Space Council Gets Human Spaceflight Strategy Report

Space Council Gets Human Spaceflight Strategy Report

On Friday, NASA submitted a report to the National Space Council that was developed in conjunction with the Departments of State and Commerce as requested by the Council at its February 2018 meeting.  The report outlines goals for human spaceflight and economic growth in low Earth orbit (LEO).  The agency released just an executive summary, saying the report itself is for internal government use only.

Entitled “A Strategy for Human Spaceflight in Low Earth Orbit and Economic Growth in Space,” the report lays out four goals.

  1. To achieve a continuous U.S. presence in LEO – both NASA astronauts and private citizens – in order to support the use of space by U.S. citizens, companies, academia, and international partners and to maintain a permanent American foothold on the nearest part of the space frontier.
  1. To create a regulatory environment in LEO that enables American commercial activities to thrive.
  1. To conduct human spaceflight research in LEO that will advance the technology and systems required for long-duration spaceflight systems, including systems for interplanetary travel and permanent space habitation.
  1. To expand and extend commercial opportunity though international partnerships and engagement.
Vice President Mike Pence. Credit: White House/D. Myles Cullen

NASA’s press release said only that the goals “are among the priorities of NASA’s exploration plans” and it will continue to work with its interagency partners to achieve them.

The National Space Council is part of the Executive Office of the President and chaired by Vice President Mike Pence.  It has met in public four times: October 2017, February 2018, June 2018, and October 2018.

Its February 2018 meeting focused on regulatory matters. At the end of the discussion, Pence asked Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot to work with the Departments of State and Commerce “to develop a strategy to develop the framework for a greater cooperation with our private-sector partners and, as appropriate, international partners as well.”

This report apparently is the result.

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