President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with Asian American leaders. Credit @WhiteHouse

WASHINGTON — In the wake of speculation that there would not be a National Space Council in the Biden administration, the White House confirmed March 29 that the council will be renewed. 

The administration’s decision to reestablish the council was first reported by Politico. 

A National Security Council spokesman confirmed to SpaceNews that the administration will move forward to stand up the council and officials are still hashing out the details. 

“At a time of unprecedented activity and opportunity generated by America’s activities in space, the National Space Council will be renewed to assist the president in generating national space policies, strategies, and synchronizing America’s space activities,” the spokesman said in a statement.

“While we are still working details, we will tailor the Council to ensure we have representation that can address the priorities of the administration — such as space-related science and technologies, space exploration, solutions to address climate change, ensuring economic and educational opportunities, building partnerships, cementing norms of behaviors in space, and addressing matters of national security efforts in space. This is not an all-inclusive list.”

The National Space Council was created in 1989 during the George H.W. Bush administration, disbanded in 1993 and reestablished in June 2017 by the Trump administration.

Biden’s National Space Council also continue the users advisory group. Jim Ellis, a retired U.S. Navy admiral who led the UAG during the Trump administration, told members of the group that there is a transition plan in the works, according to an email obtained by Politico. 

The UAG includes representatives from the space industry, associations, manufacturers, educators, national security experts, and policy makers.

Space industry groups and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have advocated for the continuation of the National Space Council to help coordinate civilian, commercial and national security efforts.

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, in a SpaceNews op-ed said the council helps “keep space issues on the radar of our nation’s highest officials and encourage the coordination necessary to solve problems that cut across multiple federal agencies.”

By law the National Space Council is chaired by the U.S. vice president and includes the secretaries of the Defense, Transportation, and Commerce Departments, the NASA administrator, as well as other principals with a role in space.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...