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Space Transportation Policy Issued

The White House has issued a new Space Transportation Policy, replacing several Clinton-era directives and realigning national policy with the Vision for Space Exploration and the emerging private space industry.

What is particularly interesting about the new policy is that it takes seriously the development of a commercial space transportation industry, including not just the usual platitudes about “encouraging development” and “facilitating technology transfer” and the like, but directing federal departments to provide a “timely and responsive regulatory environment” and to refrain from activities which compete with or undermine commercial activities. While the policy specifically mentions “stable and predictable access” to government-owned space facilities and strictly limits the use of excess ballistic missiles as orbital launch vehicles, one wonders how this noncompete clause might affect things like LRO if strictly applied.

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