On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris announced new investments private space companies to boost STEM education and the space workforce, as she chaired her second meeting of the National Space Council since taking office.
Speaking at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Harris pointed to more than a dozen commercial space companies, including Blue Origin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, who have pledged to help fund careers and recruitment in the space industry. ‘space.
This includes three regional pilot training programs in Florida, Southern California and the Louisiana/Mississippi Gulf Coast, which will launch next month.
“This business coalition will partner with our community colleges, technical schools and unions to help workers get the skills they need to fill the new jobs being created in the space industry,” Harris said. before chairing the space council. Meet.
The Biden administration will also boost space jobs: the Department of Labor will host a learning accelerator focused on skilled technical space workers by 2023, and the Department of Defense will also launch a website on space careers in October.
The DOD is also expanding its University Partnership Program with the U.S. Space Force, increasing the value of scholarships for high school students to cover full tuition.
Harris spoke of the space council’s three fundamental goals for the coming years: to increase the space workforce, to combat the climate crisis using space technology, and to set international standards outside of Earth’s atmosphere.
“The mission of this council is to preserve and promote American leadership in space – to synchronize our nation’s civil and commercial space and national security activities – so that America can continue to use space to improve the lives of people in our country and around the world,” Harris said Friday.
The vice president also spoke with three astronauts Friday morning who are aboard the International Space Station, which the United States has pledged to continue funding through 2030. She called herself ” American who is a space nerd”.
Harris said another major goal of the council’s work was to boost human space exploration, including through NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the moon for the first time in fifty years. as well as establishing a long-term presence on the moon.
“We have traveled billions of miles into the unknown. And we have learned many great and profound truths about our universe,” she said. “And yet, in a very real sense, we have only just begun our journey into space. There’s so much we don’t know yet and so much we haven’t done yet. Space remains a place of undiscovered and unrealized opportunities.
The United States led the cooperation on the Artemis Accords, which is a document setting international standards in space. So far, 21 countries have signed on, and US officials will push for more cooperation at the UN General Assembly later this month.
And space will help shape the world’s response to climate change, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has claimed, announcing a new tool called the Earth Information Center, which will give an “accurate 3D understanding” of water , land, ice and atmosphere of the planet.
“I would add another quote from [President John F.] Kennedy’s speech 60 years ago. He said we would go to the moon and do other things, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard,” Nelson said.