Commercial Space Needs More Certainty From the U.S. Government to Thrive

Monday, March 13, 2017


Over the last several years, the commercial space sector has undergone a renaissance. The result has been an infusion of fresh ideas, new approaches, increased innovation, and renewed excitement in the space world. The new capabilities the commercial space sector is developing could bring many new possibilities and benefits for traditional uses of space, such as national security, but also human and environmental security as well. As a result of these changes, the U.S. government is currently debating what steps is can take to encourage and promote more innovation in commercial space. The discussion includes steps the Executive Branch can take to overhaul or streamline existing licensing processes and interagency coordination, and steps Congress can take to address gaps in existing regulatory authorities or reduce regulations.

SWF Director of Program Planning Dr. Brian Weeden published a new op-ed in SpaceNews discussing several of these issues, and in particular what priorities the Trump Administration should address. Dr. Weeden focuses on two recent actions taken by the Trump Administration - a hiring freeze on federal agencies and departments, and regulatory repeal directive - and discusses why those measures do not address the core challenges faced by the commercial space industry. Instead, he recommends bolstering the capacity of civil agencies to provide certainty to commercial space activities, and reducing or eliminating national security restrictions.

The article can be found online at SpaceNews.



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Last updated on March 15, 2017