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Vice President Kamala Harris to lead National Space Council

'The Vice President is the perfect person to lead the federal government's space policy,' said new NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, a former Florida US Senator.
Credit: AP
FILE _ In this Feb. 18, 2021, file photo, Vice President Kamala Harris holds a videoconference in Washington. Harris will address California Democratic Party activists on Saturday, May 1, 2021, her first time speaking at the party's annual convention as the second highest office holder in the country. She previously served as one of the state's U.S. senators. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris will take over the helm of the National Space Council.

In a tweet Saturday, the vice president confirmed the new role, saying, "As I've said before: In America, when we shoot for the moon, we plant our flag on it. I am honored to lead our National Space Council." 

The position had been held previously by then-Vice President Mike Pence. In 2017, the Trump administration revived the National Space Council, an on-again, off-again council that has been around since the early days of the Space Race, according to Aerospace.org. 

“The Vice President is the perfect person to lead the federal government’s space policy, which is increasingly complex, with many nations in space," newly-named NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. Nelson is a former NASA astronaut and served Florida as a U.S. Senator.

“Vice President Lyndon Johnson was the first chair of the National Space Council when America initially ventured beyond Earth. Now, Vice President Harris will coordinate our nation’s efforts to ensure America continues to lead in space. It is an exciting time for our space program,” Nelson said.

The vice president will swear in Bill Nelson as the 14th NASA Administrator, according to CNN. The Senate unanimously confirmed him to the position last week. 

While there is no official date yet for the first formal meeting of the National Space Council, senior administration officials told CNN Harris will "get started soon." 

RELATED: Former US Sen. Bill Nelson – who has flown to space – confirmed as NASA's 14th Administrator

RELATED: Pam Melroy named President Joe Biden's nominee for NASA deputy administrator

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