New U.S. Space Policy to Emphasize Cooperation
U.S. President Barack Obama speaking at NASA Kennedy Space Center.
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The White House is expected to unveil a new U.S. space policy June 28 that emphasizes international cooperation and commercial space.

?This policy seeks to strengthen our domestic commercial space industry and reestablish U.S. leadership in the international community,? states a one-page summary of the policy obtained by Space News.

The June 25 document ? ?National Space Policy Top-Level Messages? ? was created by Peter Marquez, director of space policy for the White House National Security Council.

?The United States,? the document says, ?considers the sustainability, stability, and free access to, and use of, space vital to its national interests. [FAQ: NASA's New Direction]

?It is the shared interest of all nations to act responsibly in ways that emphasize openness and transparency, and help prevent mishaps, misperceptions, and mistrust.?

The document also says, ?A robust and competitive commercial space sector is vital to continued progress in space.

?The United States is committed to encouraging and facilitating the growth of a U.S. commercial space sector that supports U.S. needs, is globally competitive, and advances U.S. leadership in the generation of new markets and innovative entrepreneurship.?

One of the specific goals of the new policy, according to the summary document, is making the U.S. space industry more competitive in global aerospace and technology markets, including ?satellite manufacturing, satellite-based services, space-launch terrestrial applications and increased entrepreneurship.?

The new policy also calls for expanded international cooperation in the peaceful use of space and the promotion of safe and responsible operations through improved data collection and sharing aimed at avoiding in-space collisions, protecting critical space and ground systems and mitigating orbital debris.

Other stated goals include:

  • ?Increase assurance and resilience of mission-essential functions enabled by commercial, civil, scientific, and national security spacecraft and supporting infrastructure.
  • ?Pursue human and robotic initiatives to develop innovative technologies, strengthen international partnerships, inspire our Nation and the world, increase humanity?s understanding of the Earth, enhance scientific discovery, and explore the solar system and the universe beyond.
  • ?Improve space-based Earth and solar observation capabilities needed to conduct science, forecast terrestrial and near-Earth space weather, monitor climate and global change, manage natural resources, and support disaster response and recovery.?

The White House is expected to formally unveil the policy June 28, according to government sources.

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