Office of Space Commerce
Companies and organizations in the space industry support the recommendations of a recent report that the Commerce Department handle civil space traffic management, but say it’s more important that the government settle on an agency and move forward.
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.
A spending bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee July 14 once again rejects an administration proposal to combine the Office of Space Commerce with another office and increase its budget to perform space traffic management work.
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.
The Commerce Department is once again requesting a large budget increase for its Office of Space Commerce in order to work on space traffic management activities after Congress rejected a similar request last year.
The head of the Commerce Department office with the mandate, but not the money, for civil space traffic management says he hopes the recent near-miss involving two satellites will help provide more attention to the issue.
An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce is developing its own estimate of the size of the space industry, the most authoritative effort to date to measure space’s role in the broader economy.
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.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Whiting said the transfer of space traffic management responsibilities can't happen until Commerce gets the necessary resources.
Entrepreneurs and international government agencies will play important roles in NASA’s future lunar exploration, according to speakers at the 2019 International Astronautical Congress here.
The future of space situational awareness will increasingly rely on governments and companies sharing data that can be used to improve knowledge of space objects and create more accurate warnings of close approaches.
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 full House is unlikely to make major changes in NASA funding when it takes up an appropriations bill this week, but members will seek changes for two other agencies involved in space issues.
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 Commerce Department plans to soon release a new rule designed to streamline licensing of commercial remote sensing systems with what one official called a “fundamentally different” approach for licensing.
The new director of the Office of Space Commerce, a long-neglected entity set to gain more influence under the Trump administration’s space policy reforms, says his initial priorities are on engaging with and advocating for industry and dealing with regulatory issues.