
A Military Focus
Pence continued: “The Trump-Pence administration’s space policy will also strengthen our military space mission and assets and reorient our civilian space program toward deep space and exploration.”
Pence reiterated Donald Trump’s plan to “expand public-private partnerships” and “promote increased cooperation with the commercial space industry.” Pence said this cooperation will “provide capabilities needed for our nation to maintain constant pressure in low Earth orbit and beyond.”
The National Space Policy Council
Pence also highlighted Trump’s plan to “relaunch the National Space Policy Council,” to be headed up by the vice president. Pence is presumably referring to the National Aeronautics and Space Council started by President Dwight Eisenhower, or the National Space Council started by President George H. W. Bush.
It’s important to remember Pence is a politician, so a technical speech on NASA and America’s future in space would have been surprising, but a few more specifics would have been helpful. But the candidate simply promised “a brighter and boundless future for America” and voiced his faith in his running mate.
“President Donald Trump will lead America to the stars,” Pence said.
Watch the full speech here: