NASA Administrator Statement on White House ASAT Announcement

Bill Nelson

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released this statement Tuesday following Vice President Kamala Harris’ announcement the U.S. will not conduct destructive anti-satellite missile testing (ASAT):

“Fifteen years ago, China’s military littered outer space with thousands of pieces of debris from a reckless ASAT missile test. Just a few months ago, another destructive ASAT test by the Russian military threatened U.S. and European astronauts, Russian cosmonauts, and Chinese taikonauts in space, as well as scientific and commercial on-orbit assets.

“There is no doubt that human spaceflight and the future of the space environment are incompatible with destructive direct-ascent ASAT missile tests. Vice President Harris and the Biden Administration’s leadership to address these threats and reduce risk is an important step forward to foster a safe, sustainable space environment – now and into the future. I encourage the world to join us in making this important commitment.”

For more information on NASA and agency activities, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

U.S. Commits to Not Conduct Direct-ascent Anti-satellite Tests

Vice President Kamala Harris delivers opening remarks at the first meeting of the National Space Council, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington. Chaired by Vice President Harris, the council’s role is to advise the President regarding national space policy and strategy, and ensuring the United States capitalizes on the opportunities presented by the country’s space activities. (Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

New U.S. Commitment on Destructive Direct-Ascent Anti-Satellite Missile Testing

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (White House PR) — Today at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the United States commits not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) missile testing, and that the United States seeks to establish this as a new international norm for responsible behavior in space. The Vice President also called on other nations to make similar commitments and to work together in establishing this as a norm, making the case that such efforts benefit all nations. 

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NATO Overarching Space Policy

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Policy
Published Jan. 17, 2022

INTRODUCTION

  1. Space is increasingly important for the Alliance’s and Allies’ security and prosperity.  Space brings benefits in multiple areas from weather monitoring, environment and agriculture, to transport, science, communications and banking.  The use of space has greatly enhanced Allies’ and NATO’s ability to anticipate threats and respond to crises with greater speed, effectiveness and precision. The evolution in the uses of space and rapid advances in space technology have created new opportunities, but also new risks, vulnerabilities, and potentially threats for the Alliance’s and Allies’ security and defence. Today, access to, and use of, space is no longer the prerogative of a few nations that are technically capable of launching and operating a spacecraft. Space technology and services have become more readily accessible, cheaper and more capable.  Most space capabilities are dual use, serving civilian/commercial as well as military purposes, often at the same time, further adding to the complexity of the space domain1.  In security and defence terms, space is increasingly contested, congested and competitive and requires the Alliance to be able to operate in a disrupted, denied and degraded environment. Allies’ space capabilities could become a high priority target given the advantages that space systems provide in conflict and given Allies’ dependence on these systems to enable operations.   
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Mercosur United by Space Law

BRASILIA (AEB PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) participated in the closing ceremony of the course on “Law and Cooperation in the Space Area”, promoted by the Organizzazione Internazionale Italo-Latino Americana (IILA), this Thursday (2). The course was held between November 9th and December 2nd, and was aimed at space agencies and professionals from Mercosur countries. The event was attended by the president of the AEB, Carlos Moura, as well as directors of space agencies from several countries.

“We have a lot of synergy, many challenges and goals in common, with which we can work together to bring solutions and progress to our peoples,” said Carlos.

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Vice President Kamala Harris Highlights STEM in First National Space Council Meeting

Vice President Kamala Harris delivers opening remarks at the first meeting of the National Space Council, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington. Chaired by Vice President Harris, the council’s role is to advise the President regarding national space policy and strategy, and ensuring the United States capitalizes on the opportunities presented by the country’s space activities. (Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Vice President Kamala Harris chaired the first National Space Council meeting of the Biden-Harris Administration Wednesday, Dec. 1 at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington. Prior to the meeting, President Biden expanded the number of participants of the council by executive order, reflecting the Biden-Harris administration’s broad priorities and creating the largest, most diverse space council in the nation’s history.

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Biden Administration Publishes Space Priorites Framework

Taken by NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, this picture shows Earth’s limb, or horizon, from the International Space Station as it orbits above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile. (Credits: NASA)

UNITED STATES SPACE PRIORITIES FRAMEWORK
The White House
December 2021

UNITED STATES SPACE PRIORITIES FRAMEWORK

Space activities are essential to our way of life. They advance our understanding of the Earth, the universe, and humanity; enable U.S. national security; create good jobs and economic opportunity; enhance our health and well-being; and inspire us to pursue our dreams. Space capabilities provide critical data, products, and services that drive innovation in the United States and around the world. Access to and use of space is a vital national interest.

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Brazil Launches Public Consultation on Proposed National Space Policy

BRASILIA (Brazilian Space Agency PR) — It is a consultation with society regarding the proposal for a National Space Policy, to be established by presidential decree.

