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

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began

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COVID Tracking Project

The U.S. confirmed at least 83,010 coronavirus cases on Friday, the country's highest daily total since the pandemic started, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

By the numbers: Friday's total surpassed the U.S.'s previous record set on July 17 when 76,842 cases were recorded. 

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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3 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump has not attended a White House coronavirus task force meeting in “several months,” NIAID director Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Friday.

Why it matters: At the beginning of the pandemic, the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, met every day, but in the "last several weeks," members have held virtual meetings once a week, Fauci said, even as the number of new cases continues to surge in the country.