WASHINGTON: The House Appropriations Committee supports the Biden administration’s fiscal 2023 budget request for $87 million for the Commerce Department’s Office of Space Commerce (OSC). WARNING TO NON-MILITARY OPERATORS.
The expropriators received $16 million allocated for FY22 in the June 28 markup of the HAC Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee Bill, which funds the Department of Commerce and its subordinate National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Approved a significantly increased number of requests from. , and many other federal agencies.
The Trump Administration’s Space Policy Directive-3 (SPD-3) of 2018 provides Space Situational Awareness (SSA) authority in civil and commercial space to allow the military to focus on growing threats, particularly from Russia and China. was transferred to commerce. to US space assets. Commerce then used his OSC, located under NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Services (known as NESDIS), to do that work.
At the time, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross was pushing for the OSC to be elevated from under NESDIS and empowered as an independent agency reporting directly to him. It aims to enable the creation of a new civil regime for Space Traffic Management (STM) to ensure safe commerce. Orbital operations — This is becoming more difficult as space becomes crowded with satellites and space junk.
There is currently no one-stop regulatory suspension for commercial operators, especially for on-orbit safety. NOAA only regulates commercial remote sensing providers, but these regulations do not focus on issues such as debris creation. The Federal Communications Commission regulates commercial satellite communications, and the Federal Aviation Administration is responsible for ensuring launch safety, but not in-orbit regulation safety.
Also, the Department of Defense, National Reconnaissance Service, and NASA have their own rules and contractual provisions for their own missions.
Finally, although the 1967 Outer Space Treaty mandates that governments oversee all national space activities, many new types of space missions are now being conducted, such as satellite inspection, refueling, and debris removal. There is no US agency responsible.
But Congress has never been enthusiastic about the idea of a new Office of Commerce, and the House and Senate committees that oversee the Office so far have refused to authorize the OSC, even though it has the authority to undertake Space Situational Awareness missions. I hate it.
Therefore, the Biden administration changed course and demanded that the OSC’s reporting chain be shifted to just one bureaucratic step, rather than creating a separate bureau, and appointed Richard as Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere. I asked to be placed under the spinrad. And HAC (somewhat surprisingly) was fine with that.
Additionally, new OSC director Richard Dalbello told the Secure World Foundation on June 22 that it was in talks with the White House about expanding its role to fill current regulatory gaps first envisioned by the previous administration. Told.
“Initially, our regulatory portfolio was limited to Earth imaging. We will be discussing with Congress about expanding it to.”
“Many new activities are underway, including low-Earth orbit and Cisluna orbit around the Moon,” Darbello elaborated. So that’s a dialogue that we will have in the future. ”