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.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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