Space Policy Directive-2: Full Text

Credit: Matt Wade

Space Policy Directive-2, Streamlining Regulations
on Commercial Use of Space

MEMORANDUM FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT
THE SECRETARY OF STATE
THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY
THE SECRETARY OF LABOR
THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS
THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY
THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR HOMELAND SECURITY AND COUNTERTERRORISM
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF

SUBJECT: Streamlining Regulations on Commercial Use of Space

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the executive branch to be prudent and responsible when spending taxpayer funds, and to recognize how government actions, including Federal regulations, affect private resources. It is therefore important that regulations adopted and enforced by the executive branch promote economic growth; minimize uncertainty for taxpayers, investors, and private industry; protect national security, public-safety, and foreign policy interests; and encourage American leadership in space commerce.

Sec. 2. Launch and Re-entry Licensing. (a) No later than February 1, 2019, the Secretary of Transportation shall review regulations adopted by the Department of Transportation that provide for and govern licensing of commercial space flight launch and re-entry for consistency with the policy set forth in section 1 of this memorandum and shall rescind or revise those regulations, or publish for notice and comment proposed rules rescinding or revising those regulations, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.

(b) Consistent with the policy set forth in section 1 of this memorandum, the Secretary of Transportation shall consider the following:

(i) requiring a single license for all types of commercial space flight launch and re-entry operations; and
(ii) replacing prescriptive requirements in the commercial space flight launch and re-entry licensing process with performance-based criteria.

(c) In carrying out the review required by subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall coordinate with the members of the National Space Council.

(d) The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall coordinate to examine all existing U.S. Government requirements, standards, and policies associated with commercial space flight launch and re entry operations from Federal launch ranges and, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to minimize those requirements, except those necessary to protect public safety and national security, that would conflict with the efforts of the Secretary of Transportation in implementing the Secretary’s responsibilities under this section.

Sec. 3. Commercial Remote Sensing. (a) Within 90 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary of Commerce shall review the regulations adopted by the Department of Commerce under Title II of the Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992 (51 U.S.C. 60101 et seq.) for consistency with the policy set forth in section 1 of this memorandum and shall rescind or revise those regulations, or publish for notice and comment proposed rules rescinding or revising those regulations, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.

(b) In carrying out the review required by subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of Commerce shall coordinate with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and, as appropriate, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

(c) Within 120 days of the date of the completion of the review required by subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of Commerce, in coordination with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, shall transmit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget a legislative proposal to encourage expansion of the licensing of commercial remote sensing activities. That proposal shall be consistent with the policy set forth in section 1 of this memorandum.

Sec. 4. Reorganization of the Department of Commerce. (a) To the extent permitted by law, the Secretary of Commerce shall consolidate in the Office of the Secretary of Commerce the responsibilities of the Department of Commerce with respect to the Department’s regulation of commercial space flight activities.

(b) Within 30 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary of Commerce shall transmit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget a legislative proposal to create within the Department of Commerce an entity with primary responsibility for administering the Department’s regulation of commercial space flight activities.

Sec. 5. Radio Frequency Spectrum. (a) The Secretary of Commerce, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shall work with the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that Federal Government activities related to radio frequency spectrum are, to the extent permitted by law, consistent with the policy set forth in section 1 of this memorandum.

(b) Within 120 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, in consultation with the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and in coordination with the members of the National Space Council, shall provide to the President, through the Executive Secretary of the National Space Council, a report on improving the global competitiveness of the United States space sector through radio frequency spectrum policies, regulation, and United States activities at the International Telecommunication Union and other multilateral forums.

Sec. 6. Review of Export Licensing Regulations. The Executive Secretary of the National Space Council, in coordination with the members of the National Space Council, shall:

(a) initiate a review of export licensing regulations affecting commercial space flight activity;

(b) develop recommendations to revise such regulations consistent with the policy set forth in section 1 of this memorandum and with applicable law; and

(c) submit such recommendations to the President, through the Vice President, no later than 180 days from the date of this memorandum.

Sec. 7. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(d) The Secretary of Transportation is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

DONALD J. TRUMP

  • ThomasLMatula

    Long overdue and a very important step in moving beyond NASA in terms of space policy.

    The ISDC is kinda of surreal. You have folks from NASA and Old Space making presentations on the SLS, Orion, LOP-G, and Mars as if SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Bigelow don’t exist, it’s still the 1980’s and NASA is the only way to space. Then you have Jeff Bezos getting an award and other folks talking on how close we are to doing commercial activities in the Cislunar Econosphere.

    NSS as an organization is silent on this Directive while in the halls folks are talking about how much easier it will make it to implement their business models for space. Yes, we are definitely at a tipping point in space.

