awaits the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969
with vice-president Spiro Agnew (second from right)
and NASA administrator Thomas Paine (far right).
to head group overseeing
civilian and military space
Pence, who will chair the council, announced
its reinstatement on 7 June at
NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
In theory, the National Space Council oversees US space policy at NASA and defence, intelligence and commerce agencies.
In practice, however, it sometimes has had little power to change entrenched practices among various agencies - particularly in military affairs.
In its 1989-1993 incarnation, the council played a major part in developing then-president George H. W. Bush's plans to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars.
It also worked on space issues with Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
currently have a contract with NASA to ferry cargo up and down to
the International Space Station,
and will soon transport US astronauts. A council could strengthen
commercial space connections outside of NASA.
Whether US space agencies will get adequate funding to carry out such efforts is unclear.
Speaking at Johnson Space Center, Pence said that,
But the White House has
proposed trimming the agency's US$19.7-billion budget by roughly 3%
for the next fiscal year to $19.1 billion, a relatively moderate
reduction compared with the double-digit cuts outlined for other
Pence hinted in March
that the council would be resurrected. Space-policy advisors to the
Trump-Pence campaign argued for its reinstatement last October,
before Trump won the presidency.
Trump has not named a new
NASA chief. Although the agency continues to develop a heavy-lift
rocket and crew capsule to take astronauts to deep space,
the 'Journey to Mars'
that was pushed during the presidency of
Barack Obama is no longer
(NASA has abandoned
Obama's plan to bring an asteroid to orbit near the Moon and send
astronauts to visit it there.)
They include scientists such as,