Policy Space

Competitiveness, climate change, and ethical space behavior are all discussed at the first Space Council meeting chaired by Vice President Harris

Planet Earth appears to be getting a hearty dose of attention in future US space strategy. On Wednesday (December 1), the National Space Council (NSC) convened for the very first time under Kamala Harris, the Vice President of U.S. Harris highlighted that space planners should gaze down on their home planet and also out into the cosmos during the live-streamed session, which was hosted at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington.

“We must consider all of the ways that space may aid Earth in this new era. We must consider all of the ways that space can assist the citizens of our country and the rest of humanity “According to Harris. “This viewpoint is critical to our efforts as a council since, whereas space exploration characterized the twentieth century, space opportunity must lead our efforts in the twenty-first.”

The National Space Council (NSC) helps to shape and direct US space policy. It is made up of several high-ranking government officials, ranging from NASA’s head to the leaders of the State and Defense ministries, as well as the vice president, who chairs the council. During President Donald Trump’s presidency, the NSC met 8 times. Wednesday’s meeting was the council’s first under Harris’ leadership, and it provided insight into President Joe Biden’s space goals.

The White House presented its “United States Space Priorities Framework” on Wednesday morning, cracking open that opportunity. The seven-page report lays out several space-related concepts and aims that the country will pursue in the coming years.

One of the priorities is to use space assets to monitor and aid in the mitigation of climate change, as well as to “maintain and enhance a rules-based international structure for space” and to boost American competitiveness by funding in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

Those were the three main emphasis areas of the NSC meeting on Wednesday, with a panel devoted to each. During the climate discussion, Harris emphasized the importance of not just collecting excellent Earth-observation data, yet also sharing it broadly and efficiently to ensure experts from many domains may benefit from it. She and other government authorities are attempting to develop “a baseline of accessible space data plus decision-making capabilities that are required to address the climate problem,” according to her.

“I’m also urging the State Department to collaborate with interagency partners to effectively establish a diplomatic strategy that will increase the United States’ global leadership and deepen our alliances throughout the world utilizing satellite data and the instruments at our disposal,” Harris continued. During “space norms and rules” panel, Russia’s latest anti-satellite test, that generated over 1,500 new items of trackable trash in low Earth orbit, was brought up several times.

About the author

Shawn Paulson

Shawn Paulson

Shawn Paulson is a reporter for Murphys Hockey Law. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Shawn got an internship at a morning radio show and worked as a journalist and producer. Shawn has also worked as a columnist for the Knoxville News Sentinel. Shawn covers economy and community events for Murphys Hockey Law.
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