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Commerce, Pentagon Sign Agreement to Coordinate Commercial Space Traffic Management; Rick Spinrad Quoted

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The departments of Commerce and Defense have entered into an agreement on achieving basic space situational awareness and coordinating civil and commercial space traffic management.

The Department of Commerce said Friday it will work with the Pentagon to implement provisions of the National Space Council’s Space Policy Directive 3 that mandates the provision of federally supported basic SSA data and STM services to the commercial and public sectors.

“Establishing and maintaining coordinated SSA and STM technology, data, and services for civil and commercial entities is the foundation of the Department of Commerce’s efforts to ensure the continued safe and sustainable growth of the commercial space industry,” said Rick Spinrad, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere.

The SPD-3, issued in 2018, also directs the transfer of STM responsibilities including the issuance of satellite collision warnings to civilian and commercial operators from DOD to the Office of Space Commerce.

Spinrad signed the memorandum of agreement together with John Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy, and officials from the U.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command.