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Kevin O’Connell: Office of Space Commerce Working on Space Traffic Mgmt Transition Effort

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Kevin O'Connell
Kevin O’Connell

Kevin O’Connell, director of the Office of Space Commerce, said his office intends to move forward with plans to take over civil space traffic management functions currently under the Department of Defense, SpaceNews reported Friday.

The Trump administration’s Space Policy Directive 3, issued in 2018, mandates the Department of Commerce to assume STM responsibilities including the issuance of satellite collision warnings to operators.

During the 23rd Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington, D.C., O’Connell said his office will push through with STM transition efforts despite receiving a small amount from the requested budget for fiscal year 2020.

“At the macro level for this year, we’ll continue to do a lot of good work within the interagency, with our government colleagues, and we’ll be able to do some work with our allies,” he said.

O’Connell’s comments come after the near-collision of the Gravity Gradient Stabilization Experiment and Infrared Astronomical Satellite in low-Earth orbit.

He noted that his office plans to attend the February meeting of the U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space’s scientific and technical subcommittee in Vienna.