SWF Discusses U.S. Policy on Space Debris Mitigation and Removal

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

SWF Director of Program Planning Dr. Brian Weeden took part in a panel discussion on space policy at the spring 2018 meeting of the Space Studies Board (SSB) of the National Academies of Science. The panel was moderated by Dr. Bhavya Lal from the Science and Technology Policy Institute and in addition to Dr. Weeden included Dr. J-C Liou, Director of the NASA Orbital Debris Program Office; Dr. Darren McKnight from Integrity Applications Inc.; and Mr. Dan Oltrogge from Analytical Graphics Inc. 

The panel discussed the current status of the space debris problem, the threat it poses to operational spacecraft, and measures being taken to mitigate the risk. Dr. Weeden's remarks focused on the evolution and implementation of U.S. national space policy to address space debris, and why he felt the U.S. has not followed through on the 2010 policy directive to develop active debris removal technology. Dr. Weeden advocated for assigning responsibility for managing the space environment to a government agency as part of the Trump Administration's restructuring of federal agency authorities for space oversight and space situational awareness. 

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Last updated on May 4, 2018