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tv   Space Satellites for National Security Commerce  CSPAN  June 30, 2018 3:21am-5:43am EDT

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posed topless or semi-topless for sports illustrated. one quoted saying, i am proud of my body and i want to help young women who might have body images -- body image issues. my feeling is that is a crock. women should be dignified. they should remember that when you disrobe it's very hard for people to take you seriously. a man looking at a picture of a topless woman is not going to say, look at that fantastic athlete. isn't it wonderful that she doesn't have any problems with body image. no. he's going to think about sex two he's not going to think of her in a respectful way either. that's why i said, angela merkel is the chancellor of germany, she would not take off her blouse to prove she doesn't have body image issues. she wants to be respected. if women want to be respective -- respected, they need to
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behave in a way that would elicit that. sunday night on c-span three . commerce secretary wilbur ross and nasa administrator [ inaudible ] testified on using satellites for commerce in national security. this is two hours and 15 minutes. good morning. i want to thank the chairman and ranking member barrett for their interest and cooperation in organizing this meeting and the whole of government context. i appreciate the interest expressed by the else does house of armed services committee. i ask unanimous consent that nonconsenting members be allowed to participate in today's hearing after all subcommittee members have had the opportunity to ask questions.
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if there are any objections, hearing none, we will continue. given that we have a panel of witnesses and lots of member interest, i would ask for all member statements to be included into the record. with no objection, so done. we will hear from expert witnesses including the honorable wilbur ross, the honorable jim weinstein, no stranger to this room or subject matter, administrator and another person who is no stranger to this room, general john hyden. i will turn it over to you for your brief opening statements and then we will roll straight into russians. we will start with you, general. -- questions. we will start with you, general. to thank you chairman and members. distinguish committee members, all of you who are here today with secretary ross and administrator weinstein, it's
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difficult not to say that. he is on this side of the table which is interesting. it is a privilege to be here as always and day privilege to represent the 162,000 americans who have accomplished the missions of my -- under my command every day. if you work in our national space policy, [ inaudible ] we have a global fighting command. we set the conditions for allied security. our missions are to deter strategic attack and employ nuclear space global strike, missile defense forces as directed. to do this we rely on timely and accurate information about the operational environments we operate in. space is one of those environments and it's no different than any other. base situational awareness is how we bring together the multi-
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sourced data to assess adversary intentions. our national security mission demands we make this his environment as safe as possible to operate in and that has led to our current sharing arrangements. today we take our space situational awareness of available for space safety but that's not the inherent mission of the strategic command or the part of defense. i have never believed the department of defense should have to perform that for the world. we do that because we need to do it. for a while i have advocated to move space traffic management to another agency while obtaining the department of -- retaining the department of defense for national security. i believe transition is a good idea and i support the actions taken by the president to designate this in the department of congress on monday. it's the right move and i commit to work with the administration, department of commerce and the congress to meet the space traffic
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management goals. thank you for the opportunity to be here and i look forward to your russians. >> the chair recognizes commissioner breidenthal sign -- bridenstine. thank you ranking member cooper and barrett. it's great to be back. thank you for having me here. it's an honor to represent nasa before the strategic forces subcommittee and space subcommittee. in the house of representatives. when it comes to space situational awareness and traffic management, we have the human a flight program and dozens of satellites that are delivering critically important science for our nation and the entire world. we have a big stake in making sure that we get right space situational awareness and space traffic management. for objects big enough to track,
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we don't do the tracking ourselves and we don't keep a catalog ourselves or we rely on the strategic command for that. the data that we receive, we analyze it very closely to make sure that our human space activities and robotic space activities are protect it and remain safe two this is critical for us. objects that are too small to track, nasa has a department, the orbital debris program office, that is responsible for characterizing that auditable debris. we characterize it specifically so we can model, ultimately, the risk from these very small pieces of debris that are not trackable. i will be clear, the biggest risk is from objects that are not trackable. that's the biggest part of what we do everyday when it comes to protecting our assets in space. we characterize where those
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debris fields are and ultimately how they could impact our mission and make assessments on how much we need to invest to shield our assets and/or may be operate in different orbital regimes. this is important enough and i look forward to working with this committee. i look forward to following the implementing -- following -- implementing, i should say and working with everyone here. thank you for having me. >> thank you mr. brighton stein -- bridenstine. >> thank you for allowing me to address you today. i would also like to thank chairman lamar smith, chairman thornberry and ranking members johnson and smith for your work on this important issue.
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your continued support with this -- of this administration's space policy mission is greatly appreciated. in addition, i think my esteemed colleagues general john hyten and administrator bridenstine for joining me on this panel. it's a pleasure to work with all of you, decision makers, enablers of u.s. space commercial and defense policy. your work is imperative to the future achievements and well- being of the united states. the trump adminstration and the department of commerce are creating more opportunities for the space community to develop and thrive. in just six months, president trump has signed three presidential space directives. the first calls for human expansion across the solar system. it's about time.
