Kamala Harris to Hold First Space Council Meeting on Dec. 1

Kamala Harris to Hold First Space Council Meeting on Dec. 1 kamala harris speaks to crowd Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a hangar at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Nov. 1, 2021. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Friday, 05 November 2021 10:43 AM

Vice President Kamala Harris, during a trip to a NASA campus in Maryland on Friday, will announce the first meeting of the National Space Council on Dec. 1, The Hill reports.

Harris is set to visit the Goddard Space Flight Center with NASA administrator Bill Nelson and various officials from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), according to the Hill.

While there, Harris will also unveil the first pictures taken by the Landsat 9 Earth mission that is helping government officials with agricultural planning, as well as the effects of drought.

Harris, who heads the National Space Council, will also announce that their first meeting will take place on Dec. 1, 2021, almost one year since the council last met at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The National Space Council includes several Cabinet-level officials, including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who has shown "a very high level of interest" when it comes to space issues, according to deputy secretary of commerce Don Graves, noting that her department, which includes the Office of Space Commerce, has been focused on space traffic management and other issues.

"The secretary and I meet at least twice a week to talk about a range of issues at the department. The Office of Space Commerce, CRSRA and all the work we’re doing comes up at least once a week in our conversations," he told Space News on Friday.

"We’re going to be sharing that with stakeholders over the next few months," Graves said. "We think it’s a great step, but it’s only a step towards where we need to be to have a cloud-based SSA system and STM system."

"You will be very pleased at our FY23 request," he added. "We are expecting to increase staffing for the Office of Space Commerce very quickly."

"This is the tipping point in the space economy. This is like 1998 for the internet," Greg Autry, a who teaches space policy and business at Arizona State University and applied to join the National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group, told CNN. "Imagine where we would be if we only viewed the internet as a scientific tool instead of the brilliant choice by the Clinton administration to view it as an e-commerce tool."

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