Commerce Secretary Lays Out Plans to Streamline the Commercial Space Regulations 

Wilbur Ross, a commerce secretary, had laid out his plans to streamline the space regulations and pledged to make out outer space a more business-friendly section as part of his campaign of turning his department into “one-stop shop space for the space business.” 

The speech takes place in the 34th Space Symposium, and he pointed out to the previous month’s cutoff of video from the Falcon 9 rocket launch of the SpaceX as the issue he addressed. 

“This is the greatest example of how any commercial activity outpaces the government regulation in space,” Ross said. “No more!” 

One of the notable shifts made by the Trump administration is to put the Commerce Department in the leading position for the regulation of the space industry, instead of Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation. And as part of these shifts, Ross told there would be a new director to be appointed for Office of Space Commerce. It is a position left vacated for almost ten years. 

“Anyone who will be lucky to land the position will serve the as the US space companies’ ambassador, “Ross said. Also, he will be the one to advocate for the business opportunities all around the world.”

Furthermore, the Commerce Department will set up their “mission authorization framework” which will adequately cover all aspects of the activities in the commercial space – other than the national security missions, as well as spectrum issues, which are regulated by Federal Communications Commission. 

“This framework will effectively give the industry in the United States a stamp of approval from the government, which is needed to embark on the non-traditional and novel opportunities in the space, requiring significant investment,” said Ross. 

He also said that this kind of opportunity would range from the satellite servicing and manufacturing to refueling, space tourism, lunar habitation and asteroid mining. Aside from that, the department is preparing a new policy to be used as a guideline for the export regulations – that has been a long-time sticking point when it comes to space venture. By the end of the year, the recommendations for changes on all these will be due. 

Ross referred to the comment of the Vice President, Mike Pence an made at Space Symposium earlier, which he highlighted that the Commerce Department will be putting in charge of the new system that is aimed to distribute data regarding the space circumstance awareness, as well as space traffic management.