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the second sets a schedule for streamlining regulations to unshackle commercial activity in space. commerce is already advancing ambitious regulatory reform. over the last year, we have worked with the department of defense, state, department of the interior, and the director of national intelligence to reduce commercial remote sensing application timelines by about 50% from where they were before. we have cut what was 210 days down to an average of 91 days. the president's third space policy directive, signed at this week's space council meeting, establishes the country's first comprehensive national space traffic management policy. the directive emphasizes safety,
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stability, and sustainability, foundational elements to successful space activities. it names commerce as the new u.s. government interface for space traffic coordination. this new policy directs the departments to provide a basic level of space situational awareness data for public and nonpublic use based on the space catalog compiled by the department of defense. this change will better enable dod to focus on its national security mission. carmer's is eager to provide that service to industry, to facilitate continued commercial development in outerspace, as a friend of
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business agencies and not a typical old-fashioned regulator. we are the perfect agency for the job. unlike in past generations, activity in space is becoming largely commercial. commerce already engages with private space companies on export control, spectrum issues, remote sensing licensing, and trade promotion. we already manage with nasa's great support, the government's largest operational civil satellite group, 14 noaa satellites and four for the air force. we also have the national institute of standards and technology which has a proven track record of working with industry to conduct research and to define scientific standards for business needs. we are looking forward to taking on this new role of
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space traffic coordination. the need for timely and accurate and actionable ssa data and scm services has never been greater . dod currently observes well over 20,000 objects circling the earth. many of them are softball sized or larger pieces of man-made space debris. these objects fly around earth at dangerous speeds of up to 17,500 miles per hour, about 10 times of a small bullet. even more concerning rdx to mated 600,000 -- are the estimated 600,000 smaller objects that could still cause significant harm if a collision occurs. can just in in space will only increase. in the next few
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years, the number of americans satellite in space will likely grow from 800 to over 15,000, as more and more objects get launched. the respective -- the effective space traffic regulation will help promote further earth orbits without congestion. president trump and the national space council have determined that commerce should become the new civil agency interface. with this role, commerce can incentivize integrative space service with a data repository. this repository will establish a mechanism for ssa data sharing
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that will enable enhanced stm services, that will empower greater industry provided data and services. involvement by industry, academia, and other stakeholders is paramount to the success of this endeavor, and it will take a whole of government approach to face this challenge. working with nasa and dod, commerce is committed to facilitating these discussions and implementing the results so that the united states can provide global youth leadership for space traffic standards. america must continue to be the leader in space. space traffic coordination is an important task and commerce has dedicated serious deliberation and
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planning in its execution. we have an excellent relationship with our partners, and we will continue working with them to carry out the implementation plan approved by the national space council. the administration is setting clear milestones and will be transparent about achieving them. commerce takes on this new responsibility with several goals in mind. we will be dedicated to creating economic growth and sustainable development in all industry sectors, facilitating space traffic coordination, providing the space industry with more tools to be successful. commerce will also work with industry to find ways to enhance space traffic coordination data and to be more adapt give to
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industry concerns. working with dod, we will achieve the architecture that currently supports u.s. strategic command to be even more responsive to the space industry's needs. we look forward to working with congress to protect a safe space environment for future commercial growth. with commerce at the helm of commercial space traffic coordination, we will ensure that the growing space industry remains open for business, and america will continue to be the flag of choice for space commerce. i will be happy to respond to any questions you may have. thank you. >> thank you mr. secretary and thank you to all of the witnesses for being here. thank you for what you do for our country. i have my first set of questions.
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general john hyten, i recognize policy by want to make sure i am clear on this. i think you said in your opening statement, given that space is clearly recognized as a war fighting domain, are you saying that you don't believe these unique dod ssa requirements can only be met by the military. you believe they can be met effectively by nonmilitary efforts. >> i really need to be specific on that because we have to do the space situational awareness mission inside the department of defense for what we have to do with national security space. that will continue. >> that will not change for as far as i can see in the future. we have to know that information in order to defend ourselves against potential that's. that's why we started doing this in the cold war days to begin with. we are going to continue that. we don't have to be the public face to the world.
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that is what the new decision is , to have the department of congress be the public face to the world. >> i appreciate that. mr. secretary. --, you are right about the act devotee there. in addition to the roughly 620,000 pieces of debris that you have talked about, we have a lot of back to be going up and it's going to continue to be that way. you talked about 600 to 800 satellites now going up to 15,000. i know of boeing and spacex in this country that are each talking about putting constellations up for broadband capability, 2000 nor 3000 satellites. i know there's at least one indian company that's doing about the same thing. that's going to proliferate. i've been very concerned about how we are going to manage that. tell me if ackley how use working as far as that traffic management, and more
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importantly, the debris mitigation that you made reference to. i would open that up one of the two of you. >> we already are dealing a lot some of these issues through noaa because of its allies. we have people already somewhat familiar with this sector. we have planned to send an initial delegation out to vandenberg, out to omaha, to start learning more about the specifics that would be involved. we are prepared to dedicate people to that and have people from both entities also working at commerce so that we make a is integration. it's hard to predict exactly what the timeline would be, but it's probably something more or less on the order of one year, to
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make a seamless transition between the two. >> do you anticipate cooperation with countries like china and the companies therein , and the companies in india that also will be concerned with this activity? >> yes, we, as you know have a very international map to both our activities, and our physical presence. parts of that activity, such as the ita promotion entity that has created some $3 billion of space business already, nist working with just about every country in the world in evolving standards, and getting them to agree with other countries is clearly an important part of this activity. >> how does debris mitigation work? i don't have a clue.
