National Space Council
The National Space Council is a body within the Executive Office of the President of the United States that was created in 1989 during the administration of George H.W. Bush, disbanded in 1993, and re-established in June 2017 by President Donald Trump. It is a modified version of the earlier National Aeronautics and Space Council (1958–1973).
National Aeronautics and Space Council (NASC)
This section is missing information about why the NASC was abolished in 1973.(July 2015)
Established by the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, the NASC was chaired by the President of the United States (then Dwight Eisenhower). Other members included the Secretaries of State and Defense, the NASA Administrator, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, plus up to four additional members (one from the federal government and up to three from private industry) chosen at the President's discretion.
The Council was allowed to employ a staff to be headed by a civilian executive secretary. Eisenhower did not use the NASC extensively during the remainder of his term, and recommended at the end of his last year in office, that it be abolished. He did not fill the post of executive secretary but named an acting secretary on loan from NASA. Shortly before assuming office, President-elect John F. Kennedy announced that he wanted his Vice President, Lyndon Johnson, to become chairman of the NASC, requiring an amendment to the Space Act.
Edward Cristy Welsh was the first executive secretary of the NASC, appointed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. Welsh, who as a legislative aide to Senator Stuart Symington (D-Missouri) helped draft the 1958 legislation that created NASA and the NASC, spent the 1960s as the principal advisor to the White House on space issues. He also assisted in the development of the legislation that created the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT). After his retirement in 1969, he remained active as an advisor to NASA.
National Space Council
- The Secretary of State;
- The Secretary of the Treasury;
- The Secretary of Defense;
- The Secretary of Commerce;
- The Secretary of Transportation;
- The Director of the OMB;
- The Chief of Staff to the President;
- The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs;
- The Assistant to the President for Science and Technology;
- The Director of Central Intelligence; and
- The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
On February 12, 1992, friction between the largely astronaut-based management at NASA and the National Space Council led to Richard Truly, then NASA Administrator and a former astronaut, being forced out. Truly was forced out after Vice President Quayle and the space council's executive director, Mark J. Albrecht, enlisted the aid of Samuel K. Skinner, the White House chief of staff, in urging Pres. Bush to remove Truly. Quayle and the council staff made the move because they felt Truly would impede a new plan to restructure and streamline many aspects of the space program, including the space agency administration.
In August 2008, when campaigning for president, Barack Obama promised to re-establish the National Aeronautics and Space Council. However, he completed two terms as president without having done so.
In October 2016, Robert Smith Walker and Peter Navarro, two senior policy advisers to GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, wrote in an op-ed in SpaceNews that if elected, Trump would reinstitute a national space policy council headed by the vice president. In the first year of the Trump administration, Vice-President Mike Pence indicated that the space council would be re-established, and would have a significant involvement in the direction of America's activities in space. On June 30, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order for such a reestablishment. Following its re-institution, the council met for the first time on October 5, 2017 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
The revived National Space Council consists of the following members:
- Vice President of the United States, chair
- Secretary of State
- Secretary of Defense
- Secretary of Commerce
- Secretary of Transportation
- Secretary of Homeland Security
- Director of National Intelligence
- Director of the Office of Budget and Management
- National Security Advisor
- Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- Homeland Security Advisor
- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
National Space Council Users Advisory Group
On February 20, 2018, Vice President Mike Pence, Chairman of the National Space Council announced the candidates selected to serve on the National Space Council Users Advisory Group. Pending official appointment by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the selected members of the Users Advisory Group will serve to fulfill President Trump’s mandate to “foster close coordination, cooperation, and technology and information exchange” across our nation’s space enterprise. The announcement was made on the eve of the second meeting of the National Space Council. “Moon, Mars, and Worlds Beyond: Winning the Next Frontier” includes testimonials from leaders in the civil, commercial, and national security sectors about the importance of the United States’ space enterprise.
Selection to the National Space Council Users Advisory Group:
- Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 astronaut
- Tory Bruno, President and CEO of United Launch Alliance
- Wes Bush, CEO of Northrop Grumman
- Dean Cheng, Scholar at the Heritage Foundation
- Eileen Collins, 4-time Space Shuttle astronaut, first female Space Shuttle commander
- Steve Crisafulli, Former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives
- Mary Lynne Dittmar, President and CEO of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration
- Adm. Jim Ellis, Retired 4-star Admiral, former head of STRATCOM, and member of the Space Foundation Board of Directors
- Tim Ellis, CEO of Relativity Space
- Newt Gingrich, Author, former Speaker of the House
- Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin
- Homer Hickam, Author of the book “Rocket Boys” and former NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center engineer
- Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama
- Fred Klipsch, Founder and Chairman of Hoosiers for Quality Education
- Les Lyles, Retired 4-star Air Force General and member of the NASA Advisory Council
- Pam Melroy, 3-time Space Shuttle astronaut and former Deputy Director of the Tactical Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
- Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of the Boeing Company
- Fatih Ozmen, CEO of the Sierra Nevada Corporation
- G.P. Bud Peterson, President of the Georgia Institute of Technology
- Jack Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former Senator
- Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX
- Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin
- Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation
- David Thompson, founder and CEO of Orbital ATK
- Pamela Vaughan, Board Certified Science Teacher
- Mandy Vaughn, VOX Space
- Stuart O. Witt, Former CEO of Mojave Air and Space Port, former Navy pilot, Chairman Emeritus of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation
- David Wolf, 4-time Space Shuttle astronaut and physician
- Pete Worden, Former Air Force General and NASA Ames Research Center Director
- Day, Dwayne A. (June 21, 2004). "A new space council?". The Space Review. United States: Pocket Ventures, LLC. SpaceNews. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
- Leary, Warren E. (February 15, 1992). "Quayle's Influence Seen in NASA Shake-Up". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- "National Space Policy". United States Department of Commerce. Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President of the United States. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
- "Fox News - Breaking News Updates". Fox News. New York City: Fox Entertainment Group. Archived from the original on September 9, 2008.
- "The Obameter: Re-establish the National Aeronautics and Space Council - PolitiFact". PolitiFact.com. United States: Tampa Bay Times. August 2, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
- Walker, Robert S.; Navarro, Peter (October 19, 2016). "Op-ed Trump's space policy reaches for Mars and the stars". SpaceNews. Alexandria, Virginia: Pocket Ventures, LLC. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
- Berger, Eric (June 30, 2017). "Trump to sign executive order creating a national space council". Ars Technica. United States: Condé Nast. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Berger, Eric (June 30, 2017). "No space for new space at Trump's space council rollout". Ars Technica. United States: Condé Nast. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Office of the Press Secretary (June 30, 2017). "Presidential Executive Order on Reviving the National Space Council". whitehouse.gov. Washington, D.C.: White House. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Ware, Doug C. (June 30, 2017). "Trump orders resurrection of National Space Council". UPI. Washington, D.C.: News World Communications. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Space News Staff (June 30, 2017). "President Trump reestablishes National Space Council". SpaceNews. Alexandria, Virginia: Pocket Ventures, LLC. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- "Vice President Pence Opening and closing remarks at the National Space Council Meeting" (Press release).
- "Presidential Executive Order on Reviving the National Space Council". whitehouse.gov. 2017-06-30. Retrieved 2017-07-06.