White House Unveils Its Priorities for Space Activities

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The White House recently released the United States Space Priorities Framework, which highlights the Biden administration’s commitment to ensuring that the US maintains its leadership role in space. The framework identifies two primary priorities: (1) maintaining a robust and responsible US space enterprise; and (2) preserving space for current and future generations. In addition, the framework articulates how it will accomplish those priorities, including:

  • Pioneering cutting-edge space research and exploration missions.
  • Creating a regulatory structure that promotes US commercial space development, including “on-orbit servicing, orbital debris removal, space-based manufacturing, commercial human spaceflight, and recovery and use of space resources.”
  • Defending US national security interests by diplomatically engaging with key competitors and leveraging new commercial space capabilities and services to bolster national security.
  • Advancing space-based technologies that support climate change action.
  • Improving the cybersecurity of space systems and working to ensure access to the radio spectrum and supply chain assets needed to protect critical space infrastructure.
  • Supporting space situational-awareness sharing and the coordination of space traffic.

The framework was released in conjunction with the first meeting of the newly reorganized National Space Council. At the vice president’s direction, the National Space Council advises the president on the development and implementation of space policy and includes cabinet-level secretaries and other senior executive branch officials.

We expect significant activity over the next few years to implement these priorities. Companies should be mindful of the significant role that federal agencies will play in fostering commercial and civil space sectors. Cooley attorneys are available to discuss the White House’s space priorities and opportunities for strategic advocacy across the US government.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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