State Department Moves Out on Implementing New Space Policy with International Community

State Department Moves Out on Implementing New Space Policy with International Community

State Department officials are moving out on implementing President Obama’s new National Space Policy (NSP) in the context of international cooperation and challenges in the space arena according to Frank Rose, deputy assistant secretary of State for verification, compliance and implementation.

Speaking at the Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies’ National Space Forum in Arlington, VA yesterday, Mr. Rose identified four areas where the United States is seeking expanded cooperation in implementing the new policy: orbital debris mitigation, shared space situational awareness, improved information sharing for collision avoidance, and transparency and confidence building measures (TCBMs). The forum is conducted under “Chatham House” rules where remarks are on a non-attribution basis, but Mr. Rose’s speech is available via the State Department’s website.

Regarding TCBMs, Mr. Rose said that the United States has been “actively consulting” with Europe over the past 18 months to determine if we can sign on to the draft European Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, and hope to make a decision in the coming months. Calling it a “comprehensive set of multilateral TCBMs,” he said the United States was determining its “implications for our national security and foreign policy interests.”

Quoting Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s recent comments at the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Rose noted that although she did not specifically mention space, her vision for a “new global architecture that could help nations come together as partners to solve shared problems” would help deal with the space program challenges he listed. “Partnership implies shared responsibility…. We have made clear in presenting our space policy to other nations that solving the problems of orbital congestion, situational awareness, collision avoidance, and responsible and peaceful behavior in space are the responsibilities of all who are engaged in space activities….”

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