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>> a couple of things, you mentioned earlier, chairman rogers, that there were going to be these consolations of potentially thousands of satellites for the purpose of communication. that's absolutely true. where nasa is right now, we participate in the interagency space debris committee. we think about u.s. government when we talk about interagency. we are talking about base agencies from around the world. this interagency committee includes 13 different space agencies across the world. what this organization has determined is that every 5 to 9 years, if launch cadences stay the same and the orbital debris field stay the same, every 5 to 9 years, we are going to have a collision and lower orbit similar to the collision we saw back in 2009 that created thousands of pieces of orbital debris. that's if launch cadences stay
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the same and constellations don't grow. in fact, we are's being just the opposite. launch is going to be happening a whole lot more frequently, especially if i am successful doing my job as a nasa administrator. we are going to see a lot more. these kind of collisions beget even more collisions. we have to be very careful that we don't let this eventually runaway. i'm not saying that we are remain close to that right now but we need to be thinking the next 50 years or 100 years down the road, especially as we take more advantage of space. as far as how nasa deals with what you mentioned as mitigation challenges, nasa sets standards to prevent new orbital debris from occurring. when a space craft gets launched and then separates from its upper stage, sometimes that can result in debris. we set standards for ourselves as an agent the to limit that kind of activity so that we prevent or limit as much as
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possible, the danger from space debris. those standards then ultimately get promulgated throughout the rest of the interagency with in the u.s. government so the department of defense follows those standards. noah follows those standards -- noaa follows those standards. and eventually got to the point where they are required for commercial operations as well and promulgated throughout the community. nasa has promulgated this. i will be clear that not all of the countries follow the same standards which is often a challenge. i do believe it's important for us to lead and those hundreds could eventually get to the point where there is enough international pressure around the world and countries will follow the standards. >> thank you very much. i now recognize ranking member mr. cooper. to i too would like to thank the witnesses and welcome them. i think this is very helpful in helping us understand the
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debris problem. i am worried that the chart underestimates the difficulty. as you point out in your testimony, and secretary ross does as well, we have 600,000 pieces of tiny debris to monitor because each one of those pieces could be deadly. as all the witnesses said, this problem is only increasing and it's probably increasing exponentially. right now as we are all floating the priceless work the air force has been doing for space traffic management, right now we are reaching the acute phase, the urgent phase, for the entire planet, when as secretary ross pointed out, a large percentage of today's space debris is the result of just two collisions, just two. howell are we get to do this with tens of thousands of collision possibilities? as the secretary also pointed out, each one of these could lead to a devastating chain reaction of creating further debris which could tax the
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power of even the fast super commuter to monitor all of these trajectories and orbits and speeds and things like that. a simple question; should we punish nations or companies that cause satellite debris. it's one thing to use carrot. are we also going to consider sticks? that's to each of the witnesses. >> ranking member cooper, within the outerspace treaty, nations are responsible for what they do in space. there was a liability that nations have for these kinds of activities. unfortunately, if you look throughout history, some very nefarious activities have happened in space. we talked about, i your subcommittee, we talked about the 2007 direct defense anti- satellite missile launched by china that hit one of their own weather satellites and created
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an orbital debris field of thousands of pieces that we are still dealing with today in low earth orbit. the challenge that we have is enforcement at the international level. it's a big challenge. certainly, we have seen activities change based on international pressure but we haven't seen any enforcement as far as liability, anybody paying the price for the damage that they have caused in the lower earth orbit. to should we charge a u.s. company that causes needless debris? >> that is a good question. i would like to take that for the record and maybe get back to you on what a good approach might be. i think you are aware of this keenly. we want to maximize the utility of space. we want commercial companies to had access and availability.
