Vice President Mike Pence will visit Kennedy Space Center today (Dec. 9) for the eighth meeting of the National Space Council, and you can watch it live online. Pence may announce the astronaut group for NASA’s Artemis moon program, according to Ars Technica.
The National Space Council meeting starts at 12:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Vice President Mike Pence will chair the meeting, during which he will deliver remarks on NASA’s Artemis program and the space accomplishments of the Trump Administration.This will be the final space council meeting led by Vice President Pence before President-elect Joe Biden’s administration moves in in January. You can watch it live here and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of NASA, or directly from the space agency’s website.
According to a report by Ars Technica, Pence may announce the cadre of astronauts NASA will use for its Artemis program, which aims to return astronauts to the moon by 2024. The announcement will not include crew assignments, but rather the astronaut group from which NASA will select Artemis crews, Ars Technica reported.
“President Trump and Vice President Pence’s leadership has revitalized America’s space enterprise and ensured the strength of the American space program for years to come,” White House officials said in a statement.
NASA’s Artemis program aims to send astronauts to the moon and develop an ongoing presence on the lunar surface. In 2019, Pence announced the ambitious goal to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.
Prior to the space council meeting at the Kennedy Space Center, Pence will visit with space professionals of the 45th Space Wing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The 45th Space Wing is headquartered at Patrick Air Force Base and is responsible for all space launch operations from the East Coast.
Pence may also make some news at the Air Force bases as well. The military news site Defense One has reported that he may announce the renaming of those bases as the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Patrick Space Force Base.
The National Space Council helps steer and streamline American space policy. President Donald Trump reinstated the organization in 2017; it was last active in the early 1990s.