U.S. President Donald Trump has made the National Space Strategy a priority for the United States by reestablishing the National Space Council and signing directives supporting space exploration, private sector involvement and security.
“Space has always been important to the country ever since the first Sputnik launched by the Soviet Union in 1957,” said Executive Secretary of the National Space Council Scott Pace.
The first Space Council was established under President Dwight Eisenhower, and over the years, different presidents have chosen whether to appoint a Space Council. Executive Secretary Pace noted that as America and the world become more reliant on space-based technology, the Space Council and space strategy are more important than ever:
“President Trump recognized that space was very important to the country. We're very dependent upon space. Our economy is dependent upon space. The military is dependent upon space. And, of course, space is a great symbol for America. It's something that has historical resonance and people take pride in it. So it has multiple different levels of importance to the country. But what's happened in recent years is space has become more democratized, more globalized.”
More countries and companies are operating in space than ever before, said Executive Secretary Pace. Those countries that don’t have their own space programs rely heavily on space developments as well:
“We all recognize the benefits that space provides from understanding the environment, from navigating, from providing communications. And so in many ways, the needs of developing countries (are) clearly critically dependent upon the infrastructure that the developed world has provided in space and that we ourselves are dependent upon.”
Vice President Mike Pence is Chairman of the National Space Council. “Our vision,” he said, “is to be the leader amongst freedom-loving nations on the adventure into the great unknown.”