US to review space debris rules, says US government agency

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With Earth’s orbit increasingly crowded with satellites, a US government agency said on Friday it will begin reviewing rules on how to get rid of space junk, as well as other issues such as satellite resupply and inspection. and repairs.

“We believe the new space age needs new rules,” Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said after a vote that ended 4-0 for changes. According to the commission, the current rules “were largely built for another era”.

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Rosenworcel said he needs to “make sure our rules are prepared for the proliferation of in-orbit satellites and new activity at our higher altitudes.”

The FCC also plans to look for new ways to clean up orbital debris. After all, “there are thousands of metric tons of garbage in space,” Rosenworcel added. The US government agency has communicated that it will review the potential for orbital debris removal and remediation functions.

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“We are asking questions about in-space maintenance, assembly and fabrication (ISAM), which includes things like repairing and refueling satellites and even assembling entirely new systems in orbit,” Rosenworcel said.

The process will look at efforts to transform materials through fabrication in space and ISAM spectrum needs. “The FCC remains the only agency to license virtually all commercial space missions that reach the United States,” said FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks.

“With that power comes a responsibility to understand the missions we authorize and to create an enabling regulatory environment that opens new doors and still protects against new risks,” he added.

Starks said the procedure will help build the registry to fully understand emerging ISAM technologies, their spectrum requirements and their debris implications.

The FCC reported that ISAM has the potential to build entire industries, create new jobs, mitigate climate change, and advance the economic, scientific, technological, and national security interests of the United States.

The agency is already moving to update its satellite rules and has previously adopted new rules to help satellite launch companies gain access to spectrum for transmissions “from space launch vehicles during pre-launch testing and space launch operations. .

The FCC in November granted an experimental license to NanoRacks LLC for communications with an experimental component attached to the second stage of a SpaceX Falcon launch “to demonstrate metal cutting in space.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, the process will play the role it should play in reviewing “planetary protection plans and implications” for the missions.

Source: CNN Brasil

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