June 21, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA

FCC Chairman Proposes New Rules for Accidental Space Explosion Risk

TAMPA, Fla. – Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel proposed new rules on May 29 to cover the risk of accidental explosions generating debris in space.

The new rules would require applicants to evaluate and limit the probability of accidental explosions to less than one in a thousand for each satellite they submit for approval.

The probability metric is derived from the NASA standard and would be applied during and after the completion of mission operations.

Currently, FCC rules only require satellite licensees to claim that they have effectively mitigated the risk of debris-generating explosions in space.

While these types of explosions are very rare, Rosenworcel said incorporating a specific probability metric would support Efforts underway to modernize the FCC's orbital debris rules. to keep pace with increasingly populated orbits.

“We can no longer afford to launch new satellites into our skies without considering space sustainability,” he said in a statement.

“Our orbital debris mitigation efforts will help preserve the orbital environment to protect the services we depend on and enable the launch of new services.”

If approved by a majority of the five FCC Commissioners, the new requirement would be phased in one year after its publication in the Federal Register. It would then apply to applications filed after or still pending when the rules take effect.

Jason Rainbow writes about satellite telecommunications, space finance and commercial markets for SpaceNews. He has spent more than a decade covering the global space industry as a business journalist. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of the financial information group…

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