A report prepared for Congress recommends giving a civil agency responsibility for space traffic management work, but stops short of recommending which agency should take on the job.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration estimates it can take over the job of providing collision warnings for most satellites from the Air Force for “well under” $100 million if it receives authority to do so.
Defense Department and FAA officials foresee a gradual transition of space traffic management responsibilities from one agency to the other should the federal government decide to move head with such proposals.
The Federal Aviation Administration is willing to take on the task of informing commercial, civil and foreign satellite operators of possible on-orbit collisions, while leaving the Defense Department in charge of supporting military space missions.
After passing the most comprehensive commercial space legislation in years in 2015, U.S. officials expect to spend this year preparing and reviewing reports required by that law rather than taking up new legislation.
The White House and members of U.S. Congress are in early discussions about how to give the FAA a greater role in monitoring the space environment and heading off collisions between commercial satellites, sources tell SpaceNews.
The deputy commander of Strategic Command said June 16 he could envision transitioning the duties currently performed by its Joint Space Operations Center to another organization, in much the same way that air traffic management is handled by the FAA.