President Trump signed an executive order Friday establishing the National Space Council.
Vice President Mike Pence will lead the council, steering the nation’s space exploration policy and shepherding partnerships with commercial space companies.
The council will likely set broad goals – like deep space exploration and future Mars missions. Campaigning last year in Cocoa, Pence touted the admiration’s plan to re-enact the council, dormant since the first Bush Presidency. Pence said that if the U.S. wants to explore deep space, it will need to invest into the private space industry.
“We can be more efficient, we can be more effective, we can use space dollars wisely,” said Pence at the campaign stop last October. “We’re going to it. We’re going to make the investments. We’re going to create a brighter and boundless future for America and a growing economy on Florida’s Space Coast for generations.”
Commercial space companies are ramping up on Florida’s Space Coast. SpaceX launches rockets from the Kennedy Space Center. And Blue Origin is building a massive rocket factory just south of KSC.
The Space Council started during the Kennedy administration tackling civilian space issues and handing military space projects to the National Security Council.