Office of Space Commerce
The Departments of Commerce and Defense have signed an agreement to cooperate on transferring responsibility for civil and commercial space traffic management.
Chirag Parikh, executive secretary of the National Space Council, said he expects the Office of Space Commerce to start developing an architecture for space traffic management, an initiative that has been bogged down by studies and lack of funding.
The new head of the Office of Space Commerce says he’s talking with industry on how his office can best take over civil space traffic management while also potentially taking on more regulatory responsibilities.
The FAA's culture of prescriptive rules and obsession with passenger safety at all costs is antithetical to the Office of Commercial Space Transportation's congressionally mandated role of encouraging, facilitating, and supporting a nascent U.S. commercial spaceflight industry.
Rapidly growing congestion of the space environment demands heightened Executive and Legislative Branch attention to protect the astronauts aboard the International Space Station, billions of dollars of U.S. investment, and the expected growth of the space economy.
Appropriators cut funding for a new generation of weather satellites while increasing funding for the Office of Space Commerce for fiscal year 2022.
The Commerce Department is seeking information on commercial sources of space situational awareness (SSA) data to augment its own space traffic management capabilities.
Commerce Department officials on Feb. 11 revealed a prototype for a space catalog and traffic software platform that would provide basic situational awareness and traffic management services.
Vice President Kamala Harris will announce Nov. 5 plans to hold her first meeting of the National Space Council at the beginning of December.
Senate appropriators, frustrated with the lack of progress by the Commerce Department on space traffic management, are threatening to withhold other funding until it gets detailed plans from the agency.
Members of a Senate space subcommittee argued that the Commerce Department was not doing enough to implement policies on space traffic management (STM) or staffing the office responsible for it.
Space traffic management stuck in gridlock? The U.S. Commerce Department and NOAA say they will be ready this fall to "lay out procurement strategies, organizational framework, and governance approach for civilian space situational awareness services."
Rather than move forward with efforts to work with industry on space traffic management solutions, the Commerce Department is funding studies of topics that in some cases were addressed in a report last year by NAPA, risking both U.S. leadership in the field and space safety generally.
After three years of an active push to increase the role of the Office of Space Commerce (OSC) in promoting and enabling commercial space activities, that vision is beginning to revert to the way things used to be. Immediate intervention is needed by the new leadership at the Department of Commerce to prevent a complete loss of progress and yet another delay in reshaping U.S. efforts to support and leverage the burgeoning commercial space sector.
Three space industry groups are asking the Commerce Department to commit to continued support and funding for the Office of Space Commerce.
Reps. Frank Lucas and Brian Babin, who oversee civil and commercial space, expressed concerns about the administration's push for international regulation of space activities.
The Commerce Department will be able to accelerate it work on space traffic management after Congress provided the agency with most, but not all, the funding it requested for that effort.
House Space Force Caucus co-chair voices concern about orbital debris, supports Commerce assuming debris-tracking role
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), a co-chair of the recently established House Space Force Caucus, said Oct. 28 that orbital debris is a major threat to a prosperous space economy and that better space situational awareness is crucial to protecting the sector.
The chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee introduced a bill Oct. 21 to formally give the Commerce Department space traffic management (STM) responsibilities, but the funding required to carry out that work remains uncertain.