Alden Orrery – Regulatory Briefing – September 2022
UK releases “UK Space Power” doctrine
The UK published a Joint Doctrine Publication (JDP) titled “UK Space Power” on 1 September 2022. The JDP lays out in broad terms the role of the UK military in protecting space from foreign threats and provides a basis for understanding the utility of the space domain in the military context.
The JDP brings together UK government policy, strategy, higher-level doctrine and enduring space power knowledge and experience on the military uses of space. Outlined as a key aspect of the JDP is the UK-US military alliance, described as a critical relationship to assure access space services.
UK government presents new telecoms regulations and code of practice to Parliament
The UK government has laid the new Electronic Communications (Security Measures) Regulations 2022 in Parliament, along with a draft Telecommunications Security Code of Practice.
The regulations aim to address risks to the security of the UK’s public telecoms networks and services and enter into force on 1 October 2022. The draft code contains guidance on how providers can comply with the regulations.
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to set a five-year deadline for satellite deorbiting
The FCC published a draft order on satellite deorbiting on 8 September 2022. This order requires spacecraft to end their missions in or passing through low-Earth orbit (LEO) – defined as altitudes below 2,000 kilometres – to re-enter spacecraft into the Earth’s atmosphere no more than five years after the end of the mission.
The FCC did not previously impose a formal requirement on satellite operators for deorbiting, although a 25-year rule consistent with the 2002 Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) Debris Mitigation Guidelines was considered by the FCC in their licensing process.
The order seeks to strike a balance between “meaningfully reducing risk while remaining flexible and responsive to a broader selection of mission profiles”. The FCC will take up the order at its 29 September 2022 open meeting.
FCC launches new policy inquiry for emerging space capabilities
The FCC has voted to explore the economic potential and policy questions relating to in-orbit servicing, assembly and manufacturing capabilities.
The FCC now seeks information on what is required to facilitate the US new space economy, and will consider all aspects of in-orbit servicing, assembly and manufacturing including the use of spectrum, application processes and debris. This vote is part of a broader effort to update US space policy to keep up with technological developments and a growing number of private companies in the industry.
US Department of Defense (DoD) updates policy on responsible space behaviour
The DoD has updated its policy on responsible behaviour in space. The new policy, signed 30 August 2022, replaces previous iterations issued in 2012 and 2016. The new policy sets out the roles and responsibilities of US space organisations such as the US Space Force and US Space Command. The policy also formally adopts a list of “tenets of responsible behavior in space” issued by:
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a July 2021 memo. These tenets include to:
- operate in, from, to and through space with due regard to others and in a professional manner;
- limit the generation of long-lived debris;
- avoid the creation of harmful interference;
- maintain safe separation and safe trajectory; and
- communicate and make notifications to enhance the safety and stability of the space domain.
The new policy represents a further step towards defining safe behaviour in space, while recognising space as a priority domain for national military power.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
UAE satellite company joins climate change pledge
Yahsat, a satellite communications company based in the UAE, has pledged its support for the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment’s (MoCCAE) strategic initiative on climate action. As part of the initiative, Yahsat aims to enhance its measurement and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and develop plans to reduce its carbon footprint within its satellite business. Ali Al Hashemi, CEO of Yahsat, said in a statement that the company “look[s] forward to being part of this collaborative and collective effort across the private sector in the UAE.”
South Africa publishes new spectrum policy
The South African Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) published its draft Next Generation Radio Frequency Spectrum Policy for public consultation on 8 September 2022.
The policy has been developed in consultation with industry stakeholders, and aims to guide the use of the finite resource that is vital to the growth of the country’s economy and communication infrastructure (including satellites).
Bengaluru Space Expo 2022 brings Australia-India space cooperation
Six Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed between Indian and Australian companies to collaborate in the private space sector at the inaugural session of the Bengaluru Space Expo 2022.
Signed on 5 September 2022, the MoUs signal a willingness by these companies to collaborate in areas such as space mineral exploration, reducing the environmental impacts of space exploration, supporting agriculture and defence industries and health support to astronauts.
New Zealand publishes consultation on space policy
New Zealand published a consultation on its space policy review on 5 September 2022. The consultation will contribute to the development of a national space policy that aims to both capture the values of all stakeholders regarding space and inform future policy development.
The consultation requests opinions on space security, safety and sustainability, and was announced in tandem with $15.7 million in funding to build the global importance of the New Zealand space sector. All submissions are due before 31 October 2022 and the consultation can be accessed here.