Trump’s new directive to reform commercial space regulation

Washington: After directing NASA to return humans to the Moon, US President Donald Trump has now signed a new policy directive aimed at reforming America’s commercial space regulatory framework.

Under the Space Policy Directive-2, signed on Thursday, Secretary of Transportation will have to work on transforming the licensing of commercial space flight launch and re-entry.

The directive prescribes a single license for all types of commercial space flight launch and re-entry operations and replacing prescriptive requirements in the process with performance-based criteria.

On December 11, 2017, Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1, instructing NASA to return American astronauts to the Moon, followed by human missions to Mars.

In a statement on Friday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the Space Policy Directive-2 is another step towards bolstering America’s dedication to uncovering new knowledge and developing breakthrough technologies.

“A light but focused regulatory touch will help our industry partners provide the best and safest services for our nation and expedite their work. There are many innovative companies across this nation working hard to build a bright future in space, and our policies should help ensure their success on all fronts,” Bridenstine said.

NASA said that as it shifts human exploration back to the Moon, US commercial partnerships will be a key to expediting missions and building a sustainable presence on the lunar surface.

The agency is orchestrating a robotic lunar campaign with a focus on growing commercial base of partnerships and activity that can support US science, technology, and exploration objectives.

NASA on Thursday said it is planning a series of robotic commercial delivery missions as early as 2019 ahead of a human return to the Moon.

These missions will deliver NASA instruments and technology to the surface of the Moon to conduct scientific experiments and prepare for human exploration.