  • windbourne

    reagan accomplisned nothing useful WRT space. Lets hope that Trump can actually do something. So far, after a 1.5 years of trump, we have seen things only get worse, not better WRT space. OTOH, CONgress blocked NASA admin approval.

  • ThomasLMatula

    You are thinking NASA only space. The two Commercial Space Acts were major milestones in moving space beyond NASA.

    No president has done anything in terms of importance for NASA since President Nixon approved the Shuttle. It has been on autopilot since, like all good bureaucracies are.

  • Tom Billings

    Since I have not been to an ISDC in way too many years, the only contrast I have is with earlier ISDCs that were not nearly as livley as here. I’ll admit that liveliness may be because of 400+ students being included. The good news like this announcement, and the increase in the areas of interest our research team emphasized has really got me smiling.

  • Michael Halpern

    I would argue the forming and continuation of COTS and following programs by Bush and Obama were of great importance to NASA,

  • Robert G. Oler

    This is in my view meaningless

  • Tom Billings

    Lowering regulatory barriers’ complexity is meaningless?

    Why?

    The biggest uncertainty for space investors is the mounds of government paperwork. If they can truly get a one-stop-shop, it will mean greater certainty. If they can put it all on a website that takes less than a day to work through, it will mean less cost. If the government will consent to bringing forward “type certification” as reusables become the norm, instead of launch certification of each piece of artillery ammunition, then flights can become both more flexible and more profitable.

    I don’t know if Secretary Ross will build up the regulatory structure first, and then add things like orbital debris mitigation later, or if they will go whole hog for a complete Space Guard to take care of the whole, ASAP. Still, getting a single department in charge of all Commercial Space should move us toward the day when a Space Guard computer jockey can have his computer check whether a vehicle’s numbers match their planned trajectory to orbit, and simply give clearance with “Flight Delta Tango Zero, you are cleared to lift”.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Reasonably lowering regulatory barriers is a good thing…but it is unclear that these are the regulatory barriers that are currently “throttling” commercial space development particularly as regards to flying humans in space…

  • windbourne

    COTS/CSR really did more for private space than the rest.
    The only regulation that had a crimp on business was ITAR which did not harm space business except for selling parts offshore.
    And yeah ITAR was, and likely remains, a pain. But it was there for a reason. When I worked on Pat act, effectively, we could only sell to FVEYs. Yeah, we could have applied for other nations, but I gave that little chance. But, even for space, that should the only major regulation that is holding back except for manned space.

  • Michael Halpern

    And at the time SpaceX would have been the biggest gamble

  • windbourne

    Huge gamble. That is why they picked Orb over one of the others.

  • Michael Halpern

    It certainly paid off though, they hit the jackpot with SpaceX,

  • Vladislaw

    Track capital flows…

    “Space companies received $3.9 billion in private investment during ‘the year of commercial launch’: Report

    Private investors poured $3.9 billion into commercial space companies last year, according to a report from investment firm Space Angels.

    A record 120 venture capital firms made investments in space ventures last year, the report finds.”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/18/space-companies-got-3-point-9-billion-in-venture-capital-last-year-report.html

    “Investors pour billions into commercial space start-ups as they approach exit velocity

    In 2016 space start-ups received a record-setting $2.8 billion in investment, $400 million more than in the year prior, Bryce Space and Technology announced Wednesday.

    Roughly 25 space-venture deals have already been reported in 2017, including $351 million invested in SpaceX.

    The industry may be hurling toward a day of reckoning, with consolidation on the horizon.”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/09/investors-pour-billions-into-spacex-blue-origin-planet.html

    I have said this before, when President Reagan signed The Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984. There was not a single venture capital firm or angel investment firm for commercial space.

    When President Clinton signed The Commercial Space Act in 1998 there were two VC firms that would look at space projects.

    Now there are 120 companies with billions in capital looking for a home in commercial space projects.

  • windbourne

    reagan’s, Clinton’s, and most likely this regulation, did little to nothing to help private space get going.

    What made huge differences is Clinton pushing to allow transhab to be sold once the GOP killed it off; W/Griffin’s push of funding for COTS/CRS; O/Bolden’s push for CC. Even Bolden’s push to get 3 companies, which includes SNC’s DC, to do CRS 2, was a big issue.
    I will say that probably W/Griffin deserved the most credit. COTS/CRS single-handley made SX possible. CC has been so-so, but that is in part due to GOP cutting funding, and other part by O/Bolden doling it out. Should have been done in 1 clean bid like COTS was.

