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Newly passed Senate bill requires consultation between industry and government on space junk

Though the bill still needs to be passed by the House, a just passed Senate bill requires consultation between industry and government on space junk, short circuiting recent attempts at the FCC as well as in the House to impose arbitrary government regulations.

You can read the Senate bill here [pdf].

The final result will still be government regulation on the lifespan and final deposition of any object placed in orbit, from nanosats to large manned space stations, but unlike the earlier FCC proposal and House bill, NASA and other government agencies will have to obtain feedback from the commercial space industry before such regulations are imposed.

Sounds great, eh? In truth, this bill in the end still gives full power to the federal government to control the launching of future spacecraft of all sizes. It also leaves the details entirely up to the bureaucracy. If passed Congress would cede its regulatory power to unelected bureaucrats in the executive branch.

The requirement that industry consultation occur simply means that the initial regulations will likely make some sense. Beyond that however the power it bequeaths to the federal bureaucracy in NASA, FAA, FCC, and other agencies will in the long run be still abused.

The need for the establishment of an independent space-faring society, free from odious Earthbound regulation, continues to grow.

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On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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  • Joe

    I know this will eventually be abused. All laws fall to that issue. What I do like is that maybe this will put the space junk situation at the Department of Commerce. There is where all space activity should be coordinated. Additionally, the forms for NOAA, FCC, and FAA should be web accessible. I should be able to register a satellite for launch and operation as easy as I can register and operate a car.

  • Tom Billings

    While we can expect little else from this Congress, and little better from future Congress Bills, the most interesting future changes will be in 2 points:

    1.) When the OST gets revamped because of its restrictions of State ability to reassign responsibility for damage from their launched objects through contracts to third parties, for things like clearing space junk.

    2.) The unspecified side activities of space manufacturing that make things no treaty, or regulation, yet requires monitoring for, and is simply seen as too burdensome to bother with at the time.

    These 2 areas are where freedom of action will show the greatest gains, and thus give the opportunity for best profits as they grow. I do not know what they will be, just that they turn up in any set of complex human activities in adapting to a new environment. These freedoms of action will eventually be defended by those who profit from them. That defense will be crucial every place it is taken up, whether in Low Earth Orbit or in the rock piles around the Ceres sites drilling for icy volatiles, or something else we cannot forsee.

    Success in *that* defense is when and where freedom in Space will begin, … in the interstices between decisively written rules, … and what harried bureaucrats have no time for, … for years at a time.

  • pzatchok

    The BATF of space. Nice.

  • Max

    It sounds like an underhanded way of officially recognizing a “public private partnership” in space. With agreements similar to carbon offsets where the more money you give Congress, the more pollution you can emit without regulatory controls being placed on you. Sometimes you are completely ignored while rival companies are harassed to the point of extinction.
    Launch companies that play nice, with the appropriate donations, will get preferential treatment regardless of the space junk in low earth orbit they make… While others will be prevented from launching on a rumor or in accurate claims or wild eyed testimonials of environmental impact…
    While other countries outside of regulation continue to fill low earth orbit with obstacles without a care in the world. (I’m sure China will get better, just as soon as space X perfects it’s rockets, so china can steal the innovations and technology for itself… If it hasn’t already)
    If you do not have E.S.G. beneath your company logo, then you are a enemy end target for the New World order or fourth Reich or world economic forum… Whatever “The Nazis” call them selves now.

    Speaking of E.S.G.… Has anyone even heard of the announcement of the final solution? (Final rule)

    Apparently, the government has change the rules on a fiduciaries responsibilities.
    Retirements and 401(k)s are placed in the hands of those considered fiduciaries looking out for the best interest of the customer in growing and managing retirement accounts.
    The “customer” has been officially reassigned to the “best interest of the planet” and the pretend “scientist” who know better than the unwashed masses… that’s right, retirement accounts are being drained into unproven E.S.G. projects that will have zero return on the money. You will own nothing, and be happy.
    The government and the leading banks roll out digital money prototype this spring. You may want to have hard currency at hand because soon it will be difficult to find or unavailable.

    Top of page heading;

    U.S. Department of Labor
    Employee Benefits Security Administration
    November 22, 2022

    Today, the U.S. Department of Labor released a final rule under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to empower plan fiduciaries to safeguard the savings of America’s workers by clarifying that fiduciaries may consider climate change and other environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when they make investment decisions and when they exercise shareholder rights, including voting on shareholder resolutions and board nominations

    Wishing I was on one of the first ships to Mars…

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