FURTHER SPACE DEVELOPMENT: 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.

A RENEWED VIGOR FOR SPACE: The new Space Policy Directive builds on the President’s efforts to reinstate the United States leadership role in space.

  • On May 24, 2018, the President signed Space Policy Directive – 2 to reform United States commercial space regulatory framework, seeking to ensure our place as a leader in space commerce.
  • On March 23, 2018, President Trump unveiled a National Space Strategy that laid out an approach to ensuring that the United States is strong and competitive in the space environment.
  • On December 11, 2017, the President signed Space Policy Directive – 1, instructing NASA to return United States astronauts to the Moon, followed by human missions to Mars.
  • On June 30 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order reviving the National Space Council for the first time in 24 years.