The National Space Council will proceed operations below the Biden administration, and Vice President Kamala Harris will chair the group.
Senior administration officers confirmed this on a name with reporters on Saturday and stated the White House course of to rent an government secretary to handle the council is “nicely underway.”
The National Space Council oversees the three most important areas of US space actions—nationwide safety, civil space, and business space. After it was dormant from 1993 to 2017, President Donald Trump reconstituted the physique to advise his administration on space coverage. Vice President Mike Pence chaired the council, and Scott Pace served as government secretary.
The ongoing nature of the space council represents one other method by which the Biden administration has continued insurance policies set forth by the Trump administration in space. Already, the Biden White House has stated it will help the Space Force for nationwide safety, in addition to NASA’s Artemis Program to return people to the Moon.
However, officers pressured that Harris will “put her stamp” on the group. “Let me flag a few issues that I feel she’ll put a specific deal with,” one official stated, laying out the following priorities:
- Sustainable growth of business space
- Advancing peaceable norms and accountable behaviors in space
- Achieving peaceable exploration aims with our allies and companions
- Climate change
- STEM training
- Diversity in the workforce
- Enhancing cybersecurity in space methods
Another distinction these officers sought to attract was that of a extra workmanlike strategy to space council conferences. At instances, throughout the Trump administration, it appeared like a few of the objective of those showy occasions throughout the nation have been staged to attract consideration to actions, reasonably than furthering them, similar to in naming a “cadre” of Artemis astronauts.
“I feel her strategy to that is simply going to be to get the job carried out and use this to guide our space coverage, and not likely focus maybe as a lot on massive shows, however on getting the work carried out,” one official stated.
All the similar, it’s to the credit score of the Trump administration and Vice President Pence that they completed significant issues in space coverage, notably getting NASA’s human spaceflight program on a extra sustainable path to return people to the Moon. And it’s to the credit score of the Biden administration that it acknowledged this work and will search to enhance upon it.
No date has but been set for the first assembly of the National Space Council, however officers stated Harris is already receiving frequent briefings on spaceflight actions and is engaged with key stakeholders. On Monday, for instance, she will swear in former Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) as NASA Administrator.