The transfer of space traffic management responsibilities from the military to a civilian agency in the Commerce Department is moving ahead even though Congress has yet to provide funding and authorities.
A report commissioned by Congress agreed with the administration that the Commerce Department is the best agency to handle civil space traffic management (STM) responsibilities.
Two years after a space policy directive gave it responsibility for space traffic management, the Commerce Department says it is making progress on implementing that policy as it continues to seek additional funding from Congress.
Satellite imaging companies are embracing long-awaited reforms to commercial remote sensing regulations, although one member of Congress doesn’t think the changes go far enough.
The Commerce Department released long-awaited new commercial remote sensing regulations May 19 that eliminate many of the restrictions previously imposed on such systems.
Language in a fiscal year 2020 spending bill suggests that Congress is unlikely to act soon on the future of the Office of Space Commerce or the Commerce Department’s proposed role in handing civil space traffic management.
Kevin O’Connell, director of the Commerce Department’s Office of Space Commerce, said the repository, called the Unified Data Library, is the first step in the transfer of some space situational awareness responsibilities as requested by the White House last year.
The Commerce Department wants to improve the standing of the American space industry in an increasingly competitive global market through a combination of regulatory reform and promotional efforts.
The U.S. Commerce Department on March 26 sent a report to the White House declaring sufficient access to radio frequency spectrum critical for a healthy domestic space industry, but avoided weighing in on contested spectrum issues within the space and telecommunications industries.
Even amid growing venture capital investment in space companies, the Commerce Department is making efforts to encourage more institutional investment into the industry.
As the Commerce Department works on plans to take over civilian space traffic management responsibilities, the U.S. Air Force is making more data available on the positions of military satellites.
As the House prepares to take up a bill giving the Commerce Department new authorities for space traffic management, the leaders of NASA and U.S. Strategic Command offered their support for such a move.
Nearly a month after the signing of a policy directive calling for commercial space regulatory reforms, Commerce Department officials said this week they’re moving ahead on a number of fronts.
A key senator says he’s keeping an open mind regarding who in the federal government should have responsibility for the oversight of “non-traditional” commercial space activities.
For an administration that likes to play up even the smallest space policy milestone, the signing of Space Policy Directive 2 on May 24 almost flew under the radar.