Multiple Blue Rings

Startups Seek Easier US Regulations for Space Tech Advancements

Concerns were raised at the SpaceCom conference in Orlando about the potential for the United States to lag behind in emerging space capabilities .

if regulations don't keep pace with industry advancements.

CEOs of Orbit Fab and True Anomaly, two space startups, emphasized the efforts of federal agencies to modernize and simplify satellite .

licensing rules during a panel discussion on January 31.

Notably, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has reduced the processing time for commercial remote sensing licenses from months to weeks.

Despite progress, Daniel Faber of Orbit Fab and Even Rogers of True Anomaly believe that more support is needed for fledgling space businesses.

Faber highlighted challenges with U.S. export restrictions under ITAR. 

Citing a situation where a Swiss company faces obstacles in docking with a U.S. spacecraft.

Faber emphasized the need to review and update regulations. 

Particularly in the context of collaborative docking, considering the advancements in space technology over the past two decades.

Proximity operations, essential for on-orbit refueling and other space activities, are hindered by regulations .

Preventing U.S. companies from collaborating internationally.

Rogers of True Anomaly stressed the urgency of a modernized licensing regime for addressing emerging space threats.

 Warning that capabilities posing risks can be hidden in orbit.

He called for quick licensing of satellites for precise imaging to enhance space domain awareness. 

 Noting the challenge of distinguishing between commercial and defense applications.

In response, Faber proposed voluntarily publishing flight paths and exit plans to build trust with regulators. 

Emphasizing third-party monitoring to set a positive precedent.