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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Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

President Trump. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 19,266,406 — Total deaths: 718,530 — Total recoveries — 11,671,253Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 4,928,802 — Total deaths: 161,052 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim watson/Getty Images

President Trump, speaking from a podium at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., on Friday announced that he is prepared to issue executive orders suspending payroll taxes and extending enhanced unemployment benefits through the end of 2020, and halting student loan interest and payments indefinitely.

Why it matters: The impending orders come after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon. But Trump said he remains committed to striking a deal with Congress on a broader stimulus package before signing the orders.