National Space Council

Yesterday one executive order was posted on the White House website. This one I find really interesting, if only because it revives a council created years ago that was no longer functioning. Following is a direct quote from the order:

Section 1. Purpose. The National Space Council (Council) was established by Title V of Public Law 100-685 and Executive Order 12675 of April 20, 1989 (Establishing the National Space Council). The Council was tasked with advising and assisting the President regarding national space policy and strategy. The Council was never formally disestablished, but it effectively ceased operation in 1993. This order revives the Council and provides additional details regarding its duties and responsibilities.

I was curious to know why it ceased operation in 1993. Was it simply ignored by President Clinton and Vice President Gore (intentionally or unintentionally), or was its demise effectively managed before January 20, 1993 by President George H.W. Bush and/or Vice President Dan Quayle?

After looking up various documents to see if I could figure out why, I found the final report on the space program submitted by VP Quayle and dated January 1993. As a result of this report, the Council appears to have been basically halted by recommendation of VP Quayle to the incoming Clinton administration. (A quote from near the end of the report: “For the future, EOS should have direct oversight at the highest level of management within NASA…) I had to look up EOS and learned it is the acronym for Earth Observation System.

Now, I am interested to know how the Space Administration feels about this revival of an oversight council, and whether or not it is their recommendation, or even if they were consulted at all previous to this order. I will be vigilant for public reports on this action, hoping some reporter will follow up and seek comments from the current space administration officials.

Official Title and Link

Presidential Executive Order on Reviving the National Space Council

Executive Order signed June 30, 2017

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