U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver a speech on the commercial space sector, and you can watch it live.
Harris, the chair of the National Space Council, will discuss an update live on NASA Television at 4:35 p.m. EDT (2035 GMT). You can watch it here at Space.com, or on NASA Television directly (opens in new tab).
The vice-president’s schedule says the speech will provide an update on “how the Biden-Harris administration will support the commercial space sector,” according to SpacePolicyOnline.com (opens in new tab).
Earlier in the day, she will tour the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California to “hear from commercial space companies about their latest innovations,” the schedule stated. Chabot is the visitor complex for the NASA Ames Research Center, and will also be the location where Harris delivers the speech.
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The Biden administration’s last major action regarding space took place just days ago, when the U.S. president signed a bill that authorized NASA to extend U.S. participation in the International Space Station to 2030 to in large part, support a growing commercial space sector in low-Earth orbit.
At least some other countries will need to sign on to the extension, however, and that won’t include Russia as the country plans to withdraw at some point after 2024 to pour resources into an independent Russian space station.
Simultaneously, NASA is in the early stages of developing commercial space stations, and discussed progress at a conference last week with the various partners.
In January 2020, NASA selected Axiom Space to create the first commercially developed module for the ISS. (Axiom also flew its first private ISS crewed mission, Axiom-1, in April 2022.)
Three more companies are also working on commercial space stations after a December 2021 NASA announcement regarding commercial LEO destinations: Nanoracks, Northrop Grumman, and Blue Origin, which partnered with Sierra Space.
Harris’ first meeting chairing the National Space Council occurred on Dec. 1, during which the vice-president appeared to emphasize climate change as a focus of the Biden administration.
“In this new era, we must see all the ways in which space can benefit Earth. We must see all the ways in which space can benefit the people of our nation and of all humanity,” Harris said. “This perspective is central to our work as a council because, while exploration of space defined the 20th century, the opportunity of space must guide our work in the 21st.”
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