VP Harris Will Lead National Space Council Vice President Kamala Harris (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
By Nick Koutsobinas | Saturday, 01 May 2021 06:26 PM
White House officials confirmed Saturday that Vice President Kamala Harris will chair the National Space Council.
Harris tweeted about her newly appointed position Saturday:
"As I've said before: In America, when we shoot for the moon, we plant our flag on it. I am honored to lead our National Space Council."
The NSC was created in 1989 by former President George H.W. Bush to oversee space policy, but it was disbanded in 1993 until former President Donald Trump restarted the program in 2017, under the leadership of former Vice President Mike Pence. Under Trump's administration, goals were set to return to the moon by 2024.
"I think her approach to this is just going to be to get the job done, and use this to lead our space policy, and not really focus, perhaps as much on big displays," an official told MSN, when asked how Harris will differ from Pence.
Harris' new responsibility to chair the NSC is one more addition to her growing list of duties, including solving the question of what is causing the flow of migrants from Central America to the United States.
"The president and vice president not only take this very seriously, they know how important it is in terms of innovation, in terms of creativity, in terms of the competitiveness of the United States – something the president talks about in his joint address Wednesday evening," the official said. "It's not that one priority is more important than the other, but these are things that the administration believes is important.
"It's important work, it's critical work, and work that the vice president is elated to do."
For now, the Biden administration has largely embraced the Trump administration's policies when it comes to space, including supporting Space Force and NASA's Artemis project, which aims to put people back on the moon. Biden also praised NASA's efforts in its Perseverance program of landing a rover on Mars in February.
"I just can't tell you how much I believe historians are going to write about what you did at the moment you all did it: You should take such great pride – such great pride in what you did," Biden told NASA team members in charge of the project.
"We can land a rover on Mars. We can beat a pandemic. And with science, hope and vision, there's not a damn thing we can't do as a country."