Vice President Kamala Harris to lead National Space Council under Biden administration

The National Space Council, a space coverage group resurrected by the Trump administration, will proceed in a brand new type under the Biden White House with Vice President Kamala Harris on the helm. 

Harris intends “to put her own personal stamp” on the council to focus on a wide variety of space policies, together with the sustainable growth of economic spaceflight, “advancing peaceful norms and responsible behaviors in space,” local weather change and extra, senior administration officers mentioned in a name with reporters Saturday (May 1). 

“As I’ve said before: In America, when we shoot for the moon, we plant our flag on it,” Harris said on Twitter Saturday after the decision. “I am honored to lead to our National Space Council.”

White House officers are currenting looking for an government secretary for the brand new council, an effort that has been “well underway for sometime,” senior administration officers mentioned. They didn’t set a timeline for when the council’s first assembly might happen.

The Biden administration’s decide for NASA administrator, former senator Bill Nelson of Florida, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate this week and can be sworn in as NASA’s new chief on Monday (May 3). 

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The National Space Council (NSC)  was first created in 1989 by the administration of George H. W. Bush to evaluation U.S. space coverage and make suggestions to the president. It was energetic till 1993 earlier than disbanding. 

The Trump administration revived the NSC in 2017 under the management of then-Vice President Mike Pence (the vp usually chairs the council), who challenged NASA to return astronauts to the moon by 2024 — the purpose of the agency’s Artemis program. The NSC additionally knowledgeable Trump’s space coverage directives to cut back red tape for industrial spaceflights, enhance cybersecurity in space and create the U.S. Space Force.

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The Biden administration has expressed support for the Artemis program and the Space Force, however Harris is anticipated to convey extra insurance policies to the fore. 

National safety will proceed to catch the attention of the council under Harris, in addition to enhancing cybersecurity for U.S. property in space, senior administration officers mentioned. She can even prioritize local weather change, STEM efforts for science, engineering and math schooling, in addition to range within the space trade’s workforce and financial growth, they added. 

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Harris has already expressed an curiosity in U.S. spaceflight and not too long ago made calls on two events to astronauts on the International Space Station. 

In February, she spoke with Victor Glover, the primary Black astronaut to fly a long-duration mission on the International Space Station, in a name that passed off throughout Black History Month. “You are inspiring us and you are reminding us of what is possible when we dream big and when we think big,” Harris, who’s the primary girl and girls of coloration to function vp, instructed Glover.

Glover will return to Earth Sunday (May 1) alongside three crewmates on SpaceX’s Crew-1 Dragon Resilience to finish a six-month mission to the station. 

Shortly after Harris’ name with Glover, she spoke with NASA astronauts Kate Rubin and Shannon Walker on the space station for Women’s History Month. “They are setting an example for little girls around the world to dream big, lead with conviction, and to see themselves as the scientists and astronauts of tomorrow,” Harris mentioned of the astronauts on March 24, when NASA launched video of the decision.

“Congratulations on all of your success and just being women in space — you all are such incredible role models,” Harris mentioned within the video. 

Rubins returned to Earth in April on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Walker will return to Earth Sunday with Glover and astronauts Mike Hopkins of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of Japan. 

Email Tariq Malik at [email protected] or observe him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.

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