- The Washington Times - Monday, June 18, 2018

President Trump on Monday is ordering a overhaul of space traffic management and space debris tracking as part of his push to restore U.S. leadership in space.

The new policy aims to clear the way for increased commercial, civil and national security activities in outer space, said Scott N. Pace, executive secretary of the National Space Council.

“Unfettered access and freedom to operate in space are vital U.S. interest. However, the space operating environment is becoming increasingly congested and current space traffic management activities are inadequate to address this rising challenge,” Mr. Pace said.

The Pentagon and NASA track more than 500,000 prices of space junk circling the earth, including about 1,730 operating satellites.

Mr. Trump is scheduled to sign the order, the Space Policy Directive-3, at a meeting Monday with the National Space Council.

The new directive emphasizes data-sharing initiatives, seeking to tap into commercial space know-how in tackling the challenge of a low earth orbit increasingly crowded with communications satellites and space junk.

The policy followed previous directives in which Mr. Trump renewed a focus on managed space flights and deep-space exploration.

He also previously ordered the Commerce and Transportation departments’ to cut some of the red tape hampering commercial space activities.

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