July 30, 2010 — Vol. 3, Issue 7
National Space Policy Released
The national space policy sets new goals and guidelines for the space programs of the United States.
The national space policy, released by the White House at the end of June, emphasizes the importance of cooperation at a time when increasing numbers of nations and organizations are reaping the benefits of space. The policy also stresses sustainability as more nations engage in space activities. "The now-ubiquitous and interconnected nature of space capabilities and the world's growing dependence on them mean that irresponsible acts in space can have damaging consequences for all of us."
The policy sets out six goals for the nation's space activities:
- Energize competitive domestic industries to participate in global markets and advance the development of: satellite manufacturing; satellite-based services; space launch; terrestrial applications; and increased entrepreneurship.
- Expand international cooperation on mutually beneficial space activities to: broaden and extend the benefits of space; further the peaceful use of space; and enhance collection and partnership in sharing of space-derived information.
- Strengthen stability in space through: domestic and international measures to promote safe and responsible operations in space; improved information collection and sharing for space object collision avoidance; protection of critical space systems and supporting infrastructures, with special attention to the critical interdependence of space and information systems; and strengthening measures to mitigate orbital debris.
- Increase assurance and resilience of mission-essential functions enabled by commercial, civil, scientific, and national security spacecraft and supporting infrastructure against disruption, degradation, and destruction, whether from environmental, mechanical, electronic, or hostile causes.
- Pursue human and robotic initiatives to develop innovative technologies, foster new industries, strengthen international partnerships, inspire our nation and the world, increase humanity's understanding of the Earth, enhance scientific discovery, and explore our solar system and the universe beyond.
- Improve space-based Earth and solar observation capabilities needed to conduct science, forecast terrestrial and near-Earth space weather, monitor climate and global change, manage natural resources, and support disaster response and recovery.
The policy also provides cross-sector guidelines (including: foundational activities and capabilities in areas such as strengthening U.S. leadership in space and developing and retaining space professionals; international cooperation; preserving the space environment and the responsible use of space; effective export policies, space nuclear power, radio frequency spectrum and interference protection, and assurance and resilience of mission-essential functions) as well as sector guidelines for commercial space, civil space, environmental Earth observation and weather, land remote sensing, and national security space.
Learn more about the National Space Policy.