Feb 22, 2018 - Science

Wilbur Ross wants to turn the moon into an outer space "gas station"

Solar eclipse viewing

Wilbur Ross, flanked by Jeff Sessions and Ivanka Trump, watches the partial solar eclipse from the White House. Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration's outer space vision is a commercial paradise, where private innovators colonize the low Earth orbit and help the government send Americans to Mars.

What's new: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC Thursday morning that the next big step in commercializing space is to turn the moon into "a kind of gas station for outer space."

"The plan is to break down the ice [there] into hydrogen and oxygen, use those as the fuel propellant. Rockets would not need as much thrust leaving Earth if they only had to get to the moon. Then at the moon, you have very low gravity so you don't need so much thrust to go from the moon to Mars, for example, or another asteroid."

Go deeper: More on the Trump administration's plan and the private companies dominating the space race

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