U.S. President Donald Trump on June 30 signed an executive order reviving the National Space Council as former astronauts and NASA executives looked on.
"Today, we’re taking a crucial step to secure America’s future in space," Trump said, noting that the council has been dormant almost 25 years.
The revival of the council "sends a clear signal to the world that we are restoring America's proud legacy of leadership in space."
The council's job is to advise the president and help ensure that all aspects of the nation’s space program, including national security, commerce, international relations, exploration, and science, are aligned.
Trump said the journey into space will not only make Americans stronger and more prosperous, but will unite them behind grand ambitions.
Vice President Mike Pence will serve as chairman of the council, which will include the secretaries of state, defense, and commerce, as well as the leaders of NASA and other agencies.
The council existed previously from 1989 to 1993, and a version of it also existed from 1958 to 1973.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, 87, the second person to walk on the moon, attended the signing ceremony at the White House.
Based on reporting by AP and dpa