The newly revived National Space Council plans to hold its first meeting “in just a few short weeks” in Washington, D.C., Vice President Mike Pence said late Sept. 25.

Pence, the council’s chairman, made his comment while touring NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., to get an update on agency efforts to send astronauts to deep space. During his visit, Pence spoke with astronauts aboard the International Space Station and saw an engine test for the new Space Launch System (SLS) deep-space rocket.

Artist's illustration of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). Photo: NASA.
Artist’s illustration of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). Photo: NASA.

The council, which the Trump administration revived in June, had been dormant since 1993. It is charged with advising the president on national space policy and strategy and coordinating space policy among various government agencies.

During a July visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Pence said the council would help reenergize U.S. space efforts, including human space exploration (Defense Daily, July 6).

The council will include the secretaries of commerce, defense, homeland security, state and transportation; NASA’s administrator; the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman; the director of national intelligence; the heads of the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and the president’s national security and homeland security advisers.

Scott Pace, director of George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute, is the council’s executive secretary.