VP Pence Welcomes 12 New Astronauts

Vice President Mike Pence was at Johnson Space Center Wednesday to help introduce NASA's new crop of astronauts, and said the Trump administration plans to relaunch National Space Council to advance exploration.

“It will be my great honor as vice president of the United States to chair the new National Space Council in Washington, D.C.,” he told the cheering crowd.  “President Donald Trump is firmly committed to NASA's noble mission, leading America in space.”

NASA will have the resources and supports you need to continue to make history, to push the boundary of human knowledge and advance American leadership to the boundless frontier of space.”

After two years of training, the 12 new astronauts will join 44 others already in the program.  “As American astronauts you may yet return our nation to the moon, you may be the first to travel to Mars,” said Pence.

The 2017 class of five women and seven men were chosen from a record-breaking 18,000 applicants.

“There's an old saying that when you see a box turtle on a fence post one thing you know for sure is he didn't get there on his own,” the vice president told the new class.  “I know for every one of you, those who are gathered here and those that are looking on have been there to lift you up, to hold up your arms and bring you to this extraordinary moment in your life.”

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