The National Space Council was resurrected during the Trump administration to streamline and synchronize space priorities and policies across the federal government, and it was retained by the Biden administration.
The Artemis Accords are an international agreement designed to provide a framework for the peaceful exploration of the moon and Mars. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman described the accords as “this generation’s commitment to the Outer Space Treaty,” the landmark 1967 space law that remains in effect to this day.
While the first meeting of the National Space Council under Harris’ leadership offered a window into the administration’s space policies and priorities, it produced only an outline to guide the council’s efforts.
In addition to promoting the rapid development of rules and norms to govern space, the United States Space Priorities Framework is focused on utilizing space to combat climate change and enhancing STEM education.
Those final two priorities are far more prominent for the Biden administration than the previous one, and they were reflected in an executive order signed Wednesday by President Joe Biden. The order added five members to the National Space Council: the secretaries of education, labor, agriculture and interior, as well as the national climate adviser.
“I believe we have a responsibility to also look to our home planet,” Harris said. “While exploration of space defined the 20th century, the opportunity of space must guide our work in the 21st.”