White House aims to reduce satellite clutter in space

June 18, 2018 by Marcia Dunn
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The White House is establishing a new policy for reducing satellite clutter in space.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the new space policy directive Monday, as the National Space Council convenes.

The new policy calls for providing a safe and secure environment up in orbit, as satellite traffic increases. It also sets up new guidelines for satellite design and operation, to avoid collisions and spacecraft breakups.

Vice President Mike Pence heads the recently revived space council. Cabinet members will take part in the afternoon meeting at the White House, as well as NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, retired astronauts and scientists.

The council's executive secretary, Scott Pace, told reporters before the meeting that is becoming increasingly congested and current guidelines are inadequate to address the challenge.

Explore further: New NASA boss gets 'hearty congratulations' from space

Related Stories

Trump tells NASA to send Americans to Moon

December 11, 2017

US President Donald Trump directed NASA on Monday to send Americans to the Moon for the first time since 1972, in order to prepare for future trips to Mars.

Recommended for you

Did a rogue star change the makeup of our solar system?

July 20, 2018

A team of researchers from the Max-Planck Institute and Queen's University has used new information to test a theory that suggests a rogue star passed close enough to our solar system millions of years ago to change its configuration. ...

Where to search for signs of life on Titan

July 20, 2018

New findings, published in the journal Astrobiology, suggest that large craters are the prime locations in which to find the building blocks of life on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

3.5 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2018
The US can develop as many laws to govern space as they want...the US does not own space. The US cannot dictate to any other country how to "use" space. I just read an article about a California based company who applied to have two of their satellites launched from an Amercian site, the US denied the launch because they said the satellites were too small...India had no problem with it.
5 / 5 (1) Jun 18, 2018
It was a US company so subject to US law. They applied to launch 4 satellites that were too small to be tracked accurately so the application was denied. They launched anyway and until their orbit decays the things are essentially invisible navigation hazards just waiting to collide with an actual useful spacecraft at 28,000 kph. Their next generation satellite will be larger and are expected to be approved for launch, hopefully by then they'll have learned that they're not alone in space and need to take other users' needs into account.

I would expect this new policy to be useless poorly thought-out chin wagging, like everything else that has come out of this sAdministration so far.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.