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Industry Applauds Biden Decision to Keep National Space Council

By Rachel Jewett | March 31, 2021
      White House

      The White House. Photo: US government

      The White House plans to keep the National Space Council that was reinstated by former President Trump, a move applauded by the space community. The move was first reported by Politco, and addressed by Press Secretary Jen Psaki in Tuesday’s press conference. 

      “The President believes that the National Space Council provides an opportunity to generate National Space Policy strategies, synchronize on America’s space activities at a time of unprecedented activity,” she said. “It’s certainly a council he’s excited to keep in place. I think it’s fair to say he agrees with the past administration maintaining the program.”

      Trump re-established the National Space Council (NSC), the principal unit for space commerce policy activities, in 2017 after it had been disbanded since 1993. The council issued a number of Space Policy Directives (SPD) covering the goal of returning humans to the Moon, followed by human missions to Mars; and establishing the U.S. Space Force.

      The council was chaired by former Vice President Pence. Psaki was unable to say on Tuesday if Vice President Kamala Harris will take a similar role with the council. 

      The Satellite Industry Association applauded the decision to maintain the council. 

      “The commercial satellite industry is growing at a tremendous rate and retaining the council will help maintain a streamlined regulatory and licensing environment that encourages current space innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Tom Stroup, president of SIA. “We look forward to continue working with the council to foster ongoing leadership of America’s satellite companies, while supporting access to spectrum for continued growth plus measures that ensure a sustainable space environment.”

      Biden has indicated support to maintain NASA’s Artemis program and the U.S. Space Force, as his space policy is taking shape. The president recently nominated former Florida Senator Bill Nelson as his pick for NASA administrator.