Author Topic: National Space Council Reestablished  (Read 15891 times)

Offline RonM

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National Space Council Reestablished
« on: 06/30/2017 10:23 PM »
President Trump has signed an executive order reestablishing the National Space Council.

Quote from: Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot
I am pleased that President Trump has signed an executive order reestablishing the National Space Council. 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 high-level group advises the president and comprises the leaders of government agencies with a stake in space, including the NASA administrator, the Secretaries of State, Commerce, Defense, and others, and will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. 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.

“The establishment of the council is another demonstration of the Trump Administration’s deep interest in our work, and a testament to the importance of space exploration to our economy, our nation, and the planet as a whole.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-statement-on-national-space-council

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #1 on: 07/01/2017 12:09 AM »
The question becomes just what the result of space policy that this body develops and how heavily it will lean toward the indicated possible preference for public/private partnerships?

Offline Eric Hedman

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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #3 on: 07/01/2017 03:11 AM »
Bloomberg article:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-30/trump-revives-1960s-era-space-council-as-private-players-emerge

Space exploration is not only essential to our character as a nation but our economy and our great nation’s security,” Trump said Friday at a White House signing ceremony, adding, “I think privatization of certain aspects is going to play an important role.

I don't think "space exploration" is as essential as "entrepreneurship", especially when our government is doing space exploration nowadays, so I would hope that a more substantial role by the private sector is taken into account with future initiatives.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline sanman

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #4 on: 07/01/2017 04:01 AM »
Video of the announcement:




Offline su27k

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #5 on: 07/01/2017 05:31 AM »
No space for new space at Trump’s space council rollout

Quote
The primary advocate for new space companies, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, was not invited to the event on Friday. SpaceX's Elon Musk and Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos were asked to attend, but neither could make the event on short notice. One official involved in the new space community told Ars, "If you were not with Alabama or SLS, you weren't getting into the event today. They didn't want any commercial space there." Alabama is the home state of the Marshall Space Flight Center, which manages development of the SLS rocket.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #6 on: 07/01/2017 06:19 AM »
Quote
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate ReleaseJune 30, 2017
Presidential Executive Order on Reviving the National Space Council

EXECUTIVE ORDER

- - - - - - -

REVIVING THE NATIONAL SPACE COUNCIL

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to provide a coordinated process for developing and monitoring the implementation of national space policy and strategy, it is hereby ordered as follows:

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.

Sec. 2. Revival and Composition of the National Space Council. (a) The Council is hereby revived and shall resume operations.

(b) The Council shall be composed of the following members:

(i) The Vice President, who shall be Chair of the Council;

(ii) The Secretary of State;

(iii) The Secretary of Defense;

(iv) The Secretary of Commerce;

(v) The Secretary of Transportation;

(vi) The Secretary of Homeland Security;

(vii) The Director of National Intelligence;

(viii) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

(ix) The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs;

(x) The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration;

(xi) The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy;

(xii) The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism;

(xiii) The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and

(xiv) The heads of other executive departments and agencies (agencies) and other senior officials within the Executive Office of the President, as determined by the Chair.

Sec. 3. Functions of the Council. (a) The Council shall advise and assist the President regarding national space policy and strategy, and perform such other duties as the President may, from time to time, prescribe.

(b) In particular, the Council is directed to:

(i) review United States Government space policy, including long-range goals, and develop a strategy for national space activities;

(ii) develop recommendations for the President on space policy and space-related issues;

(iii) monitor and coordinate implementation of the objectives of the President's national space policy and strategy;

(iv) foster close coordination, cooperation, and technology and information exchange among the civil, national security, and commercial space sectors;

(v) advise on participation in international space activities conducted by the United States Government; and

(vi) facilitate the resolution of differences concerning major space and space-related policy matters.

(c)  The Council shall meet at least annually.
 
(d)  The revival and operation of the Council shall not interfere with the existing lines of authority in or responsibilities of any agencies.
 
(e)  The Council shall have a staff, headed by a civilian Executive Secretary appointed by the President.
 
Sec. 4.  Responsibilities of the Chair.  (a)  The Chair shall serve as the President's principal advisor on national space policy and strategy.
 
