Vice President Kamala Harris will preside over her third National Space Council (NSC) meeting today (Dec. 20), and you can watch it live.
The meeting, held in Washington, D.C., will focus on international partnerships, according to a media advisory the White House issued earlier this month.
"NASA deputy administrator Pam Melroy and Artemis 2 and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen will represent the agency at the meeting, which also includes other federal government agencies," NASA officials wrote in a press release on Wednesday (Dec. 20).
The CSA, a Canadian government space agency, is a member of the NASA-led Artemis Accords of 33 nations aiming to land astronauts on the moon in the 2020s, with Artemis 2 scheduled to fly around the moon in 2024.
CSA astronauts, however, typically train alongside NASA astronauts and have held senior NASA positions numerous times; Hansen managed the training schedule for the 2017 astronaut class, for example. Joining him on Artemis 2 will be three NASA astronauts: Reid Wiseman, Christina Koch and Victor Glover. The Artemis 2 crew previously met with both Harris, and U.S. president Joe Biden, on Dec. 14.
The NSC helps steer and shape American space policy. It's made up of several dozen high-ranking government officials, including the secretary of defense, the NASA administrator, and the vice president, who serves as chair.
The first NSC meeting under Harris was held at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2021. During that conclave, she highlighted some of the major space priorities of the Biden administration, which include using space assets to study and help mitigate climate change and getting a handle on space junk, which is a growing problem in Earth orbit.
Harris' second NSC meeting took place at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston on Sept. 9, 2022.
During that meeting, she "announced commitments from the U.S. government, private sector companies, education and training providers, and philanthropic organizations to support space-related STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] initiatives to inspire, prepare, and employ the next generation of the space workforce," White House officials wrote in the media advisory. "She also highlighted the importance of commercial and international partnerships for space exploration."
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Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.