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if they aren't following the rules, we can deny access to space for everybody together which would undermine our ability to maximize the utility of space. >> my time is limited with all of the other members, but is the attribution problem, nasa has a statistical model to track 600,000 pieces. how do you tell a satellite company or worse an astronaut, that they were killed because of a statistic? people will want attribution. if you have enough data to form a model, there may be -- there must be some reasonable source for that data. we have to figure this out. the 600,000 pieces you are tracking today could be tens of millions or billions shortly. >> attribution is critical and some of the new technologies that are being developed right now could help us to attribute a piece of orbital debris that caused a loss of life to a specific nation or company. that is a challenge going
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forward for sure. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> i will now ask if you have any questions. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you witnesses for being here. secretary ross, i would like to start with you, if you don't mind. i would like to start i stating my support for the president's space policy directive 3. and while i'm at it, i support directive 1 and directive 2 as well. we have a responsibility to protect the taxpayer. government spending and bureaucracy is a consider -- serious concern. however, not improving the space traffic management framework is on except double. what steps will be taken to protect against unnecessary spending and how much funding will be needed to carry this policy the out? >> thank you for that question. this activity will report to the regulatory reform officer
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at commerce. as you may be aware, we have already dismantled 65 regulations which is more than any other cabinet department. we are keenly aware of the importance of reducing the bureaucratic burden, both in terms of direct taxpayer expense, and in terms of the burden unnecessarily placed on industry. that will be one of the activities we have very much in mind. >> okay, thank you. the next question for administrator brighten, nasa has -- bridenstine, nasa has [ inaudible ] johnson space center is home to the renowned orbital debris scientist. how well nasa leverage its
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expertise to further our national ssa and stm? >> is a wonderful question chairman. under space policy directive 3 any guidance, nasa is directed to lead a research and technology effort that takes advantage of the capabilities that we already have, but also make investments to improve on those capabilities and technologies. our biggest area of focus historically has been investing in characterizing the orbital debris population that cannot be tracked because it is too small. and assessing risk based on the orbital debris population. and of course, directive 3 will take us one step further and give us the authority to ultimately make investments for space situational awareness and creating an environment, the way i see nasa being involved. i will start over here a little
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bit. kind of like the way nasa does unmanned aerosystems and traffic management. we don't want to be involved in doing unmanned traffic management for the united states of america and integrating uad's. what we can do is do the technology demonstrations and pilot programs two we can do the research and ultimately take all of what we learned and handed over to the faa which is a way nasa is dealing with you tm, unmanned aerosystems traffic management right now. i think going forward, under space policy directive three, we are going to be charge with the same thing, maybe the misreading technology and doing pilot programs and ultimately handing it over to congress which will -- commerce which will have the lead for space traffic management in the future. it's also true that nasa will not be creating data. that's ultimately not what we do.
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of course, the air force or i should say strategic command creates data and then that data can be provided to congress and to commercial partners. the data that commerce has would be augmented, probably also with commercial partners. what nasa can do is ultimately test a lot of the technology and ultimately implement the plan to help commerce lead the effort. >> okay, thank you. general hyten, the dod, and in particular the air force, has proposed a significant increase in there's a's capabilities with the fy 19 budget. would you talk a little bit about these capabilities that this increased investment will provide and how they will enable or enhance your mission? >> mr. chairman, i am a combatant commander. the question does the specific
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answer can come from the air force. is a combatant commander, i am very aware of what the air force has put in the budget and i'm pleased with what the air force has put in the budget for those improvements come in a number of different ways. for the purpose of this hearing, a lot of these and insulin space situational awareness. there is a joint program called simon parker where instead of having two programs in two different sides of the business, there will be one and there will be a synchronous orbit in a significant way. the space fence will come online in 2019. that capability will allow us to see hundreds of thousands of objects we don't see today. the data will be critical to our mission at the department of defense but we can also provide that to nasa and the department of commerce to allow this broader piece to happen. broadly speaking, what you see in the budget is in improvement in our ability to defend
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ourselves against threats in space. you see a change of architecture from a large status quo structured approach to a more resilient survivable capability that can defend ourselves in the future. then you see, in the classified world, a lot of work being put forward to make sure we have the ability to defend ourselves if we are attacked. to along the same lines, how would the establishment of a double ssa program at that apartment of congress -- commerce benefit dod and protect national interests? >> we talked about the radium cosmos collision in 2009. i was investigation officer of the collision. one of the things we realized -- we came to the realization that we are going to have to do this flightsafety mission ourselves. . we knew we were going to have to take 100 people off that
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mission does offer other missions and put them onto this mission. we still have dozens and dozens of airmen that do this all the time. when we move that into the department of congress -- department of commerce, we still have two focus on the war fighting missions. >> finally, space directive number 3, secretary ross, basic space awareness and traffic management should be implemented with zero direct user fees. just to clear up some concerns and questions. what services are considered basic and what are some exerted -- examples of services that go beyond basic? >> thank you. we can use the same definition of basic services as has been used historically.
