National Space Council hears industry pitches

The National Space Council held its first “listening session” with commercial industry on new space activities — including debris removal and on-orbit manufacturing efforts supported by the Pentagon.

V.P Kamala Harris, council chair, tasked members at their last meeting Sept. 9 to come up with “a proposal for the authorization and supervision of commercial novel space activities within 180 days,”.

“Novel space capabilities can be new and unprecedented space technologies, but they can also be novel combinations of more established activities,” Howard told the virtual meeting. 

For today’s meeting, we’re using the term ‘novel activities’ to relate to those missions and activities that are not directly reviewed under existing regulatory regimes at  Dept. of Transportation.

All 3 of those agencies are responsible for different aspect of space regulatory policy. The Transportation Dept. regulates launch and re-entry with an eye on mitigating risks.

The Commerce Department, via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, regulates commercial remote sensing satellite operations.

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