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December 6, 2021

On Dec. 1, 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris convened the Biden-Harris Administration’s inaugural National Space Council meeting and laid out the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to ensure that space activities create opportunities that benefit the American people and the world.

Color Landsat 9 image of Florida panhandle
The white sands of Pensacola Beach stand out in this Landsat 9 image of the Florida Panhandle of the United States, with Panama City visible under some popcorn-like clouds. Landsat and other remote sensing satellites help to track changes to US coastlines, including urban development and potential impacts of rising sea levels. From Oct. 31, 2021, the first day of data collection for Landsat 9.

At the meeting, the Vice President announced the release of the United States Space Priorities Framework, which will guide the Council’s efforts to develop and implement national space policy and strategy going forward. The Council discussed promoting peaceful exploration of space and reducing the risk of miscalculation or conflict in space, addressing the climate crisis, and enhancing STEM education.

In conjunction with the meeting, President Joe Biden signed a new Executive Order that addresses the membership, duties, and responsibilities of the Council. The Order added five new members to the Council: the Secretaries of Education, Labor, Agriculture, and the Interior, as well as the National Climate Advisor.

These new members demonstrate the Administration’s emphasis on ensuring the benefits of American space activities are applied broadly throughout society and employed to solve the toughest challenges, including addressing the climate crisis and building a vibrant workforce for the future.