China, Russia Presenting Difficulties to Kamala Harris’ Space Committee

The Biden presidency tackles national defense issues in space as Vice President Kamala Harris is set to lead her first Space Council session.

According to Sarah Mineiro, an adjunct senior scholar at the Center for New American Defense, Harris stated early on she intended to focus on global warming, cyberspace, and education. 

That includes recent Russian and Chinese operations in space, such as Moscow’s “irresponsible and dangerous” missile launch that caused the Space Station team to evacuate last month.

Gen. Mark Milley, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said China’s nuclear-capable hypersonic weapons got close to a “Sputnik scenario,” but not quite. It will be interesting to see how Harris and the council members approach these concerns.


Harris said earlier this month the council would provide a complete framework for the nation’s space goals. This will include civilian endeavors to the military, national defense initiatives to STEM education, and the developing space economy.

Boosting Kamala’s Credentials

Scott Pace, the Trump administration’s National Space Commission executive secretary from 2017 to 2020, told reporters the council’s work on sending people to the moon and boosting the private sector would continue.

Pace said foreign authorities liked the idea.

They thought it was remarkable to see top Cabinet members discussing space and not only technical experts. An amended presidential order is anticipated, with Biden appointing additional officials from agencies, including the Departments of Education and Labor.

Harris’ Space Council chairmanship may assist in enhancing her national security qualifications, strengthening her interagency partnerships, and strengthening the vice president’s links to foreign leaders.

This includes favorable words about global partners and friends, the need for technological standards for space stewardship, and enhanced openness in the space sector. Recent announcements by Harris include increased space collaboration with France on climate issues.

After speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron earlier in November, Harris said they promised to increase the interchange of Earth observation satellite data and cooperative study of climate change risks.

Harris’ Other Significant Assignments were Rocky 

The president assigned Harris to curb Northern Triangle migration, something he supervised as vice president under Barack Obama. However, migration from across the southern border increased after the Biden presidency assumed office, adding to the assignment’s electoral toxicity.

A “political hand bomb” was created by Harris’ team, claiming migration concerns along the US-Mexico border and within the US were not included in the task.

Harris also prioritizes voting rights. Biden’s massive spending bills have overshadowed those efforts; supporters want her to be more visible as the president’s age is being questioned.

Experts expect Harris’ chairmanship of the Space Council to assist in establishing a coherent approach. Mineiro added that she thinks Vice President Harris’ program reflects a genuine awareness we are at our finest as a country when we promote industry and innovation.

She says having the vice president attend the National Space Council provides consistency throughout the US government.

Pace added to succeed, Harris must “interact and engage with” Democrats on the topics at stake, such as why space is crucial to the nation’s growth in the economy and providing opportunities.