Industry Groups Urge Increased Support for Office of Space Commerce

Three industry groups have written a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to emphasize the importance of the Office of Space Commerce in supporting the U.S. space industry.

“Given the constant developments, from start-ups to new technologies in the space sector, and the uncertainties of the post-pandemic and changing regulatory environment globally, the space industry requires a strong U.S. Office of Space Commerce to drive continued growth here and abroad for U.S. space industry,” the letter said.

The document was signed by the Aerospace Industries Association, Commercial Spaceflight Federation and Satellite Industry Association.

“With the vast majority of the space industry being defined as critical infrastructure under both the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense, the Office of Space Commerce should receive funding reflective of its critical role in supporting the space sector as U.S. critical infrastructure,” the letter said.

A copy of the letter is below.

March 9, 2021

The Honorable Gina Raimondo
Secretary of Commerce
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20230

Dear Secretary Raimondo:

Our organizations represent hundreds of U.S. companies employing hundreds of thousands of Americans across the space sector, from space ground system developers, to satellite manufacturers and operators, to launch companies, to the small and medium sized businesses at the heart of the space supply chain. We want to bring to your attention the critical role of the Office of Space Commerce in your Department, which was recently granted new authority and funding by Congress, reinforcing its importance to our economy and national security.

FY2021 represents a critical time for our members and the growing space economy. Retaining staff in the Office of Space Commerce to continue to carry out its work until a new Director is named is critical to the success of our industry on a variety of fronts, including:

  • Coordinating efforts to strengthen and quantify the space industrial base via grants to state-level space industry programs and economic analysis exploring industry impact on the U.S. economy and job growth,
  • Promoting a globally competitive regulatory environment, e.g., remote sensing reform,
  • Working to promote space technologies Made in America by aiding the U.S. space industry in developing international business partnerships,
  • Continue to rapidly stand up a civilian Space Situational Awareness team that will assume the responsibility of private and international satellite traffic warnings for the Department of Defense per bipartisan support from the FY2021 Appropriations conferees,
  • Convening government/industry dialogues on areas of critical concern to the future of space, such as the 2020 Industry Day regarding space sustainability and space economics via the Space Enterprise Summit,
  • Creating a “one-stop” Commerce entry point, for connecting industry to other Department activities, e.g., export control reform on imagery analysis software, trade promotion, and assisting business creation.

Given the constant developments, from start-ups to new technologies in the space sector, and the uncertainties of the post-pandemic and changing regulatory environment globally, the space industry requires a strong U.S. Office of Space Commerce to drive continued growth here and abroad for U.S. space industry. The Office of Space Commerce is also a critical voice and bridge between industry and other federal agencies to promote space solutions to problems here on earth, such as supporting the creation and growth of satellite communications companies critical to providing nationwide broadband service, enabling climate, and carbon, monitoring technologies to be developed and deployed, and promoting the Commercial Weather Data Pilot to receive commercial remote sensing data to supplement critical weather forecasting and disaster responses.

With the vast majority of the space industry being defined as critical infrastructure under both the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense, the Office of Space Commerce should receive funding reflective of its critical role in supporting the space sector as U.S. critical infrastructure. The Office of Space Commerce serves also an expert voice, leading multilateral dialogues and executing cooperation declarations, for the U.S. government on issues of importance to commercial space sector.

The Office of Space Commerce is a key partner to the space industry, and we welcome the opportunity to discuss the Office’s role in the space community further with you and your team.

Sincerely,

Aerospace Industries Association
Commercial Spaceflight Federation
Satellite Industry Association