First woman to land on moon will be American: Pence

First woman to land on moon will be American: Pence

The United States is planning another space mission to the moon, Vice President Mike Pence said Monday asserting that the first woman to land on Earth's natural satellite will be an American.

"At President (Donald) Trump's direction, the UnitedStates will return to the moon within the next five years, and the first womanand the next man on the moon will be Americans," Pence said, in hisaddress to the Satellite 2019 Conference here.

The Trump administration is incredibly proud that before theyear ends, we will once again launch American astronauts on American rocketsfrom American soil into the vast expanse of space, he said.

To fully unlock the mysteries of space, President DonaldTrump recognises the US has to look beyond the halls of the government, beyondNASA, for input and guidance.

"That's why we assembled this Users' Advisories Groupin the National Space Council, which, I'm proud to say has brought togethersome of the brightest minds and biggest talents in the country to helpaccelerate innovation across the space enterprise," he said.

More than 15,000 scientists and industry representativesfrom 105 countries, including India, are attending the four-day mega eventbeginning May 6 in Washington DC.

It is touted to be the largest commercial satellite industryevent. It has featured headline keynote appearances from Amazon and Blue Originfounder and CEO Jeff Bezos, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, One Web founderGreg Wyler, among many other.

Noting that other nations are joining the space race, Pencesaid while their capabilities increase, the truth of the matter is that there'sno guarantee nations around the world share same values, ideals, or the UScommitment to freedom and the rule of law and peace.

"And that's what makes our leadership in space soimportant," he said.

"The truth is, nations from Russia and China to NorthKorea and Iran have pursued weapons to jam, blind, and disable our navigationand communications satellites via electronic attacks from the ground,"Pence said.

"Recently, we've even seen nations working on bringingnew weapons of war into space itself. From anti-satellite weapons and airbornelasers, to highly threatening, on-orbit activities and evasive hypersonicmissiles, our competitors and our adversaries have been aggressively developingand deploying technologies that put our technology and put our prosperity andour security at risk," said the vice president.

"Today, we recognise space a war-fighting domain, justlike the land [and] air and sea," Pence quoted Trump as saying. AndAmerica is going to be as dominant for its security in space, as it is here onEarth, he asserted.

"To meet the emerging threats, President Trump hastaken decisive action to strengthen American power.

"From the first days of this administration, we've beenrebuilding our military, restoring the arsenal of democracy. And last year,President Trump signed the largest investment in our national defense since thedays of Ronald Reagan, including renewed resources to enhance the resilience ofour space defense systems," he said.

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