Space Policy Directive 3
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.
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.
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.
Despite a fast and furious pace, there are some overdue milestones for both the Commerce Department and the rest of the government.
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.