Biden Administration Issues New Framework for Space Policy, With a Focus on Climate Change

Today, Vice President Kamala Harris’ office released a new framework for US space policy, detailing how the Biden administration plans to approach commercial, civil, and military space activity moving forward. From a report: Called the United States Space Priorities Framework, the document keeps many of the same space priorities from the previous administration but adds a new emphasis on using space to help combat climate change and investing in STEM education. The new framework comes ahead of today’s National Space Council meeting, the first one to be held under the Biden administration. Harris, who chairs the National Space Council, will convene the policy advisory group at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, at 1:30PM ET today.

[…] When it comes to space, the Biden administration is carrying forward many of the priorities set by the Trump administration. Notably, NASA’s ambitious Artemis program, which was solidified under Trump, is still a major focus under Biden. And plenty of the topics discussed under Pence’s Space Council are included in the new framework released by Harris. A few of the key points include maintaining US leadership in space by sending humans back to the Moon and exploring the Solar System with robotic spacecraft, fostering a competitive, regulatory environment for space companies, and defending against security threats in space while strengthening our space assets. In the biggest break from the previous administration, there looks to be a renewed focus on using space in the fight against climate change. In the new framework, the administration pledges to invest in satellites that can observe Earth from space, helping scientists better understand our changing climate. “Open dissemination of Earth observation data will support both domestic and international efforts to address the climate crisis,” the document states. To further drive home this new emphasis on climate research from space, President Biden plans to sign a new Executive Order today that will add five new members to the National Space Council, including the Secretaries of Education, Labor, Agriculture, and the Interior, but also notably the National Climate Advisor.