The National Space Council is a body within the Executive Office of the President of the United States created in 1989 during the George H. W. Bush administration, disbanded in 1993, and reestablished in June 2017 by the Donald Trump administration. It is a modified version of the earlier National Aeronautics and Space Council (1958–1973).
The National Space Council operates as an office of policy development and handles a portfolio of civil, commercial, national security, and international space policy matters. Composed of cabinet-level members and supported by a Users Advisory Group, the council is chaired by the Vice President of the United States.
Established by the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, the NASC was chaired by the President of the United States (then Dwight Eisenhower). Other members included the Secretaries of State and Defense, the NASA Administrator, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, plus up to four additional members (one from the federal government and up to three from the private industry) chosen at the President's discretion.
The Council was allowed to employ a staff to be headed by a civilian executive secretary. Eisenhower did not use the NASC extensively during the remainder of his term, and recommended at the end of his last year in office, that it be abolished. He did not fill the post of executive secretary but named an acting secretary on loan from NASA. Shortly before assuming office, then President-elect John F. Kennedy announced that he wanted his Vice President, Lyndon Johnson, to become chairman of the NASC, requiring an amendment to the Space Act.
Edward C. Welsh was the first executive secretary of the NASC, appointed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. Welsh, who as a legislative aide to Senator Stuart Symington (D-Missouri) helped draft the 1958 legislation that created NASA and the NASC, spent the 1960s as the principal advisor to the White House on space issues. He also assisted in the development of the legislation that created the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT). After his retirement in 1969, he remained active as an advisor to NASA.
The NASC was abolished in 1973 by a reorganization of the Executive Office of the President. President Richard Nixon decided that, because "basic policy issues in the United States space effort have been resolved, and the necessary interagency relationships have been established", the NASC was no longer needed.
George H. W. Bush created the National Space Council by Executive Order 12675. The Council was chaired by Vice President Dan Quayle and included the following members:
On February 12, 1992, friction between the largely astronaut-based management at NASA and the National Space Council led to Richard Truly, then NASA Administrator and a former astronaut, being removed from the council. Truly was forced out after Vice President Quayle and the space council's executive director, Mark J. Albrecht, enlisted the aid of Samuel K. Skinner, the White House chief of staff, in urging Pres. Bush to remove Truly. Quayle and the council staff made the move because they felt Truly would impede a new plan to restructure and streamline many aspects of the space program, including the space agency administration.
In 1993, the Space Council was disbanded and its functions absorbed by the National Science and Technology Council.
In August 2008, when campaigning for president, Barack Obama promised to re-establish the National Aeronautics and Space Council. However, he completed two terms as president without having done so.
In October 2016, Robert Smith Walker and Peter Navarro, two senior policy advisers to GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, wrote in an op-ed in SpaceNews that if elected, Trump would reinstitute a national space policy council headed by the vice president. In the first year of the Trump administration, Vice President Mike Pence indicated that the space council would be re-established, and would have a significant involvement in the direction of America's activities in space. On June 30, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order for such a reestablishment. The revival of the National Space Council and the drafting of the Executive Order was led by Trump's senior advisor Peter J. White. Following its re-institution, the council met for the first time on October 5, 2017, at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia. On December 9, 2020, the 8th and last meeting of the White House National Space Council under the leadership of then Vice President Mike Pence took place at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), FL. Major announcements were a new National Space Policy and the naming of 18 NASA astronauts on the Artemis Team. The executive secretary of the National Space Council was Scott Pace during the Trump Administration.
List of meetings of the Revived National Space Council chaired by then Vice President Mike Pence:
The revived National Space Council consists of the following members:
On February 20, 2018, Vice President Mike Pence, Chairman of the National Space Council announced the candidates selected to serve on the National Space Council Users Advisory Group. Pending official appointment by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the selected members of the Users Advisory Group will serve to fulfill President Trump's mandate to "foster close coordination, cooperation, and technology and information exchange" across our nation's space enterprise. The announcement was made on the eve of the second meeting of the National Space Council. "Moon, Mars, and Worlds Beyond: Winning the Next Frontier" includes testimonials from leaders in the civil, commercial, and national security sectors about the importance of the United States' space enterprise. NSC UAG consists of six subcommittees. Details are at nasa.gov With detailed reports of meetings at FederalRegister.gov. and the most recent meeting agenda booklet 
Selection to the National Space Council Users Advisory Group:
The fifth meeting of the National Space Council was held on March 26, 2019, where Chairman Vice President Mike Pence announced that U.S. astronauts would return to the surface of the Moon by March 26, 2024. Reports from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and other council members were received and reviewed during the meeting. The Vice President also stated that NASA would be directed to ensure that the first woman and next man on the Moon will both be American astronauts from American soil, and that the Trump Administration and the American people are committed to achieving that goal at the Marshall Space Flight Center, located in Huntsville, Alabama. He emphasized that the National Space Council would be aiming to get to the Moon's South Pole, which holds great "scientific, economic, and strategic value".
Afterward, there were two expert panels on human space exploration and council discussion, respectively.
Panel 1: Ready to Fly, was led by:
Panel 2: Ready to Explore, was led by:
On 29 March 2021 a spokesperson for the National Security Council announced that the National Space Council would continue under the Biden administration. In the statement the spokesperson said, "At a time of unprecedented activity and opportunity generated by America’s activities in space, the National Space Council will be renewed to assist the President in generating national space policies, strategies, and synchronizing America’s space activities." While the makeup of the council has yet to be finalized the spokesperson stated "While we are still working details, we will tailor the Council to ensure we have representation that can address the priorities of the Administration — such as space-related science and technologies, space exploration, solutions to address climate change, ensuring economic and educational opportunities, building partnerships, cementing norms of behaviors in space, and addressing matters of national security efforts in space."
It was also announced that the council's User Advisory Group would continue. On April 29, 2021, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced Vice President Kamala Harris was appointed chairman of the council.  Vice President Harris later appointed Chirag Parikh as executive secretary of the National Space Council, on August 2, 2021.
List of meetings of the Revived National Space Council chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris:
On August 12, 2022, Introduction by Sala Ba. Vice President Harris presented a briefing on supporting the Commercial Space Sector. Harris announced the second meeting of the National Space Council at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California. The meeting will take place on September 9, 2022. Video:  Transcript: 
A new User Advisory Group is appointed in December 2022. It is chaired by Lester Lyles.