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Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Kennedy Space Center

Posted at 5:02 AM, Jul 06, 2017

After President Donald Trump announced that Vice President Mike Pence will lead a revived National Space Council, Pence visited NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Thursday.

Pence, who was named by President Trump last Friday to helm the new commission toured the Cape Canaveral facility and "learn more about the center's work as a multi-user spaceport for commercial and government clients," NASA said in a news release. 

Trump says the announcement of this new council sends a clear signal to the world about the United States' leadership in space. He says space exploration would help the economy and national security.

Additional members of the council are to include the secretaries of state, defense, commerce, transportation and homeland security, as well as the head of NASA, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the national security adviser and the director of national intelligence. The council will also draw on insights from scientists and business leaders.

The agency said that on Thursday, that the purpose of the Vice President's visit was to learn more about the center's work as a multi-user spaceport for commercial and government clients, as well as see the agency's progress toward launching from U.S. soil on spacecraft built by American companies, and traveling past the moon, and eventually on to Mars and beyond with the help of NASA's new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket.

Last month, Pence traveled to Houston to introduce NASA's 2017 class of astronaut candidates.