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we don't see any reason to change that. a major function will be in open architecture -- an open architecture approach to that. we will incorporate dod, nasa information, with information from international partners and commercial operated data. it will be a two directional set of asian. that will create an enhanced space situational in -- situational awareness situation. >> what would not basic? to is a one-way communication channel. we think there is merit to
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having impacts with basic information with international partners, as we do right now with the national weather service. we coordinate with lots of other entities in other parts of the world. that's a very important part of our activity. >> thank you. i yield back mr. chairman. >> now i turn it to ranking member mr. barra -- bera. >> obviously, this is a very important meeting. i want to make it clear, congress has not made a decision as to where space situational national -- space situational awareness should be. i don't want the department of commerce to start making those plans because as already been
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raised in the testimony, this is incredibly important as we move forward. i think it's important under the leadership of both chairmen haskett and smith and chairman gavin, and ranking member johnson. we have to get this right. we have talked about this a bit. this is the 21st century. we have to make sure dod have everything it needs to continue to do the important work of protecting our vital last backs those assets in space. administrator bridenstine has already pointed out , we don't want to stifle the commercial sector. we don't want to stifle the interest of the international community. we want to do this right. for lack of a better way of describing it, we need a air traffic control cop that's
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going to put everyone in the right lane, to the best of our abilities, and prevent accidents from happening in space. it really does have the possibility of transforming what the 21st century looks like. again, this congress is a deliberative body that has oversight over what situational awareness looks like in the 21st century. i appreciate the interest of the president and vice president and space counsel, and your interest. we are not abdicating that responsibility. we have to do the work. secretary ross, if we are looking at housing situational awareness within the department of commerce, there is a lot that has to go into this transition. what kind of
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oversight? how do you share information that only department of defense is probably going to be able to see? how do you make that publicly available and internationally available? i would ask you to prepare through your department, to present an implementation and transition plan to congress and to this body. to we certainly would, if and when we are authorized to undertake the function. we already, as i mentioned, we disseminate, to the public, about 40% of all of the factual information submitted by the administration. we are very used to packaging information and getting it to the right place and getting it in the right format for is. one example is space weather. as you know, it's a very major factor in this whole situation
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because of the impact it has on things that are orbiting around . we are already keenly involved with space weather our space satellites that are part of a national weather service. we are already into that aspect of it and did a very good position, for example, to integrate that these other activities. >> great! as my colleague from colorado, who is helping us with the space weather bill going through congress, it may seem wonky but it's incredibly important because all of the technology we rely on, gps technology, etc., not just our military that everyday consumers and individuals -- general hyten, you put a lot of responsibility on the dod and air force. you have done a wonderful job monitoring. it is time that we
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relieve you of some of that burden live, as we go through this transition, there still are going to be unique capabilities that only the dod has and only the dod should have . we will have to think through how that information gets passed on to nasa or congress or the department of transportation. do you have any thoughts of what we should be thinking about as a deliberative body? >> a couple of thoughts, from the largest , we have to make sure that as we go forward in the future, we always have the ability to make sure we understand what our adversaries are doing. that means we have to have exquisite situational awareness
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, which is exactly what is happening come on and -- on an everyday basis. a significant amount of taxpayer money has gone in to solving this rubble. i think we need -- think about the first rule of wing walking. you can't let go of the strut until we have a good hold on the next strut two for the future of the department of defense, for the authority of the cabinet -- catalog for our country, that will come out of the department of defense. now we have to push that into other places. we are going to look, with open eyes, how we do that in the way we do that. are there better ways to do that. i think you will see as we go through the coming year, different ways to do it. don't let go of the one strut
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until you have hold of the next one. >> i share that sentiment. let's hold onto that strut and take this in a deliberative fashion, what this looks like, looking at all of the different scenarios, and coming up the right decision. better to be deliberative about this and get it right rather than the hasty. administrator bridenstine, it's good to see you. i know we share a mutual interest in allowing the commercial sector and recognizing the importance of space go i think we also share a value, and i believe all of us in this room have the same value, that the world is best served by american leadership. i do think that how we look at the world is going to be critically important as we
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address this framework. this is not just a domestic issue. this is an international issue. let's take this to the international community. do you have any thoughts on what we should be thinking about? >> it's good to be here. thank you for that. this goes to the heart of what we were talking about, situational awareness data. this needs to be a answer question. american leadership is important. and people around the world are making determinations of where they are going to spend their money to do space activities, they are going to make that determination in the united states of america because we will have a resume that will provide safety and security.
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that attracts capital to the united states and keeps us in a preeminent position. there will be debates about the fact that some people would like to see commercial companies -- this would be a good thing and i supported those some people would like to see commercial companies providing the space traffic management. we can have a regime or maybe commerce were to license commercial companies to do that activity. before you launch, you have to prove to commerce that you have bought a subscription to one of those commercial companies providing ssa and stm. that's a model where you would have a competitive market to provide more data and better data with multiple providers, all licensed by commerce. at the same time, we get back to what the basic st astm would be provided without a fee. this is going to be a balance.
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ultimately, we want people to make investments in the united states of america. at the same time, we want a commercial competitive marketplace where these providers of sda and -- stm are lowering insurance rates. this is not going to be an easy thing, as you identify. all of us have agreed that has to be done. what is at stake is so important right now. >> the chair recognizes [ inaudible ] >> thank you mr. chairman. first of all, let me say it's grad of buying the the cooperation and collaboration between the two committees that has resulted in his hearing today. this may be a first. it is certainly the first in many years. i hope there will be an example of further cooperation between our committees. second of all, it's nice to see a former member of the science,
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space and technology committee as a new administrator of nasa and jim bridenstine is the right person at the right time at the right place. that doesn't happen often but that's good to see. thank you jim. secretary ross, let me direct my first question to you. i think this will help most of the members here. would you go into some detail as to why you think the department of commerce is the best agency to oversee the space traffic management? >> yes, first of all, as you know, we have elevated space activities into the office of space commerce which reports directly to me. rather than being fragmented, rather than being buried in different parts of the department, we are putting it all together. that, in and of itself, will make it more functional, less
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bureaucratic, then it had been. in terms of specific things that we can do, the ita has the statutory duty as does the office of space commerce, to promote and assist this burgeoning space industry. the national institute for standards and technology which has a very proven record in developing standards and having them adopted throughout global economies will be very involved. and tia, which manages -- ntia, which also manages space operations will have an important role. noaa already oversees the largest operational space force in the private civil sector.
