Recorded in Washington, DC, on June 11, 2018.
Over the last decade, there has been growing interest and investment in commercial space activities. Companies are developing new and innovative space applications and services that could deliver significant societal, economic, and national security benefits on Earth. However, some of these ventures face obstacles from outdated, overly restrictive, or non-existent licensing and government oversight processes. At the same time, the growing congestion in critical orbit regimes and potential to launch tens of thousands of new satellites over the next decade have heightened concerns about orbital debris and the long-term sustainability of space.
As a result, the US government has spent much of the last decade debating national policy on space traffic management (STM), which includes both reform of the government oversight regime and improving civil space situational awareness (SSA) to increase knowledge of the space environment and space activities. This debate appears to be coming to a conclusion, as the Trump Administration readies a policy decision on STM. However, significant parts of their decision will require both changes to existing authorities and regulations and funding from Congress to implement, a matter on which Congress has yet to decide.
This luncheon panel discussion brought together experts from the Trump Administration, academia, and think tanks to discuss the challenges driving interest in STM, regulatory and administrative considerations, and ideas for how the Trump Administration and Congress can best implement an STM regime that enables sustainable commercial development of space.
Opening Remarks: Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX 21), Chair, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
More details, including transcripts, can be found at the event page on the SWF website.