(NEXSTAR) – Vice President Kamala Harris will helm the National Space Council, an official with the Biden administration announced Saturday. On Twitter, Vice President Harris said she was “honored” to step into the role.
“As I’ve said before: In America, when we shoot for the moon, we plant our flag on it,” wrote Harris. “I am honored to lead our National Space Council.”
Harris will also be “putting her own personal stamp” on the council, with an emphasis on STEM, commercial space activity and climate change, Axios reported, citing a senior administration official.
“The council’s basic objectives — national security, basic science, technological development, contributions to U.S. economic growth and the commercial sector — will all be maintained,” the official stated.
The National Space Council was reestablished in 2017 under the Trump administration after previously existing between 1989-1993. The council’s goal, according to former NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot, was to “ensure that all aspects of the nation’s space power… are coordinated and aligned to best serve the American people,” Lightfoot said, in part, in a statement released upon the council’s 2017 revival.
An earlier version of the council, the National Aeronautics and Space Council, also existed between 1958 and 1973 to help guide NASA in its earlier years.
Following news of Saturday’s announcement, former Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who was confirmed as the 14th NASA Administrator on April 29, said Harris was the “perfect person” to chair the National Space Council.
“Vice President Lyndon Johnson was the first chair of the National Space Council when America initially ventured beyond Earth,” said Sen. Nelson in a statement shared by NASA. “Now, Vice President Harris will coordinate our nation’s efforts to ensure America continues to lead in space. It is an exciting time for our space program.”