(b)  The Chair shall, in consultation with the members of the Council, establish procedures for the Council and establish the agenda for Council activities.
 
(c)  The Chair shall report to the President quarterly on the Council's activities and recommendations.  The Chair shall advise the Council, as appropriate, regarding the President's directions with respect to the Council's activities and national space policy and strategy.
(d)  The Chair may recommend to the President candidates for the position of Executive Secretary.
 
(e)  The Chair, or upon the Chair's direction, the Executive Secretary, may invite the heads of other agencies, other senior officials in the Executive Office of the President, or other Federal employees to participate in Council meetings.
 
(f)  The Chair shall authorize the establishment of committees of the Council, including an executive committee, and of working groups, composed of senior designees of the Council members and of other Federal officials invited to participate in Council meetings, as he deems necessary or appropriate for the efficient conduct of Council functions.
 
Sec. 5.  National Space Policy and Strategy Planning Process.  (a)  Each agency represented on the Council shall provide such information to the Chair regarding its current and planned space activities as the Chair shall request.
 
(b)  The head of each agency that conducts space related activities shall, to the extent permitted by law, conform such activities to the President's national space policy and strategy.
 
(c)  On space policy and strategy matters relating primarily to national security, the Council shall coordinate with the National Security Council (NSC) to create policies and procedures for the Council that respect the responsibilities and authorities of the NSC under existing law.
 
Sec. 6.  Users' Advisory Group.  (a)  The Council shall convene a Users' Advisory Group (Group) pursuant to Public Law 101-611, section 121, composed of non-Federal representatives of industries and other persons involved in aeronautical and space activities.
 
(b)  Members of the Group shall serve without any compensation for their work for the Group.  Members of the Group, while engaged in the work of the Group, may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, to the extent permitted by law for persons serving intermittently in Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707), consistent with the availability of funds. 
 
(c)  The Group shall report directly to the Council and shall provide advice or work product solely to the Council.
 
Sec. 7.  Administrative Provisions.  (a)  To aid in the performance of the functions of the Council:

(i) The Office of Administration in the Executive Office of the President shall provide the Council with administrative support on a reimbursable basis; and

(ii) Legal advice to the Council itself with respect to its work and functions shall be provided exclusively by the Office of the Counsel to the President.

(b)  To the extent practicable and permitted by law, including the Economy Act, and within existing appropriations, agencies serving on the Council and interagency councils and committees that affect space policy or strategy shall make resources, including, but not limited to, personnel, office support, and printing, available to the Council as reasonably requested by the Chair or, upon the Chair's direction, the Executive Secretary.
 
(c)  Agencies shall cooperate with the Council and provide such information and advice to the Council as it may reasonably request, to the extent permitted by law.
 
Sec. 8.  Report.  Within 1 year of the date of this order, and annually thereafter, the Council shall submit a report to the President setting forth its assessment of, and recommendations for, the space policy and strategy of the United States Government.
 
Sec. 9.  General Provisions.  (a)  This order supersedes Executive Order 12675 of April 20, 1989 (Establishing the National Space Council).  To the extent this order is inconsistent with any provision of any earlier Executive Order or Presidential Memorandum, this order shall control.
 
(b)  If any provision of this order or the application of such provision is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and other dissimilar applications of such provision shall not be affected.
 
(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
 
(d)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(e) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
June 30, 2017.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/06/30/presidential-executive-order-reviving-national-space-council

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #7 on: 07/01/2017 03:44 PM »
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate ReleaseJune 30, 2017
Presidential Executive Order on Reviving the National Space Council

...

Sec. 2. Revival and Composition of the National Space Council. (a) The Council is hereby revived and shall resume operations.

(b) The Council shall be composed of the following members:

(i) The Vice President, who shall be Chair of the Council;

(ii) The Secretary of State;

The Secretary of State? Besides having no time to attend because of, you know, real problems around the world that need his attention, this makes me think that the NSC may be envisioned to do things that will cause great attention around the world.

Quote
(iii) The Secretary of Defense;

OK, this officially means that the NSC is not just focused on the peaceful use of space, which is NASA's bailiwick.

