On Wednesday, US Vice President Kamala Harris slammed a “reckless” Russian test that put the International Space Station at risk of debris, while the Biden administration unveiled a new space plan.
Harris called the National Space Council’s first meeting and requested members to support responsible civic, commercial, and national security conduct in space, where commercial interests are expanding and worries about Chinese and Russian rivalry are mounting.
“We face genuine challenges to our national and global security if clear principles for responsible use of space are not established,” Harris warned.
She said that Russia’s “irresponsible behaviour” of testing anti-satellite equipment last month resulted in debris that put the International Space Station at jeopardy (ISS).
Officials in the United States have expressed concern about increased security operations in space by Washington’s biggest adversaries. China’s launch of hypersonic weapons earlier this year sparked fears of an arms race over Earth-orbiting devices that may circumvent existing missile defences.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of businesses, including SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic, are attempting to usher in a new age of private commercial space missions, following years of private corporations collaborating with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order establishing the National Space Council, which includes the chiefs of the Departments of Education, Labor, Agriculture, and Interior, as well as his National Climate Advisor.
The government also wants the group’s work to improve scientific-related activities and expand space climate data, which might help create jobs and boost US competitiveness, according to a statement.
The National Space Council is distinct from the United States Space Force, which was established by previous President Donald Trump.
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