Buzz Aldrin Visits White House, Talks Space with Vice President Mike Pence

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second person ever to walk on the moon, stopped by the White House Friday (March 10) to talk space with Vice President Mike Pence. 

Aldrin's visit, which Pence unveiled in a Twitter post, comes as President Donald Trump's administration works to develop a new space policy for NASA and other government agencies. 

"Fun to host a true American explorer, Buzz Aldrin, at the @WhiteHouse as we work to shape the space policy of our administration," Pence wrote in the Twitter post. The statement was accompanied by a photo of Pence and Aldrin — decked out in American flag print socks and tie — in mid-conversation.

The Trump administration has not yet formally announced any space policy goals, though there has been some discussion of reviving the National Space Council to coordinate the nation's space activities. If that comes to pass, Pence could oversee the NSC as its leading it has traditionally been a role for the vice president.

Aldrin, meanwhile, has been a staunch advocate for human spaceflight and sending astronauts to Mars.

Trump has mentioned space exploration twice in recent speeches.

During his inauguration in January, Trump said that the nation was "ready to unlock the mysteries of space." Then, during his Feb. 28 speech to the Joint Session of Congress, Trump mentioned space again with the line: "American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream."

The Trump administration has also asked NASA to study the possibility of launching astronauts around the moon in 2019 on the first test flight of the Space Launch System megarocket.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.