A Compromise on Space Traffic Management

Monday, March 11, 2019

On June 18, 2018, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 3, which established the first U.S. national policy on space traffic management (STM). SPD-3 laid out a concrete set of policy goals and directives for STM and provided a solid roadmap of how to put in place the roles, authorities, and responsibilities to get there. However, implementation of SPD-3 has stalled, in large part due to political disagreement over which civil agency should take the lead for providing civil space situational awareness (SSA) and STM capabilities to support safety of spaceflight. 

In a new article, SWF Director of Program Planning Dr. Brian Weeden lays out a compromise between giving all the authorities to the Department of Commerce, as the Administration proposes, or the Department of Transportation, as some in Congress propose. Dr. Weeden argues that finding a middle ground that splits the authorities between Commerce and Transportation is the most pragmatic solution and could be the basis for a compromise that will pass Congress and get President Trump's signature to avoid further delays in making progress on this critical issue. 

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Last updated on March 12, 2019