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OPINION: Filling the Gaps in Space Traffic Management

OPINION: Filling the Gaps in Space Traffic Management

This NASA rendering illustrates the growing challenge of preventing collisions of spacecraft and debris in low-earth orbit. The Commerce Department has been tasked with codifying new commercial regulations to ease the traffic jam
This NASA rendering illustrates the growing challenge of preventing collisions of spacecraft and debris in low-earth orbit. The Commerce Department has been tasked with codifying new commercial regulations to ease the traffic jam

From an article by Mick Gleason and Travis Cottom featured in Politico: 

If you had to manage a large and growing traffic jam, where would you start?

On June 18, 2018, the White House released Space Policy Directive-3 (SPD-3), National Space Traffic Management Policy. It states that to maintain U.S. leadership in space the United States must develop a new approach to space traffic management (STM). The new approach includes designating the Department of Commerce as the lead civil agency responsible for the publicly releasable portion of the DOD space object catalogue; for administrating an open architecture data repository; and for on-orbit collision avoidance support services.

In addition, one of SPD-3’s primary goals is the development of STM standards and best practices. The policy states that a critical first step “is to develop U.S.-led minimum safety standards and best practices to coordinate space traffic.”

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August 31, 2018


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