Quote
(iv) The Secretary of Commerce;

(v) The Secretary of Transportation;

(vi) The Secretary of Homeland Security;

Seriously, are they planning on setting up TSA at spaceports? Will my Global Entry card be good enough for re-entry to the U.S., or will I need my passport?

Quote
(vii) The Director of National Intelligence;

No clue. Yes, I could have said something like "Are they expecting to find intelligent life in space?", but I think it's pretty obvious this person will be too busy to stop by this little confab to chat about things he's not worried about. Maybe they'll send someone to make sure no one is going to propose something that will bump into any of their "assets" in space?

Quote
(viii) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

OMB Directors suck the life out of any rooms they are in. It's their job to say "NO!!!!". Which is a pretty clear signal that no proposal is ever going to see the light of day from this group of "out of the box" thinkers.

Quote
(ix) The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs;

(x) The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration;

Oh good, NASA does get a seat at the far end of the table. And here I was worried...

I'll skip down to one other important point.

Quote
(c)  The Council shall meet at least annually.

And

Quote
Sec. 8.  Report.  Within 1 year of the date of this order, and annually thereafter, the Council shall submit a report to the President setting forth its assessment of, and recommendations for, the space policy and strategy of the United States Government.

OK, nothing says they can't meet more often than once a year, but if you look at the list of members how often do you think you'd be able to get them together? And sure, they could send their Asst. what-evers, but a cohesive planning group needs consistent participation so that action items are followed up quickly.

And since NASA represents less than 1/10 of the membership of the NSC, I'm starting to think we should NOT expect too much NASA-oriented results from the NSC. And my original expectations were that NASA would have a much bigger level of participation, so I'm kind of disappointed.

Any other interpretations?
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline RonM

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #8 on: 07/01/2017 05:16 PM »
The NSC is "in order to provide a coordinated process for developing and monitoring the implementation of national space policy and strategy..." It's not just about NASA, it's about all aspects of US space policy.

The encouraging part for HSF would be looking into the private sector part of space policy. Maybe more money for SpaceX, Blue Origin, and others to work with NASA. NASA working more closely with commercial space for cislunar and Mars exploration would be a step in the right direction.

Offline Hauerg

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #9 on: 07/01/2017 05:28 PM »
Hate to say it but Buzz did not look good at all.

I listened to those 7 minutes and got the impression that apart from "big" the president was lost about what to say.

So let's wait and see.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #10 on: 07/01/2017 05:42 PM »
The NSC is "in order to provide a coordinated process for developing and monitoring the implementation of national space policy and strategy..." It's not just about NASA, it's about all aspects of US space policy.

Certainly not about just NASA, and considering the combined budgets of all the departments involved I'd say that NASA is not going to get much attention.

Quote
The encouraging part for HSF would be looking into the private sector part of space policy. Maybe more money for SpaceX, Blue Origin, and others to work with NASA.

Why would NASA need "more money" in order to use the private sector? If NASA isn't saving money overall by using the private sector then I don't think NASA should use the private sector.

For instance, the argument for Commercial Crew is that even after paying for the providers to meet NASA requirements for transporting government employees to the ISS, that it would still cost less over the life of the ISS to use private transportation services than if NASA were to use it's own transportation system.

Quote
NASA working more closely with commercial space for cislunar and Mars exploration would be a step in the right direction.

Of course the reason to do cislunar and Mars exploration should not be just so that we can throw money at the private sector, but because the U.S. Government has defined a national need for doing things in cislunar space or at Mars.

I guess we'll have to wait and see how much NASA-related topics are part of their first meeting goes...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online RotoSequence

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #11 on: 07/01/2017 05:43 PM »
The new National Space Council looks very similar to the previous National Space Council established under Executive Order 12675 by President George Bush in 1989.

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=60450

Offline meberbs

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #12 on: 07/01/2017 05:51 PM »
Quote
(vii) The Director of National Intelligence;

No clue. Yes, I could have said something like "Are they expecting to find intelligent life in space?", but I think it's pretty obvious this person will be too busy to stop by this little confab to chat about things he's not worried about. Maybe they'll send someone to make sure no one is going to propose something that will bump into any of their "assets" in space?
Considering how many spy satellites we put up, and the use of satellites for classified military comms, The intelligence community seems like it should have a seat at the table.