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those are some of the experiences that we already have. we continue to engage with our department at the department of transportation on a variety of issues and we will be working quite intensely with nasa, on the one hand, and with dod, on the other hand. we are already planning, within the next couple of weeks, to send, as i mentioned, a delegation to omaha and vandenberg. we are trying very hard to figure out the proper way to integrate ourselves. >> okay. >> the other thing you should be aware of, many companies that don't need a license, actually put a camera on their payload anyway to get the license for remote sensing from commerce. the reason they do
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that is it deals with their compliance with the outerspace treaty. here you have companies volunteering to come under the regulatory regime of the department of commerce. i think that speaks volumes about the degree to which we work together. >> thank you secretary. adminstrator bridenstine, nasa has had a very strong relationship with the department of defense as you mentioned. should the department of commerce take over the space traffic management, is your relationship with the od -- with dod going to change and what would be nasa's role in dealing with the department of commerce on some of the issues you have been dealing with, with the department of defense. to that's a wonderful question. even right now, nasa has folks
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with all the great data and tools that are available inside the jake fox. if there's an asset asset that could be at risk because of an object that's being tracked, the orbital space analyst take this straight to johnson where they reported to the trajectory operations officer. we call that the topo, at johnson space center. then they do further analysis to determine if the object could put the internationals they station at risk. and if it does, what do we do about it. that's on the one hand. on the other hand, some of the data goes to cara which is over
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at goddard for the robotics capabilities. my point is, yes, we have a great working relationship with the department of defense. we have our nasa died feeding data to our centers making sure that our assets are protected. i anticipate that will continue . if we moved to a day where commerce is at the helm of traffic management and space situational awareness, the department of defense will continue to keep the catalog because they need to. it's possible nasa would continue to have this possibly up the day -- at [ inaudible ] if this did happen, we would want folks
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at commerce as well as dod. this is early and undetermined at this point two >> thank you adminstrator bridenstine. i want to ask my last question to you. this is already been spoken about in regard to the catalog of space objects to take advantage of to avoid collisions in space. if the department of commerce takes over that possibility and others that are now assumed by the department of defense, do you see any diminution in the quality of product, any diminution in the quality of service, if the department of commerce takes over some of those responsibilities? >> mr. chairman, i think the line in the space policy directive 3 says the department catalog. the reason it's there is you can't have arguing departments.
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you can't have one at the department of commerce and one of the department of defense and may are arguing. used to have that because we had one done by the navy in one by the of is. it's not healthy to be arguing over which one is better. you have to take the best data and build that talent. that's why the authoritative catalog will always be at the department of defense and they will fee that data to the department of commerce. they can take other pieces to do the interface with other nations, with the commercial sector, possibly with nasa. i would envision what congressman -- adminstrator bridenstine spoke about. i would see brandenburg being the coalition. we will feed information into commerce and into nasa. i that's the healthy way. like secretary ross said, we are still in the early stages.
