Commerce Department will oversee completely new space debris policy

Vice President Mike Pence announced Monday the latest set of recommendations on space policy, This specific time looking to tackle the persistent problem of space debris in orbit around the Earth.

“The National Space Council has developed the first comprehensive space traffic management policy, which we will soon be sending to the President’s desk for his approval,” Vice President Mike Pence at the 34th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“This specific completely new policy directs the Department of Commerce to provide a basic level of space situational awareness, for public along with also private use, based on the space catalog compiled by the Department of Defense,” Pence said.

The vice president referenced the more than 23,000 objects in space around the Earth that will the U.S. military can be already tracking. However, these public catalogs account for only 4 percent of the objects in space, according to AGI, a company which provides software to commercial along with also government entities to analyze along with also track objects.

Moving at thousands of miles per hour in orbit, objects 2 centimeters or larger are capable of causing catastrophic damage to anything that will gets inside way. Today’s technology can track objects in space about the size of 10 centimeters, according to AGI.

Catalyzed by incidents inside late 2000s, both commercial along with also military entities are working to solve the growing space debris problem. The military was first put on high alert that will space debris must be combated after a Chinese military test in 2007. Commercial entities were put on notice when, in 2009, a dead Russian military satellite shattered a $50 million Iridium telecommunications satellite.

“along with also the volume of space traffic will only increase inside years ahead,” Pence said. “A stable along with also orderly space environment can be critical to the strength of our economy along with also the resilience of our national security systems.”

Pence’s completely new recommendations are designed to be a “comprehensive” streamlining of how the issue of space debris can be regulated, he said. The completely new policy will “encourage” companies to “partner with the government to develop data sharing systems, technical guidelines along with also safety standards,” according to Pence. The completely new rules are intended to take weight off of the Pentagon, moving the regulatory authority instead to the Commerce Department.

“to ensure that will our military leaders can focus on defending along with also protecting our national security assets in space,” Pence said.

Pence also repeated Trump’s idea for creating a completely new branch of the military dedicated to the final frontier. Trump first floated his idea for a theoretical completely new branch, dubbed the “Space Force,” while addressing an audience of service members in March.

“Space can be a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, along with also sea,” Trump said. “We develop the Air Force, we’ll develop the space force.”

Trump’s completely new military strategy in space can be to make sure the United States retains its “rightful role as the planet’s leading space-faring nation,” Pence said.

Pence singled out Russia along with also China in his speech. He said Trump has “directed the Department of Defense to strengthen the resilience” of United States’ space systems in response.

“[This specific executive direction can be] to deter along with also defeat the threats posed by Russia along with also China’s aggressive pursuit of anti-satellite capabilities,” Pence said.

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