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

Kamala Harris and woman posing for a picture: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks with NASA astronaut Victor Glover to celebrate his mission to the International Space Station in a February 2021 video call. © Provided by Space U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks with NASA astronaut Victor Glover to celebrate his mission to the International Space Station in a February 2021 video call.

The National Space Council, a space policy group resurrected by the Trump administration, will continue in a new form under the Biden White House with Vice President Kamala Harris at the helm. 

Harris intends "to put her own personal stamp" on the council to focus on a wide variety of space policies, including the sustainable development of commercial spaceflight, "advancing peaceful norms and responsible behaviors in space," climate change and more, senior administration officials said in a call 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 call. "I am honored to lead to our National Space Council."

White House officials are currenting searching for an executive secretary for the new council, an effort that has been "well underway for sometime," senior administration officials said. They did not set a timeline for when the council's first meeting could take place.

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

Video: Biden-Harris support for NASA during 1st 100 days Related: Presidential visions for space exploration: From Ike to Biden

The National Space Council (NSC)  was first created in 1989 by the administration of George H. W. Bush to review U.S. space policy and make recommendations to the president. It was active until 1993 before disbanding. 

The Trump administration revived the NSC in 2017 under the leadership of then-Vice President Mike Pence (the vice president typically chairs the council), who challenged NASA to return astronauts to the moon by 2024 — the goal of the agency's Artemis program. The NSC also informed Trump's space policy directives to reduce red tape for commercial spaceflights, improve cybersecurity in space and create the U.S. Space Force.

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