President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive – 3 Monday continuing his administration’s focus on space commerce and exploration.
Directive 3 orders the creation of a space traffic management framework and the protection of U.S. space assets by cleaning up space junk in orbit.
The president signed Directive – 1, which focused on manned flight to the moon, in December of 2017, Directive -2, which ordered the streamlining of commercial regulations for space, in May and now Directive – 3.
“This is a giant step toward inspiring future generations and toward reclaiming America’s proud destiny in space,” Trump said of the new policy.
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. It also requires updates to the U.S. Orbital Debris Mitigation Standard Practices and new guidelines for satellite design and operation.
On space traffic management, the policy says that the United States should continue to provide basic space situational awareness data and basic space traffic management services free of direct user fees.
The directive also seeks to improve U.S. space situational awareness and streamline regulatory burdens that are inhibiting commercial growth so that the U.S. can once again lead the world in space.
The directives originate from the National Space Council which President Trump revived in on June 30, 2017 after the council had been shuttered for 24 years.