While NASA regrets the end of the SpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing of the Beresheet lander, we congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the incredible accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit. Every attempt to reach new milestones holds opportunities for us to learn, adjust and progress. I have no doubt that Israel and SpaceIL will continue to explore and I look forward to celebrating their future achievements.
On the third day of the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, I held important bilateral meetings with the United Arab Emirates Space Agency and the German Aerospace Center. Our charge to explore the Moon, and make the next giant leap to Mars, will require strong international partnerships. The dialogue today helped clarify NASA’s plans and highlighted the interest from other space agencies in joining us on this incredible journey.
In a meeting with Dr. Mohamed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA), we discussed NASA’s plans to move forward to the Moon and opportunities for UAESA participation in future lunar surface activities. We also discussed the UAESA’s plans to fly their first astronaut to the International Space Station later this year.
In the final meeting of the day, I met with Professor Pascale Ehrenfreund, Executive Board Chair of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). We spoke about the robust relationship between our agencies in human and robotic exploration and areas for cooperation as we pursue returning humans to the lunar surface in 2024. Professor Ehrenfreund was particularly excited about the opportunities we have to inspire the next generation of STEM leaders with stunning achievements in space exploration.
Moving forward to the Moon is a global effort that will improve life for all of humanity, and NASA is leading this growing coalition of nations to raise the bar of human achievement.
We’ve accelerated NASA’s plans to reach the lunar surface, and I was happy to share our plans with an international audience today during a plenary session at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Fellow speakers included Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, both of whom we’ve collaborated with to implement President Trump’s space policy directives.
Just two weeks ago at the meeting of the National Space Council, Vice President Mike Pence, on behalf of the president, charged NASA with landing American astronauts on the lunar South Pole in 2024, by any means necessary. It’s a directive from the very top and a once in a lifetime opportunity to advance human achievement.
We’ve already been working hard on a reusable, sustainable architecture to bring humans to the lunar surface. Our backbone for deep space exploration is our powerful Space Launch System (SLS), the Orion spacecraft and the lunar Gateway command module.
We celebrated the Space Foundation’s recognition of astronaut Tom Stafford with the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award. General Stafford has inspired an entire generation of space enthusiasts, scientists, engineers and astronauts. As he received his award, Gen. Stanford expressed his support for President Trump’s challenge to put humans on the Moon by 2024.
On day two of the Space Symposium, NASA coordinated a historic International Exploration Meeting with over twenty space agencies from around the world. The common thread was everyone’s excitement about moving forward to the Moon together. We will continue to mobilize support worldwide in pursuit of this goal.
I didn’t want to sign off without mentioning the amazing NASA exhibit at the Space Symposium. Our people are doing a tremendous job telling the NASA story, and the imagery, models and hands-on activities look outstanding. I’m so proud of the experience we are providing for the thousands of patrons attending the symposium.
Now is the right time to move forward to the Moon. We will go with our commercial and international partners, and together we will go farther than ever before. We will prove out the technologies that will take us to Mars and inspire the next generation of explorers in the process. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and we the people of NASA are ready.
When President Donald Trump charged NASA with returning to the Moon, he specified that we partner with industry and other nations to make it possible. Today, on the first day of the 35thSpace Symposium in Colorado we continue our commitment to work with innovative partners as we chart our path forward to the moon in 2024.
The Space Symposium provided me and the NASA team a unique opportunity for dialogue, as it is the first major international public forum to discuss President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s 2024 moon challenge. Earlier today I met with several members of the international community to discuss our lunar exploration plans and reiterated NASA’s commitment to move forward to the Moon with strong international collaboration.
NASA’s leadership in low-Earth orbit through the International Space Station (ISS) has created a multi-national space community and fostered an ever-growing commercial space industry. The ISS is an innovation laboratory which has helped NASA pioneer a new private space sector. We are now working on translating these relationships and victories to deep space and the Moon.
In a meeting with Johann-Dietrich Wörner, director general of European Space Agency (ESA), and his team, we highlighted ESA’s and America’s successful collaboration on the ISS, and reviewed plans for the service module for the Orion spacecraft that will take us to the Moon and beyond. We reviewed our new expedited schedule and the key role ESA and the European Service Module will have in achieving those goals. We also discussed future robotic missions to the lunar surface and Mars.
During our meeting with Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and his delegation, we shared our commitment to the ISS and discussed additional opportunities on and around the Moon. Additionally, we followed up discussions on learning from our respective asteroid sample return missions, OSIRIS-REx AND Hayabusa-2.
This afternoon, I participated in a historic moment as NASA welcomed the newly formed Hellenic Space Agency (HAS). HSA CEO Dr. Georgios Mantzouris and I signed a joint statement expressing a desire to remain open to opportunities for collaboration, both through Greece’s contributions to the European Space Agency and bilaterally.
I attended a meeting of the National Space Council’s Users’ Advisory Group, an organization focused on coordination, cooperation and technology and information exchange across the nation’s space enterprise. They expressed their efforts to strengthen the space community,
Speaking at the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) I provided remarks on the legal and regulatory uncertainty that must be considered as we solidify our plans for the moon. These considerations must include non-traditional space activities and examining how to establish the legal regimes for authorization and continuing supervision. My conversation called on the experts in the room to further analyze this new frontier of deep space to ensure we have the certainty necessary for all parties to be successful on the Moon.
NASA and its partners are working tirelessly to make our next giant leap possible, and we’re bolstering critical sectors of our aerospace base in the process. Throughout this first day of Space Symposium, I connected with leaders in the space community and reiterated our commitment to our space architecture and the importance of international cooperation in order for all nations to be successful.