President Donald J. Trump signed Space Policy Directive – 3 directing the United States to lead the management of traffic and mitigate the effects of debris in space.
Space Policy Directive – 3 provides guidelines and direction to ensure that the United States is a leader in providing a safe and secure environment as commercial and civil space traffic increases.
As space becomes increasingly contested, the demand for the Department of Defense to focus on protecting U.S. space assets and interests also increases.
At the same time, the rapid commercialization of space requires a traffic management framework that protects U.S. interests and considers the private sector’s needs.
The new Directive seeks to reduce the growing threat of orbital debris to the common interest of all nations.
The Directive articulates the policy of the United States to pursue and utilize both Government and commercial sector technologies to track and monitor space debris.
The Directive requires updates to the U.S. Orbital Debris Mitigation Standard Practices and new guidelines for satellite design and operation.
The new Directive sets guidelines for the United States to manage space traffic more effectively by spearheading new data sharing initiatives.
The United States should continue to provide basic space situational awareness data and basic space traffic management services free of direct user fees.
The Department of Commerce will make space safety data and services available to the public, while the Department of Defense maintains the authoritative catalogue of space objects.
The United States will maintain and expand its leadership in space by increasing its capabilities and developing standards and best practices. This effort will:
Improve space situational awareness data standards and information sharing;
Leverage U.S. standards and best practices to shape international norms; and
Streamline processes and reduce regulatory burdens that inhibit commercial growth, enabling the U.S. commercial sector to lead the world in space.