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Concerns about Orbital Debris Voiced by House Space Caucus Co-Chair

On 28 October, U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, the co-chair of the newly started House Space Force Caucus, aired his concerns on orbital debris. He termed the debris as a significant threat to an affluent space economy and called for the need to formulate improved space situational awareness to protect the sector. Doug echoed the federal government’s efforts to ensure interstellar rubble and situational attentiveness by investing a lot of cash into space situational attentiveness. He also proclaimed the room for improvement o0n regulation by the government, stating that the main challenge remained about the cooperation of other international entities to maintain a safe orbital environment. 

Lamborn also stated that with the increased capability for private companies to send satellites into orbit, they need to domestically regulate them to ensure they do so following the set rules and safely. He further stated that for the foreign countries, there should be treaties which, when they are being signed, they should not compromise the security or rule of the U.S. He cited some historical occurrences where some countries have tried to make treaties that try to hinder the American capabilities to protect its national security.

Lamborn was supportive of the idea that the commerce department should take over the running space situational awareness (SSA), debris tracking, and deconfliction tasks. After President Donald Trump’s Policy Directive 3, which was delivered in 2018, requiring the handing over of civil space traffic controlling obligations to commerce from the pentagon. 

 Lamborn was supportive of the move stating that though commerce would be required to recruit more and source for more funding to handle this new task, it would relieve a burden off the Department of Defense where they would concentrate on providing security, especially in protecting the satellites and ensuring any threats that can arise can be neutralized.

Space Fund managing partner, Meagan Crawford, also noted that debris from space poses threats to the U.S. only and is a concern for potential investors. He stated that the management of orbital traffic had been a problem. When the debris is brought into the picture, potential investors shy away from investing in the constellations. Crawford further stated that there was a need for these threats to be dealt with. He said that the dangers of orbital debris, cybersecurity among others, require a kind of entity that covers the public-private sectors and can create the rules to govern them and enforce them by sourcing assistance from groups like Space Force and other countries.

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