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Photo: NASA

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that the Biden administration supports NASA's Artemis program to send humans back to the surface of the Moon.

Why it matters: Some speculated that NASA's Artemis program would be canceled under Biden, as previous administrations have dramatically changed the direction of NASA's exploration goals.

Details: The comments today from Psaki show that the administration intends to stay the course, at least when it comes to the broad idea behind the mission.

  • "To date only 12 humans have walked on the Moon. That was half a century ago. The Artemis program — a waypoint to Mars — provides... the opportunity to add numbers to that... Lunar exploration has broad and bicameral support in Congress," Psaki said, adding that "certainly we support this effort and endeavor."

Yes, but: President Biden has yet to announce his pick for a NASA administrator, who will affect the space agency's course in the coming years, and the administration has not put forth new details about its space policy priorities.

  • It remains to be seen whether the Artemis program's goal of landing people on the Moon by 2024 will stand firm.
  • That quick timeline — put in place by the Trump administration — has come under fire for being politically motivated and too risky.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Feb 3, 2021 - Science

Biden will keep the Space Force

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the U.S. Space Force "absolutely" has the "full support of the Biden administration."

Why it matters: After President Biden's election, some advocated that the incoming administration disband the newest branch of the military, first established by President Trump.

Biden White House says it can't release Trump visitor logs

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the Biden administration cannot release visitor logs from the Trump White House because they are under the purview of the National Archives.

Why it matters: The visitor logs could provide significant insight into former President Trump's activity in the White House from 2017 to 2021, especially as he increasingly hosted conspiracy theorists toward the end of his presidency. Trump in 2017 said his White House would not release its presidential visitor logs due to national security concerns.

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.