As John Holdren stated in his nomination hearing this month, the Obama Administration is committed to fulfilling a campaign pledge to re-establish the National Space Council (or National Aeronautics and Space Council). Exactly what form that council will take, and when it will be created, isn’t yet known, but the concept has the support of NASA advocates in Congress like Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) who believe the agency “becomes the handmaiden” of OMB and thus needs an advocate within the White House.
However, in an article in this week’s issue of The Space Review, Taylor Dinerman is skeptical that a reconstituted space council will do much to help space policy. He fears a return of the clashes between the National Space Council of the George H.W. Bush administration and NASA, particularly during the brief life of the Space Exploration Initiative. “The last thing this new administration needs is a protracted and unnecessary fight over space policy and bureaucratic turf,” he writes. “A strong administrator with clear guidance, and backing from the president, is by far the best outcome.”