Trump signs order to re-establish National Space Council
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will enable re-establishment of the National Space Council, which will coordinate commercial, technological and national security opportunities for the country.
The council was established by President George H.W. Bush in 1989 to advise and assist the president with regard to national space policy and strategy.
The council stopped its operation in 1993.
The executive order signed by Trump now revives the council and is expected to bolster the country’s role in the space sector.
After signing the order on Friday, Trump said: "Today's announcement sends a clear signal to the world that we are restoring America's proud legacy of leadership in space."
Acting Nasa administrator Robert Lightfoot said: “The council existed previously from 1989-1993, and a version of it also existed as the National Aeronautics and Space Council from 1958-1973.
“As such, the council has guided Nasa from our earliest days and can help us achieve the many ambitious milestones we are striving for today.”
This group will advise the president, and comprises leaders from government agencies with a stake in space, including the Nasa administrator, the secretaries of state, commerce, defence and others.
The council will be chaired by Vice-President Mike Pence.
Lightfoot added: “It will help ensure that all aspects of the nation’s space power, national security; commerce; international relations; exploration; and science, are coordinated and aligned to best serve the American people.
"A users’advisory group also will be convened so that the interests of industries and other non-federal entities are represented.”
Image: Trump signing the order. Photo: courtesy of Nasa.