Vice President Mike Pence toured the Colorado campus of Lockheed Martin‘s space systems business to visit NASA‘s future Mars probe and the U.S. Air Force‘s latest global positioning system satellites, the Denver Business Journal reported Thursday.
Company CEO Marillyn Hewson and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Executive Vice President Rick Ambrose joined Pence and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson during the Thursday tour of the facility in Jefferson County.
The U.S. vice president viewed production work on NASA’s InSight interior-exploration lander that is set to be launched to Mars on May 8, 2018, as well as the first five GPS III satellites that would eventually support the Air Force, the report said.
The Air Force has already declared that the first GPS III satellite is ready for launch in 2018.
Pence also observed as Wilson tried out LMSS’ virtual reality design laboratory that the company’s engineers utilize to examine life-size digital renditions of space hardware under development, the Journal reported.
The report said Wilson used a virtual reality headset to explore the Mars Base Camp that Lockheed is developing as an orbiting headquarters from where astronauts in Martian operations can access the planet’s surface, deploy drones and conduct research.
Pence heads the National Space Council that President Donald Trump re-established this year after its disbandment in 1993.
The Journal reported Hewson was one of the aerospace industry executives who attended the council’s first meeting in Washington, D.C., early this month.
The White House is currently drafting a national space policy that will serve as a framework for civilian and military government space projects with aerospace contractors, the report added.