Index


U.S. Commercial Space Policy Guidelines

NSPD-3, February 11, 1991



A fundamental objective guiding United States space activities has been space leadership, which requires preeminence in key areas of space activity. In an increasingly competitive international environment, the U.S. Government encourages the commercial use and exploitation of space technologies and systems for national economic benefit. These efforts to encourage commercial activities must be consistent with national security and foreign policy interests, international and domestic legal obligations, including U.S. commitments to stem missile proliferation, and agency mission requirements.

United States space activities are conducted by three separate and distinct sectors: two U.S. Government sectors the civil and national security and a non-governmental commercial space sector. The commercial space sector includes a broad crosssection of potential providers and users, including both established and new market participants. There also has been a recent emergence of State government initiatives related to encouraging commercial space activities. The commercial space sector is comprised of at least five market areas, each encompassing both earth and spacebased activities, with varying degrees of market maturity or potential:

Satellite communications the private development, manufacture, and operation of communications satellites and marketing of satellite telecommunications services, including position location and navigation;

Launch and Vehicle Services the private development, manufacture, and operation of launch and reentry vehicles, and the marketing of space transportation services;

Remote Sensing the private development, manufacture, and operation of remote sensing satellites and the processing and marketing of remote sensing data;

Materials processing the experimentation with, and production of, organic and inorganic materials and products utilizing the space environment; and

Commercial Infrastructure the private development and provision of spacerelated support facilities, capabilities and services.

In addition, other marketdriven commercial space sector opportunities are emerging.

The U.S. Government encourages private investment in, and broader responsibility for, spacerelated activities that can result in products and services that meet the needs of government and other customers in a competitive market. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Government pursues its commercial space objectives without the use of direct federal subsidies. A robust commercial space sector has the potential to generate new technologies, products, markets, jobs, and other economic benefits for the nation, as well as indirect benefits for national security.

Commercial space sector activities are characterized by the provision of products and services such that:

Implementing Guidelines

The following implementing guidelines shall serve to provide the U.S. private sector with a level of stability and predictability in its dealings with agencies of the U.S. Government. The agencies will work separately but cooperatively, as appropriate, to develop specific measures to implement this strategy. U.S. Government agencies shall, consistent with national security and foreign policy interests, international and domestic legal obligation and agency mission requirements, encourage the growth of the U.S. commercial space sector in accordance with the following guidelines:

The U.S. commercial Space policy Guidelines are consistent with the National Space Policy and the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Policy which remain fully applicable to activities of the governmental space sectors and the commercial space sector.

Reporting Requirements

U.S. Government agencies affected by these guidelines are directed to report by October l, 1991, to the National Space Council on their activities related to the implementation of these policy guidelines.

/s/ George Bush


For more information contact, Sylvia K. Kraemer, Office of Policy & Plans, Code Z, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, [email protected]