COLORADO SPRINGS — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, the big draw at the 34th Space Symposium, won’t be delivering a keynote address at this year’s conference. However, the speech Pence gave two weeks ago at a meeting of the National Space Council is sure to reverberate across the four days of briefings and panel discussions on tap for the 35th Space Symposium here April 8-11.
Pence, speaking March 26 in Huntsville, Alabama, called for NASA to return humans to the moon by 2024, dramatically accelerating a time table laid out by the U.S. space agency 15 days earlier in its $21 billion budget request to Congress.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who has made repeated trips to Capitol Hill since Pence’s speech to field questions about how NASA intends to implement the vice president’s directive, is scheduled to speak here Tuesday morning. Among the questions NASA still needs to clearly address: What, exactly, is the plan? How much will it cost to achieve a landing by 2024? What are the new opportunities for companies, or for international partners?
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Robert Skinner, right, speaks with attendees at last year’s Space Symposium. Credit: Tom Kimmell
On Tuesday afternoon, European ...