Washington D.C. – Today, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 2 (SPD-2) to reorganize and reform the way the federal government regulates U.S. commercial space companies. In summary, the directive mandates a major revision of the Department of Transportation’s regulatory regime for space launch and reentry, and calls for revision of the law underpinning commercial remote sensing, as well as elevation of the Office of Space Commerce to report directly to the Secretary of Commerce.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment by this Administration on behalf of America’s commercial space industry,” said Dr. Alan Stern, board chair of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “We’ve been innovating here at home and competing around the world under the burden of regulations written decades ago, in some cases rooted in the Cold War. Now we can foresee a more streamlined legal and administrative regime that will allow us to continue to help transform how Americans access and use space.”
The initiative codified in SPD-2 began formally in October 2017 with testimony from three senior executives from CSF member companies at the first National Space Council meeting at the Udvar-Hazy Museum, and was reviewed in draft form at February’s second meeting on Florida’s Space Coast. Industry had been calling for reform of decades-old laws and rules for many years. Much more work remains, including some actions by Congress, but now the President has signed off on a reform roadmap.
“When people watch an American spaceship soaring towards the heavens, or look at a satellite map on their cell phone, they don’t realize that a lot of paperwork and careful oversight from the federal government empowered a U.S. company to launch a rocket or collect and sell overhead imagery,” said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “Today’s signing will help make it easier for American entrepreneurs to get permission to invent new breakthroughs in space. You might say the space frontier became a little more “open” to the American people today.