After the election, the early signals from the Trump transition and beachhead teams across the various departments and agencies involved in space activities largely echoed that same message of support. However, at least two of the recent decisions made by the Trump White House put in place policies that, as currently formulated, could hinder continued growth in commercial space.
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee and co-sponsor of space resources legislation that passed last year, said Nov. 17 he wants the government to do a better job collaborating with the space industry on making new regulations that affect the industry’s growth.
Proposals to develop commercial space stations in low Earth orbit that could serve as successors to the International Space Station face both an uncertain regulatory environment and questions about their economic viability, according to both those planning such stations and those who might regulate them.
Members of an industry group that advises the U.S. government on commercial space matters are in broad agreement that export restrictions on commercial human spacecraft should be eased, but sharply disagreed at a recent meeting on how to seek those changes.
With less than six months to go before a limitation on regulating U.S. commercial human spaceflight companies expires, industry and government officials have yet to find agreement on whether to extend the current arrangement or, if not, how to replace it.
A new wave of small-satellite constellations for communications and remote sensing applications is attracting growing amounts of venture capital funding, but regulators worry they will struggle to keep up with the licenses these systems require.
The astonishing increase in the number of small satellites being launched singly or by the dozen has caused friction between international regulators on the one side and, on the other, satellite developers and some national governments that look the other way instead of enforcing the rules.
The House Science Committee plans to take up a NASA authorization bill once again in February, followed later in the year by an update to commercial launch law.
The Satellite Industry Association is asking U.S. regulators to include nongeostationary-orbit satellite systems in a proposed streamlining of regulatory documentation accompanying requests for spectrum and orbital slots.
Several of the world’s largest satellite fleet operators appear to have lost their battle to persuade European regulators to keep terrestrial broadband out of their protected spectrum.
It’s only been five months since Patricia Cooper stepped down as president of the Satellite Industry Association to join one of the group’s members as vice president of government affairs and policy. But the satellite policy veteran is already making a return of sorts to the trade group she led for seven years.