Obama Administration Nixes EU Space Code of Conduct

The Obama Administration has rejected the idea of signing on to a proposed European Union code of conduct for space because it is too restrictive, a top level official said on Thursday.

Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security,told reporters during a breakfast that the U.S. will be announcing a new direction soon, Space News reports. The voluntary code sets out a set of rules for operating spacecraft in orbit and methods for mitigating the growing problem of space debris.

The Obama Administration had been leaning toward adopting the voluntary code with some minor revisions.  Conservative lawmakers have opposed the move on the grounds that it would constrain the military’s use of space.

Space News reports that the EU proposal has received a mixed international reception. Canada and Japan have endorsed the document, while the BRICs (Brazil, Russia India and China) have distanced themselves from it.