U.S. Space & Rocket Center chair excited for Pence visit, ready to show off Huntsville

VP Pence to Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville has a big visitor Tuesday.

Vice President Mike Pence and the National Space Council will be convening to discuss the restoration of American leadership in space.

Space and Rocket Center Board Chair Homer Hickam said the center has been scrambling to prepare, but excited at the opportunity.

[READ MORE: VP Mike Pence coming to Huntsville for Space Council meeting]

“[Pence] could’ve decided to go down to Houston or down to the cape or anywhere. He decided to come to Huntsville because he knew that when he got here we’d all be waiting for him, that we want to hear his message and we’re going to respond very positively to that," he said.

Pence’s visit comes after NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced NASA is looking into moving the Orion spacecraft off the Space Launch System and onto a commercial alternative.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center chair excited for Pence visit, ready to show off Huntsville

Hickam said it’s important the Valley’s space community accepts any challenge the Vice President issues.

“We’ve got his attention, we definitely don’t want to come off all negative and defensive. That’s my message.”

Hickam said he can almost “guarantee” there will not be an announcement cancelling the SLS program during Pence’s visit.

He said the Vice Presidents remarks will likely drive the conversation around the program and the American efforts toward deep space going forward.

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