“America is leading in space once again,” said Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at the sixth meeting of the National Space Council.

Pence quoted President Donald J. Trump saying, “It is America’s destiny to be the leader amongst nations on our adventure into the great unknown.”

Speaking from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, Pence said that America, under the Trump administration, has renewed its vow to human space exploration.

videoinfo__video.thebl.com||3b2db219a__

“This president recognizes what the American people have known for more than a half a century,” which is that the security, prosperity, and “our very way of life depend on American leadership and American leadership in spaces,” said Pence.

Pence affirmed that America would “go further into space farther and faster than ever before.”

He stated that “low earth orbit is not our final destination but rather it is a training ground for the infinite frontier of space.”

The vice president continued stating that the American people are poised “for the next chapter in our nation’s history in space.” He stated that President Trump put an end to “decades of budget cuts and decline” and recommenced the U.S.’s commitment to human space exploration, “vowing to go further into space farther and faster than ever before.”

Pence told members of the National Space Council that during the first year in office, President Trump signed “Space Policy Directive 1, making it the U.S. national policy to prioritize crewed missions to the moon.”

Pence highlighted the Trump administration’s plan to return American astronauts to the moon within five years, by 2024, and to make sure that “the next man and the first woman on the moon will be American astronauts.”

He reiterated President Trump’s space program, emphasizing the collaboration with “industry leaders” and that the U.S. will once again send “American astronauts into space on American rockets from American soil.”

Pence added there would be “new ambitions.” The United States is not only returning to the moon but to go back with “new objectives,” said Pence.

It would be to set up a permanent base on the moon and develop the capabilities to travel to “the red planet of Mars,” said the vice president.

“In order for us to take the next big leap toward the Martian surface, we have to demonstrate that we can live on the moon for months and even years,” said Pence.

“We have to learn how to make use of all available resources to sustain human life and all our activities in space,” he said.

Pence repeated President Trump’s words that it is “America’s destiny to be the leader amongst nations on our adventure into the great unknown.”

For this purpose, the National Space Council was restructured and the reason for the Aug. 20 meeting. Pence stated the undertakings would involve hardship, sacrifice, perseverance, and risks, all of what the Apollo 11 team 50 years ago knew.

July 20 marked the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 first moon landing. Since Apollo astronauts last walked on the moon in 1972, no other country has attempted to send humans back to the moon.

The vice president concluded his speech with an uplifting message that “Americans can accomplish anything we set our minds to.”