National Space Council meeting today: Watch live here at 1:30 pm ET

The first meeting of the National Space Council (NSC) under Vice President Kamala Harris will take place on Wednesday (Dec. 1), and you can watch it live. 

The event, held at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., starts at 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT) Wednesday. You can watch it live on this page courtesy of NASA, or directly via the space agency.

Harris revealed the Dec. 1 date early last month, during a speech at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. 

“Really looking forward to that,” Harris said in that Nov. 5 speech. “And at that meeting, we will outline a comprehensive framework for our nation’s space priorities, from our civilian efforts … to our military and national security efforts to STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] education and the emerging space economy.” 

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The White House released that framework, which will serve as a guiding document for the NSC, on Wednesday morning.

“Burgeoning U.S. space activities are a source of American strength at home and abroad — from providing tangible economic and societal benefits to Americans to expanding our network of alliances and partnerships,” states the seven-page document, which you can find here.

“The United States will bolster the health and vitality of our space sectors — civil, commercial, and national security — for the benefit of the American people and leverage that strength to lead the international community in preserving the benefits of space for future generations.”

The NSC is chaired by the vice president and helps steer U.S. space policy. It was established in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush, disbanded four years later and revived by President Donald Trump in 2017.

Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, chaired eight meetings of the NSC, the last of which took place in December 2020. During that final meeting, Pence introduced the first 18 astronauts in NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to establish a sustainable, long-term presence on and around the moon by the end of the 2020s.

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This iteration of the NSC will likely set a somewhat different course than the Pence-led version did. For example, there’s a good chance that climate change will now be a higher priority.

During her Nov. 5 Goddard address, Harris described climate change as “an existential threat” and stressed that the nation must take immediate action to combat it.

“As our nation works to meet our climate commitments, we know that our actions cannot be limited to only what we can do on Earth,” Harris said. “Right at this minute, we are monitoring emissions and measuring the impact of climate change from space. We have a fleet of satellites and sensors, providing citizens and scientists the data that they — that you — need to mitigate the impact and to adapt to the impact.”

This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Dec. 1 with details about the NSC meeting.

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook


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