From the early days of spaceflight, the United States has been the preeminent leader in space. The innovative spirit of a new generation of entrepreneurs—combined with the expertise of established industry space providers that have built America’s space infrastructure and capabilities—are fueling Space 2.0 and putting the United States in a strong position to maintain that role. The new U.S. Space Policy and National Security Strategy clearly emphasize the role of partnerships between the federal government and industry, and leveraging new technologies and private investment to support U.S. priorities. Entrepreneurial spirit, however, is not enough. Maintaining U.S. leadership in the face of global competition warrants updates and continued responsiveness in federal regulation and oversight.
The web of national, regional, and international institutions—evolved to serve an industry that is rapidly innovating and evolving— will need to be updated for this purpose. The National Security Strategy recognizes that the United States needs to “simplify and update regulations for commercial space activity to strengthen competitiveness.” As we engage in these reforms, it is vital that changes to the system work for existing actors and capabilities, protect current national security and civil space assets, and empower innovation.
Leading off a series of symposia on regulatory reform of the commercial use of outer space, on April 30, Hudson Institute convened industry experts and policy practitioners to discuss how the United States can best leverage its position in the new space age. Dr. Scott Pace delivered a keynote address, laying out the direction of the administration’s agenda. Following Dr. Pace’s speech and a lunch was a panel of senior government officials from Congress and the Executive Branch, to examine how the President’s reform agenda may develop in those contexts.