Trump’s new space policy directive 2 would make life easier for SpaceX and others

SpaceX ‘ s first “Block 5” Falcon 9 rocket launches NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on May 11, 2018. On 24 May, President Donald Trump has a new space policy directive which could ease regulations on SpaceX and other commercial spaceflight companies.


The Trumpet of administration of the pressure to ease regulations on the private sector is no longer limited to the Earth.

Yesterday (24 May), President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-2 (SPD-2), which indicates that the minister of transport to come to a new legal regime for the launch and re-entry activities, and to take into account only a single license for all commercial activities.

The document also orders of the secretary of commerce to review the regulation on the commercial remote-sensing industry, and gives the secretary 30 days to come up with a plan to establish a “one-stop-shop” within the Ministry of Trade for own-space-regulation. [Photos: President Donald Trump and the NASA]

“The president is determined to ensure that the federal government gets out of the way and gives a private business in order to support the economic success of the United States,” White House officials wrote in a SPD-2 fact sheet that was released yesterday.

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  • SPD-2 fact sheet

  • Shotwell told the members of the council

The thrust of the SPD-2 should come as no surprise, experts say. After all, the Trump administration has made it a priority to roll back or streamlining of the regulations in many other parts of the economy, from banking to the energy industry.

“It is certainly consistent with a general pro-business, deregulation of the approach of the Trumpet management, applied to the area of the space,” said space policy expert John Logsdon, a professor emeritus of political science and international relations at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington, D. C.

And SPD-2 started with a serious form back in October of 2017, at the first meeting of the newly resurrected National Space Council (NSC), Logsdon added.

“One of the tasks was the development of a directive on the reform of the regulations,” said Logsdon “That is in the process, and it is the key on the desk for a while.”

Major players in the private spaceflight industry are calling for the reform of the regulations for decades, and some of them, such as SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell — reiterated that request during a testimony in the October NSC meeting.

“The council could commit to the reform, modernisation and streamlining of the federal regulations relating to the area of the launch,” Shotwell told the members of the council, which is chaired by the Vice-President Mike Pence. “Rules written decades ago needs to be updated to keep pace with the new technologies and the high cadence of the launch of the United States if we want a strong space launch industry here at home.”

So Trump of the signing of the SPD-2 was a popular move in the industry circles.

“This is a tremendous achievement by this administration in the name of the american commercial space industry,” Alan Stern, chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, said in a statement.

“We have to innovate here at home and competing all over the world under the burden of the regulations written decades ago, in some cases, rooted in the Cold War,” added Stern, who is also the principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons Pluto mission. “Now we can provide a more streamlined legal and regulatory regime that will enable us to continue to help change the way Americans access and use of the space.”

As the name suggests, SPD-2 is the Asset administration in the second space policy of the directive. SPD-1, that Trump signed in December, formally calls on NASA to work in the direction of returning astronauts to the moon, as a stepping stone to Mars.

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