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>> i think this is very important. it speaks to the relationship between dod and the department of congress. >> i now -- department of commerce. to now recognizing ranking member [ inaudible ] >> thank you and welcome. general, the obama administration had can tittered agency roles and responsibilities for the civil ssa data and information service is and the agreement was that faa assumed the role. i understand faa in coordination with dod was planning to do a pilot program after faa on civil ssa data and information. what would that
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pilot program have entailed and what are your thoughts as far as the pilot program as part of the transition of the ssa data sharing, to civil agency? >> thank you for the question because it's important that we go back in history to look at that. i have been working in this world for over two decades, 1998 , i transitioned a weather mission out of the air force into the department mongers commerce. i have been working very hard in the interagency to try to figure out where to put that mission. it's not inherently a duty mission. in the last administration we were working with commerce entrance rotation. the faa was going to do a pilot program. that was going to basically look at what it would take for us to ship the catalog into
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that organization want for them , what kind of analysis tools and pieces they would have in order to do that information. as we trends mission -- transition in this administration, congress is going to take -- commerce is going to take the lead on that. from the strap, perspective and dod -- stratcom perspective and dod perspective, it doesn't matter. this is a political decision. i think secretary ross has made a good argument today of why commerce is properly situated to do that. i will work with whatever element our nation decides is the right place to do it and std three -- 3 makes it clear that commerce is the lead. we will work closely with commerce and if it changes, i will work with whoever it takes
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. >> other any comments from the panel? >> can you repeat the question one more time? >> the question i posed was about the program, pilot program, that had started with the faa being the lead and i asked if any information was transferable. >> i think some of the arguments are that, especially commercial industry, would like a one-stop shop. one of the challenges we have right now is that from my perspective, it looks difficult to find a one-stop shop. you have the fcc which is civil war spectrum. you have noaa which is responsible for remote sensing and imaging. the faa is responsible for launch and reentry. of course, nasa is responsible for giving advice on protecting the space environment when it comes to orbital debris, and even
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preventing harmful contamination of planets and things like that. there are a whole host of different agencies involved in space at different levels. the question then becomes, how do you create a one-stop shop. it looks increasingly difficult , all the time. how do we minimize? i think this is the key, ranking member johnson, that we all have to recognize. how do we create the maximum regulatory certainty with the minimal regulatory burden? if we can consolidate these activities in one federal agency or another, that minimizes the regulatory burden for the commercial operators, especially. secretary of commerce, i think he clearly are regulated, they believe they have the ability to read that activity as directed 3 speaks to. i supported this
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in the subcommittee when i was on the other side of the aisle here. i think the key is it needs to be done. i think commerce is a good place to do it. >> thank you. did you have any comment? >> yes, a couple of things. commerce already has many space industries facing resources. by statute, we are obliged to foster growth in the space commerce industry through the office of space commerce. second, we license satellite remote-sensing activities through the commercial remote sensing regulatory affairs office. third, we manage federal spectrum through the national telecommunications and, medication administration.
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fourth, we manage states with -- space weather communications through noaa. fifth, we export regulations as they apply to space objects the bureau of industry and security. sixth, we promote u.s. space industry abroad through the international trade administration. finally, once a payload is separated from the rocket, it's usually a different owner. the launch system is very different and it's usually a different entity from the one who has the payload. there's no continuity between launch and what goes on once the payload is in outer space. that payload often comes under our orbit in any event. i hope that explains why we think.
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>> to what extent are these coordinated? >> ranking member johnson, nasa does most of the research and technology. we partner with commercial industry to come up with the best practices in technology and research when it comes to the asante piece of it nasa takes the lead. -- smtp civet, nasa takes the lead. >> i would agree with adminstrator bridenstine. nasa is the lead when it comes
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to the s and t. we incorporate this into what we do. we have to be able to characterize this which is why we still do research in that area. >> thank you very much. one final question, how could this work be leveraged in a civil operational system? >> ultimately, the idea behind ssa and stm if we want to be as safe as possible we need to have more data and we need better data, more accurate data. we need the ability to profit -- process that data. when it comes to this, those are the investments we need to make. we need to have more data and better data and process it in a way that ultimately gives us a much more safe environment and take that and hand it to the agency that actually does ssa
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and stm. to thank you very much. >> we will now recognize the gentleman from colorado. >> reporter: thank you mr. chairman and all the chairmen for putting together this great hearing. thank you for what you are doing for our country. i have one question for each one of you. general hyten, all of the data does a lot of the data standards are done in colorado springs at space command. how would this policy affect that tremendously important work? >> the work we need in order to characterize threats will continue through stratcom and through the ace force base command in colorado. he has people that do that work and it will continue. it has to continue. what will changes we look into the future and this is just a natural progression. we will have to work closer with nasa and department of
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congress and -- department of commerce and the commercial sector as well. there are many that do this mission and they have capabilities that we need to work with as well. it can't be a one-size-fits- all. we have to take the best data from wherever we can get it. following up on what adminstrator bridenstine said of the data, most of the data comes from the air force, the department of defense. we will shift that to multiple places so people can use that data to produce multiple products. if we do it right, we will get benefit out of that at the department of defense. folks head to that business will learn from others, doing it as well and we will apply best practices in the businesses. >> thank you. i see that the clock is working out. >> [ laughter ] i guess i had better hurry.
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adminstrator bridenstine, we touch on this already, do you believe it does utilization of best-of-breed processing software for enhanced ssa for nasa to avoid a potential catastrophic debris situation with the international space station is the best way to go? where should that software come from.
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this is a balancing act. we want the united states to be proactive. at the same time we want to have commercial capabilities that give us better data in in -- a competitive environment. so, it is very early in the process. it is something we need to think through. i am happy to be a part of it. >> okay thank you. i was going to ask you the same question. the want to address that. >> i agree very much with what the administrator as just said. there are ultimate models that could be used. at the end of the day somebody
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in the government needs to do it or licensed the private sector to do it. this could work but you still need a government interface. i don't think it is an activity that should be left unbridled to the private sector. i think everyone up here will agree with that. >> i agree with that. >> think you. >> thank you gentlemen. >> thank you for coming together to have this discussion. it is good to see you as the administrator. the questions that i want to follow-up our on ones that we have been walking around. when you talk about the assets, the assets of collection or the space-based. who ultimately will be the decider of those assets. who will purchase them, who will look into them.