    Now, if we really want to go to the moon ASAP, then we really need to help fund private space stations and landers on the moon. With those simple changes, it will set up the ability for companies like Bigelow to ultimately offer services to other nations/companies/ppl. We will see what Trump/Pence will do. So far, they have done very little. BUT, the push for lunar landers could be the start.

  • windbourne

    That is why I am hoping that Bigelow will be funded SOON for habitat. Axiom and ILC/Dover strike me more as old space type ppl that will think more about how to fleece the gov and less about how to cut costs. BA is running similar to SX. They are thinking big, and how to get the company fully off the ground.

  • Michael Halpern

    I hope so too, but they seem good at hibernation, they need CCP flying, or even if they attach initially to ISS, there wont be the crew capability to install and operate the hardware that it will host.

  • duheagle

    Trump’s allegedly malign influence on “space” is apparently like all that alleged “Trump lawlessness” you keep prating about but can’t seem to actually define. NASA Administrator Bridenstine – who did get confirmed by the way – has made a number of recent moves that all serve to get NASA projects moving faster, especially those aimed at lunar exploration.

  • duheagle

    What COTS/CRS/CC did – and will continue to do – for NASA’s exploration programs is save enough money to keep them from being entirely wiped out in spite of large budget raids by the SLS Mafia. Absent COTS/CRS/CC, NASA would be spending pretty much its entire budget on just ISS and SLS-Orion.

  • duheagle

    Your revisionist 80’s history ignores the fact that NASA was actively working to kill private launcher startups to preserve its Shuttle monopoly. The Challenger disaster allowed NatSec launches to be de-Shuttled, but NASA kept squelching private launch efforts, though less successfully, until the Columbia disaster pretty much disembowled that whole effort. VC’s had plenty of other things they could fund in the 80’s and 90’s that didn’t come with government-generated headwinds on top of all the other risks that are normal to startup ventures.

  • duheagle

    Try to put aside your Trump Derangement Syndrome. Start with a single hour per week, if you can, and work up from there.

  • duheagle

    The U.S. governmental hurdles to the commercial flying of humans in space are, to this point, mostly those emplaced by NASA. But the open-ended “review” process by which NOAA decides yea or nay on private sector orbital imagery projects has already resulted in multi-year delays for some parties. Despite the views of the hardcore statists here, government regulation is not uniformly and in all ways a good thing.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Lol Trump is a blessing for people like me. And this policy is meaningless

  • windbourne

    What was revisionist about what I wrote?
    NASA played games with shuttle vs private, but reagan’s regulations did nothing to solve anything. Challenger lead to building out Delta/Atlas which turned out out to be useless and were simply another means of milking the gov. cash teat.

  • Tom Billings

    The biggest problem with space launch regulations, according to CSF and others, has been the need to traipse from one agency to the next, like a pinball bouncing from one buzzing bumper to the next, for each launch. Miss one, and you have to put in another quarter to start over. (If *only* it were only a quarter!) That will now be consolidated under the new SPACE Administration, hopefully in one place. In addition, the actual number of pages of paperwork to be filled out can be cut substantially this way, if only in a single identifier page for a company’s application. When we move on from there to “type certification” for launchers, instead of launch certification, as reusable launchers become the norm, this will be cut drastically, again.

    In addition, the change in US general regulations has added to the capital available to fund space ventures, as noted at:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-23/u-s-beats-hong-kong-to-reclaim-global-competitiveness-crown?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business&utm_content=business&utm_medium=social

    The US is a place with greater market freedoms of action than it was 16 months ago, and getting freer at a high rate. These freedoms of action, for markets to determine the allocation of resources, rather than politics, are a crucial measure of health in industrial society. The waves of reaction against allocating resources by markets, and boosting the old pre-industrial allocation by politics, may finally be dying out, however slowly.

    “When a society moves from allocating its resources by custom and tradition (moderns read here, by politics) to allocating resources by markets, it may be said to have undergone an industrial revolution”.—Arnold Toynbee–1884

    The key is in bringing the industrial revolution to spaceflight. May Secretary Ross and his new group abet the needed freedoms of action.

  • Tom Billings

    With LBJians in Congress supporting the turf warriors in NASA HQ in the 1980s, it is surprising that as much change happened as did happen. As long as Congress got political profit from being the sole funder of spaceflight, they would resist even such things as allowing old government funded launchers, that have long-since paid back the government’s investment, being sold and launched privately. Reagan’s change to this in 1983 got bitter opposition in Congress and NASA HQ. While they could not stop that, they stopped at least 5 private and even military enterprises, from Space Services Inc. in 1979 onward, from providing a launch alternative to NASA. Especially then, the swamp protected its prerogatives closely.