American Space Program Cutbacks

The 1958 National Aeronautics and Space Act, which created NASA, created a National Aeronautics and Space Council chaired by the President to help advise him, which included the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, NASA Administrator, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, plus up to one member of the federal government, and up to three private individuals “eminent in science, engineering, technology, education, administration, or public affairs” appointed by the President. Before taking office as President, John F. Kennedy persuaded Congress to amend the Act to allow him to set the precedent of delegating chairmanship of this council to his Vice President (Lyndon B. Johnson). The Council was discontinued in 1973 during the presidency of Richard M. Nixon. In 1989, President George H. W. Bush re-established a differently constituted National Space Council by executive order, which was discontinued in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. President Donald Trump reestablished the Council by executive order in 2017.

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