A country’s competence in space activities is a strategic asset that generates significant focus for national and international investments. An increasing number of nations, including developing ones, have invested in their space programs to assert their sovereignty, to increase national security and economic and social development through the use of space systems.

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NASA, U.S. Space Force Sign MOU to Deepen Cooperation

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — While advancing plans for unprecedented lunar exploration under the Artemis program, NASA also is building on a longstanding partnership with the Department of Defense with a new memorandum of understanding announced today by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and U.S. Space Force (USSF) Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond.

The agreement, discussed during a Sept. 22 Mitchell Institute virtual event, commits the two organizations to broad collaboration in areas including human spaceflight, U.S. space policy, space transportation, standards and best practices for safe operations in space, scientific research, and planetary defense.

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Bolden Says SLS “Will Go Away,” Expects Few Other Changes at NASA if Biden Elected

Charles Bolden

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says he expects the agency’s expensive Space Launch System (SLS) will go away under during the next presidential term.

“SLS will go away. It could go away during a Biden administration or a next Trump administration … because at some point commercial entities are going to catch up,” he told Politico. “They are really going to build a heavy lift launch vehicle sort of like SLS that they will be able to fly for a much cheaper price than NASA can do SLS. That’s just the way it works.”

Congress will have something to say about the giant rocket designed to return astronauts to the moon under NASA’s Artemis program. Legislators have protected SLS and its two related programs, the Orion spacecraft and Exploration Ground Systems, despite large cost overruns and years of delays.

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European Council Adopts Conclusions for Sustainable Space Policy

BRUSSELS (Council of the European Union PR) — Space policy can play an important role in achieving a sustainable EU economy. The Council today adopted a set of conclusions acknowledging the important contribution of space activities to the development of skills, technologies and services needed to build a society that is capable of addressing global challenges in a changing world. These include climate change, ecosystem degradation, health crises, food security and migration.

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Report: China Could Follow South China Sea Strategy in Seeking Space Resources

Optical Mining of Asteroids, Moons, and Planets to Enable Sustainable Human Exploration and Space Industrialization (Credits: Joel Sercel)

Continuing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we examine how China is seeking to shape the governance of space activities. [Full Report]

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

China’s actions in asserting sovereignty over the disputed South China Sea could serve as a model by which that nation would claim extraterrestrial resources and consolidate its control over key space assets, a new report to the U.S. Congress warned.

“Contrary to international norms governing the exploration and commercial exploitation of space, statements from senior Chinese officials signal Beijing’s belief in its right to claim use of space-based resources in the absence of a clear legal framework specifically regulating mining in space,” according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 report.

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Building Blocks of a Future Space Economy

Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group meeting. (Credit Luxembourg Space Agency)

THE HAGUE (Luxembourg Space Agency PR) — Shortly before the release of their final results, we spoke to three members of the Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group.

This international working group, with representatives from governments, industry, space agencies and academics from around the world, was set up in 2016 with the backing from the Dutch Government. It also received funding from several other private and public entities, including the Luxembourg Government.

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Potomac Institute Calls for a Coordinated National Space Strategy on the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2019 (Potomac Institute PR) — The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (PIPS) calls for a Coordinated National Space Strategy. Since the launch of Sputnik in 1957, the impact of space-based infrastructure has increased year after year. Today, more than ever before, the benefits brought from orbit pervade every level of society: GPS enables over $1 billion of economic activity per day, NOAA satellites collect weather data to warn of upcoming storms and track long term climate data, communications satellites provide worldwide, irreplaceable coverage for both civilian and military operations, and much more. These industries touch on nearly every department, agency, and office of the federal government and impact each American every day.

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EU Shapes its Future Space Policy Program

BRUSSELS (European Union PR) — The EU is designing its space policy programme for the years 2021-2027. EU ambassadors meeting in Coreper today confirmed the common understanding reached by the Romanian Presidency with the European Parliament on the draft regulation on an EU space programme.

The common understanding excludes financial and other horizontal aspects of the programme, which will depend on the future overall agreement on the next multiannual financial framework.

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NOAA, FAA AST Space Programs Get Funding Boosts

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Last week, we took a look at the significant increase in NASA’s budget for FY 2019. In this story, we will examine the budget increases for the Commerce Department — which manages the nation’s weather satellites — and the Department of Transportation, which oversees commercial launches. We will also take a look how the White House’s National Space Council fared.

Commerce Department

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

NOAA’s satellite programs received $1,45 billion, which is an increase of $55 million over FY 2018. The bulk of the funding is designated for the GOES-R,  Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and Polar Follow-on (PFO) programs. The amounts include:

  • JPSS: $548 million
  • GOES-R: $408.4 million
  • PFO: $330 million

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