Biden-Harris Space Priorities Framework Calls for Robust Space Enterprise, Space Sustainabilty

Biden-Harris Space Priorities Framework Calls for Robust Space Enterprise, Space Sustainabilty

In conjunction with her first meeting of the White House National Space Council, Vice President Kamala Harris is releasing a Space Priorities Framework for the Biden-Harris Administration. Harris chairs the Council. President Biden also is signing an Executive Order adding five new Council members today, bringing the total to 20.

The 7-page United States Space Priorities Framework identifies two priorities and a series of actions to address them.

  • Maintaining a robust and responsible U.S. space enterprise by maintaining leadership in space exploration and space science, advancing the development and use of space-based Earth observation capabilities, fostering a favorable policy and regulatory environment for commercial space, protecting space-related critical infrastructure, defending U.S. national security interests, and investing in the next generation, and
  • Preserving space for current and future generations by strengthening global governance of space activities, bolstering space situational awareness sharing and space traffic coordination, and prioritizing space sustainability and planetary protection.
Vice President Kamala Harris

Harris released the document hours before the Space Council’s first meeting under her leadership at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. The 1:30 pm ET meeting will be livestreamed on the White House website and NASA TV.

The report concludes:

“We are on the cusp of historic changes in access to and use of space – changes that have the potential to bring the benefits of space to more people and communities than ever before. The United States will harness the use of space to tackle the most pressing challenges at home and abroad, while leading the international community in preserving the benefits of space for current and future generations.”

President Biden’s Executive Order expands the Council’s membership to include the Secretaries of Education, Labor, Agriculture, and the Interior, and the National Climate Advisor. A White House official said the new members demonstrate the Administration’s emphasis on ensuring the benefits of American space activities are applied broadly throughout society and employed to solve the toughest challenges, including addressing the climate crisis and building a vibrant workforce for the future.

In addition to Harris herself, they bring the membership to 20, joining the Secretaries of State, Defense, Commerce, Transportation, Energy and Homeland Security; Director of National Intelligence; Director of the Office of Management and Budget; Assistants to the President for National Security Affairs, Economic Policy, and Domestic Policy; Administrator of NASA; Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Three of the four new Cabinet members will be among the attendees at today’s meeting: Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.  Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh will be represented by a deputy. National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy will also be there.

In all, seven Cabinet Secretaries, the Director of National Intelligence, the NASA Administrator, the Commander of U.S. Space Command, a number of White House officials, and deputies for other members who cannot be present, are expected to be at the meeting.

Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), a former NASA astronaut, will introduce Harris. A White House official indicated she will lay out the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to ensuring space activities create opportunities that benefit the American people and the world and then offer the other members an opportunity to share their ideas.

Adm. Jim Ellis (Ret.), who chaired the National Space Council’s Users’ Advisory Group under the Trump Administration, is continuing in that role and will give a report as well.

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