The United States will review regulations to address the rise in space junk

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With Earth’s orbit increasingly crowded with satellites, a U.S. government agency said Friday it will begin reviewing rules on discharging space debris and other issues such as refueling satellites and inspection and repair. of spacecraft in space orbit.

“We believe the new space age needs new rules,” Federal Communications Commission (FCC) President Jessica Rosenworcel said after the decision, adding that the current rules “were mostly built for another era.”

He said the FCC must “make sure our rules are prepared for the proliferation of satellites in orbit and new activities at our highest altitudes.”

The FCC also plans to look for “new ways to clean up orbital debris. After all, there are thousands of cubic tons of junk in space,” added Jessica. The FCC will examine “the potential for orbital debris removal and remediation functions that offer better prospects for the orbital debris environment.”

The FCC is asking questions about maintenance, assembly and fabrication in space (ISAM), which includes things like “repairing and refueling satellites and even assembling completely new systems in orbit,” Rosenworcel said.

The process will examine efforts to transform materials through fabrication in space and the needs of the Isam spectrum.

“The FCC remains the only agency to license virtually all commercial space missions reaching the United States,” said FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks.

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

Starks said the procedure “will help us build the record we need to fully understand emerging ISAM technologies, their spectrum requirements (and) debris implications.”

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

The FCC is already moving to update its satellite rules and had previously adopted new rules to help satellite launch companies access spectrum for “broadcasts” from space launch vehicles during pre-launch testing and operations. launch “.

In November, the agency granted NanoRacks LLC an experimental communications license with an experimental component connected to the second stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle “to demonstrate metal cutting in space.”

Source: Terra

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