Administration

Harris to convene first space council meeting on Dec. 1

Vice President Harris speaks to reporters in the Senate Reception Room after the Senate held a vote for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act on Wednesday, November 3, 2021.
Greg Nash

Vice President Harris will host the Biden administration’s first meeting of the National Space Council on Dec. 1, she will announce Friday during a visit to a NASA campus in Maryland.

Harris on Friday will visit the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt alongside NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The visit will focus on efforts from various agencies to use space missions to monitor and address the climate crisis, a White House official said.

The vice president will also present the first images from the Landsat 9 Earth mission, which is providing data to officials to help with agriculture planning, drought effects and water use.

During her visit, she will announce that the administration’s inaugural meeting of the National Space Council will be held on Dec. 1. She will also present the first imagery returns from the recently launched Landsat 9 Earth observation mission.

The trip to the Goddard center marks Harris’s first high-profile event in her role as head of the National Space Council, which was revived under the Trump administration and led by former Vice President Mike Pence.

The Dec. 1 meeting means nearly one year will have passed since the National Space Council last convened on Dec. 9, 2020, when it gathered at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The council advises on space policy and is made up of administration officials and civil and commercial groups.

The Biden White House has previously announced its support for two space-related initiatives created under the Trump administration: The Space Force, which Trump established as the sixth branch of the military, and the Artemis program, which is NASA’s effort to return astronauts to the moon.

Pence in 2019 said the U.S. hoped to send astronauts to the moon by 2024, with plans for human exploration of Mars to follow.

A White House official said Harris will discuss space cooperation with French President Emmanuel Macron during her visit to Paris next week.

Tags Bill Nelson Emmanuel Macron French President Emmanuel Macron Mike Pence National Space Council Space force

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