President Trump signed an executive order this week to reestablish the National Space Council, which previously existed from 1989 to 1993, according to NASA.
Trump tasked the vice president with leading the re-launched National Space Council.
"For almost 25 years, our government's commitment seems to have not matched the spirit of the American people", he said.
"We will bring the best of America together once again to lead with Americans in space", he said.
"Our nation will return to the Moon, and we will put American boots on the face of Mars", Mr Pence told the cheering crowd of about 800 Nasa employees, space experts and private contractors, but gave no specifics. The first crewed flight of the Orion/SLS system is targeted for the 2021 timeframe.
Among the vice president's goals is to "return our nation to the moon; we will go to Mars, and we will still go further to places that our children's children can only imagine". He also said the United States will maintain a presence in low-Earth orbit.
Later he added: "Like the pioneers that came before us, we will settle that frontier with American leadership, American courage and American ingenuity".
Pence made it clear that he plans to take an active role as chairman of the National Space Council and that he plans to hold the group's first meeting later this summer.
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The speech was long on generalities about restoring American leadership in space, but contained only a few kernels that may indicate what this Administration is planning. It is NASA's launch hub, but hasn't seen any astronaut takeoffs since the shuttles retired in 2011.
Another question is what the Trump Administration plans for NASA's non-human spaceflight programs.
Pence's visit, which included a tour of the facility, comes as the Trump administration is beginning to chart its course on space exploration. "And I will draw on it for advice and information and recommendations for action".
The president has not yet named an administrator for the agency, nor has he appointed a director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Pence said they will "reorient" NASA towards human spaceflight, but it already consumes half of NASA's programmatic budget.
President John F. Kennedy made his vice president, Lyndon Johnson, the chairman of the panel.
Tuesday's festivities also include the annual parade, which begins at 11 a.m. and runs down Wilson Avenue, and various ceremonies, activities and events centered primarily around Grandville Middle School, 3535 Wilson Ave. President Richard Nixon ultimately did away with the council in 1973. Pence didn't say whether returning to the Moon meant putting people on its surface.
Space warfare is an area of increasing concern. "You can't really predict".
Pence was vague today about direction. Space policy veterans undoubtedly are hoping that the outcome will be different this time. Gone entirely, for instance, would be the $115 million education program.