Quote
(viii) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

OMB Directors suck the life out of any rooms they are in. It's their job to say "NO!!!!". Which is a pretty clear signal that no proposal is ever going to see the light of day from this group of "out of the box" thinkers.
Better to get their criticisms out of the way early. Getting groups whose job is to say "no" involved early is one of the best ways to make sure they don't end up getting your project cut off by them mid way through.

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(ix) The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs;

(x) The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration;

Oh good, NASA does get a seat at the far end of the table. And here I was worried...
Other than the VP being the Chair, is there anything that actually specifies an order of precedence here?

With so many high level admins, and almost no specialists, I don't have particularly high expectations of this council though.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #13 on: 07/01/2017 10:24 PM »
Considering how many spy satellites we put up, and the use of satellites for classified military comms, The intelligence community seems like it should have a seat at the table.

Using that analogy, they already have their own table in a completely separate high-security building. I'm not sure why they would see this council as some sort of improvement. And if there are any discussions about national security, NASA will likely be asked to leave the room anyways...

Quote
With so many high level admins, and almost no specialists, I don't have particularly high expectations of this council though.

Yep. Usually detailed work is done by lower level personnel, but Trump is famously not funding a full complement of lower level personnel in most of his agencies and departments, so that makes it less likely to pay attention to this - especially when no one knows what value it will be yet.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #14 on: 07/01/2017 11:15 PM »
All window dressing... Please send money...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #15 on: 07/02/2017 12:14 AM »
This is another time will tell event.  If you see any decent progress in improving plans and solidifying a direction, the council will take credit for it regardless of who is responsible.  If nothing improves, the next president will probably disband the council.  I'm hoping for the best, but not holding my breath.

Offline daveklingler

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #16 on: 07/02/2017 12:34 AM »
This is fantastic.  It's going to be a beautiful, beautiful thing.  I'm hearing very good things about it, and I think it's going to work very, very well.

All kidding aside, without a new Administrator nomination, it seems likely that no major changes could be ready for a 2018 budget.  Given the unusually slow pace of the Trump nominating process and the very low priority of the space agency, it doesn't seem like the NSC has anything to do for the foreseeable future.

Further, I'm confused over whether Mr. Bannon sees NASA as part of the "administrative state" (it fits his definitions), and therefore something in need of a leader to dismantle it, or part of the military, and therefore an agency in need of a leader to transition it to a defense entity.  Mr. Trump seems to like the idea of keeping NASA around to do a moon landing before 2020, i.e. a vanity project, so that means they've got to figure out how to re-orient NASA toward defense (against China?) AND do a moon landing. 

So maybe that's what the NSC will do, once the new nominee arrives and goes through the confirmation process.  Congress, meanwhile, seems to feel strongly that NASA should remain a suburb of Alabama, which technically makes it part of the Deep State, and they might consequently prefer to keep Lightfoot in charge indefinitely.

Offline daveklingler

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #17 on: 07/02/2017 12:42 AM »
Just as a follow-up to my last post, the make-up of the NSC and the folks invited to the announcement suggest to me that the NSC is there to provide some safety margin against anything erratic and unpredictable happening to SLS and Orion.
« Last Edit: 07/02/2017 12:43 AM by daveklingler »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #18 on: 07/02/2017 01:55 AM »
All kidding aside, without a new Administrator nomination, it seems likely that no major changes could be ready for a 2018 budget.

The FY2018 budget is the one going thru Congress today, and it does not contain anything new. The earliest the National Space Council could make a difference would be in the FY2019 budget, which doesn't go into effect until October 2018.

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Given the unusually slow pace of the Trump nominating process and the very low priority of the space agency, it doesn't seem like the NSC has anything to do for the foreseeable future.

It will be interesting to see how much of a priority the V.P. makes this council. The key metric will likely end up being how often they meet, since the minimum is once every year, but that is too little to produce anything useful during Trump's first term in office.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline TomH

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Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Reply #19 on: 07/02/2017 05:25 AM »

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