USABusiness Law

Commercial Space Guidelines-USA 2020

The United States conducts space activities in three distinct but interdependent sectors: commercial, civil, and national security. Consistent with all applicable legal obligations agencies shall comply with the following guidance.

Commercial Space Guidelines.

The term “commercial,” for the purposes of this policy, refers to goods, services, or activities provided by private sector enterprises that bear a reasonable portion of the investment risk and responsibility for the activity, operate in accordance with typical market-based incentives for controlling cost and optimizing return on investment, and have the legal capacity to offer those goods or services to existing or potential non-governmental customers.

A United States commercial space sector that leads in the global space marketplace is foundational to national strategic objectives that include increased and sustained prosperity, free market principles, enhanced international partnerships and collaboration, technological innovation, and scientific discovery, and is vital to United States and allied security.

(a) Promoting a Robust Commercial Space Industry. To promote a robust domestic commercial space industry and strengthen United States leadership as the country of choice for conducting commercial space activities, the heads of agencies shall:

i. Purchase and use United States commercial space capabilities and services, to the maximum practical extent under existing law, when such capabilities and services meet United States Government requirements;

ii. Prioritize partnerships with commercial industry to meet Government requirements through the modification of existing commercial space capabilities and services when potential system modifications represent a cost-effective and timely acquisition approach for the Government and are consistent with system and mission-security practices and principles;

iii. Consider inventive, nontraditional arrangements for acquiring commercial space goods and services to meet United States Government requirements, including measures such as hosting Government capabilities on commercial spacecraft, purchasing scientific or operational data from commercial satellite operators in support of Government missions, leveraging satellite servicing or on-orbit manufacturing, and public-private partnerships;

iv. Develop Government space systems only when in the national interest and no suitable or cost-effective United States commercial or, as appropriate, international commercial capability or service is available or could be available in time to meet Government requirements;

v. Refrain from conducting United States Government space activities that preclude, discourage, or compete with United States commercial space activities, unless required by national security or public safety;

vi. Pursue opportunities for transferring routine operational space functions to the commercial space sector where beneficial and cost-effective and consistent with legal, security, or safety needs;

vii. Cultivate increased technological innovation and entrepreneurship and provide alternatives to predatory foreign investment in the commercial space sector through the use of incentives such as prizes, competitions, and competitive grants;

viii. Ensure that United States Government space technology and infrastructure are made available for commercial use on a reimbursable, non-interference and equitable basis to the maximum practical extent, consistent with applicable laws and national security interests;

ix. Promote continued commercial United States leadership in space by making available, consistent with applicable laws and national security, commercially relevant technologies developed by Federal research and development programs to United States industry;

x. Create transparent regulatory processes that minimize, consistent with national security and public safety, the regulatory burden and uncertainty for commercial space activities and that are flexible so as to accommodate and to adapt to technical development, business innovation, and market demands;

xi. Encourage State and local governments to support the commercial space sector for the purposes of cultivating a technically skilled work force, diversifying innovation potential, and stimulating economic growth;

xii. Foster fair and open global trade and commerce through the promotion of standards and regulations that have been developed with input from United States industry;

xiii. Encourage the purchase and use of United States commercial space services and capabilities in international cooperative arrangements;

xiv. Encourage the growth of United States commercial human space exploration, including logistical provisioning, delivery, and the continued commercialization of operations in and beyond low Earth orbit, and the use of microgravity as a domain for research and development; and

xv. Promote the export of United States commercial space goods and services, including those developed by small and medium-sized enterprises, for use in international markets, consistent with United States export controls and national security objectives.

(b) International Trade Agreements. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has the primary responsibility for international trade agreements to which the United States is a party. USTR, in consultation with other relevant heads of agencies, will lead any effort relating to the negotiation and implementation of trade disciplines governing trade in goods and services related to space.

(c) Mission Authorization of Novel Activities. The Secretary of Commerce, in coordination with the National Space Council, shall:

i. Identify whether any planned space activities fall beyond the scope of existing authorization and supervision processes necessary to meet international obligations; and

ii. Lead, if necessary, the development of minimally burdensome, responsive, transparent, and adaptive review, authorization, and supervision processes for such activities, consistent with national security and public safety interests, with a presumption of approval and prompt appeals process.

(d) Foster the Development of Space Collision Warning Measures. The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Transportation, the Administrator of NASA, and the heads of other agencies, shall collaborate, consistent with applicable law, with industry and foreign nations to:

i. Maintain and improve space object identification databases;

ii. Pursue common international data standards and data integrity measures;

iii. Disseminate orbital tracking information to commercial and international entities, including predictions of space object conjunctions;

iv. Enhance the common understanding of resident space objects;

v. Develop and implement standard practices for conjunction assessment operations to ensure the safety of flight of all space operations, across all orbital regimes; and

vi. Develop common commercial operating guidelines and propose licensing requirements, consistent with respective agency mission and authorities, for large constellations, rendezvous and proximity operations, satellite servicing, small satellites, end-of-mission planning, and other classes of space operations.


Source: US National Space Policy-Presidential Policy Directive-9/12/2020

Categories: Business Law

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