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and when that decision is made, i would assume most of these things will go through the department of defense first to say what is sensitive nature, and who decides who makes that decision. who decides whether this will be released. so who is going to make the ultimate investments. i heard you talk about the a commercial site -- site. but it all goes to the department of defense. who makes that decision and what information goes out and who pays for the assets. >> i will start. i believe if you look at it as a building block of capabilities. the baseline is on the department of defense and they will pay for it. that baseline is what we need
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in order to understand what our adversaries are due to space. >> that is the number one priority. >> we got the bill comes from the department of defense. we have to pay for the ground centers in the space centers and the processing that allows us to do that. that is the baseline. it doesn't talk about the interface with the commercial sector. it doesn't talk about the interface with others. we have been making that up for 9 years now. we need to have a structured process and that is where the commercial sectors can come in and they can look at a different way of doing business. they can bring in other capabilities that can do that. they made the fact that there are other sources that they can bring in. i would hope that we have a partnership where if they bring other sources they will be back in so we can take advantage of that to go -- too. there is a baseline building block that the department of defense is responsible for. they can build on top of that.
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they can do that for other applications and needs. >> which will ultimately have the power if there is a piece of information that is coming from the commerce site over to you. >> is your microphone on? >> yes. >> hello? >> there we go. >> you will ultimately have veto power in what gets released. >> i think veto power is too strong of a statement. we won't have veto power. this is the way it would work. the allegretto -- algorithm that we process is exquisite information. we will take all of the information that we get. believe it or not, some of it is better than others. some data is better than other data. they will be able to tell. if the data that we get from whatever source is deemed not as good and not providing the
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most accurate answer, we will not use it in our solution. that is why it comes back to this catalog. this will take all of the best data information. at this point in time from my perspective, all the is good. then we will mathematically decide what is the best data. >> on the commercial site is where you will make the decision. >> there could be capabilities where somebody who has a commercial radar or a commercial telescope that is creating their own data. they could actually get data that the commerce department may not have. they could get data that even the guilty may not have. then they could share that data with either or both. we don't want to limit the idea that only the government can do it. we need to have partners that can share. one of the challenges is that when you think about
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international dealer -- data they may not want to give it. they may not be willing to share it with commerce. that is a reason we need a simple authority doing this simply because of that reason. a lot of countries don't want to partner with the united states air force but they like to partner with nasa because we are a separate space agency capable of doing science and technology apart from any kind of literary capabilities. >> this is where you would allow the private sector to do that for the stores. >> absolutely. did a lot of that may be more than happy to share the data with the department of defense. in fact they already do in many cases. >> i hope they would share. i can't guarantee that. >> thank you. >> i will hear from you for five minutes. >> thank you. this is very gratifying that we have an administration that is clearly committed to focus on
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space and what we can utilize phase for and the dangers and the potential profit and benefit. especially when we have a secretary of commerce personally engaged. this has got to give a whole new energy to america's space efforts. i am very proud of each and every one of you. i am proud of our president for also stepping forward in this way. i believe that we have reached a tipping point in space beside what i just described. we have now reached a time in space where we have capabilities of doing so much more than what we are doing today and the private sector has the possibility of doing so much more because we are technologically capable. at the same time we appreciate tipping point with space
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debris. it may get in the way of us achieving that goal. that is both first -- the first step where we are taking this seriously. this will open the door for more potential. we have confirmations that is being proposed for observation. that can be very profitable. we know that unless we come to grips with this space debris, they will not be going up. let me ask you this, and i appreciate the fact that we are now talking mainly about cataloging and bringing in the private sector for helping this catalog the problem. have we given any thought to actually having the private sector once it is catalogued, doing something about it.
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meaning actually affect the private sector help us in extracting and taking some of the space debris and bringing it down. >> congressman, the answer is yes. of course nasa is very involved and making investments to do robotic services. that will be a game changer. when you think about the constellations that are going into orbit for communications, we are talking about many satellites, what we don't want is each one of them when they become defunct, we don't want them becoming a piece of space junk. we need to service them or deorbit them. i think there are good plans underway for that. to the extent that nasa is making these investments in robotics, it is not just for servicing, it could be for the kind of activity you are talking about which is remediation.
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getting objects out of space. that has to become as you mentioned, you want it done commercially. that would be beneficial to everyone. the way it becomes available commercially is to do robotics for servicing satellites. we may do -- use a dozen different companies with their own constellation, doing servicing. once they are in orbit doing this activity commercially, because again they are doing it to serve customers that are providing directv, dish network and internet broadband from space, they're doing it for those purposes, they can also do some remediation in the united states government could pay for that service. this is an architecture that needs to be developed. nasa is making investments in this. we are doing a lot so we can have a specific impulse that can keep our satellite active for a long time.
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navigation and the sentencing that is needed. we are absolutely right now making investments in that activity. when it will be matured to move out on what you are hoping we can do, i don't have an answer at the cyber >> all of you are laying the foundation towards the next step. without taking care of this challenge, we will impede all of the other great things that humankind is capable of. thank you all and secretary ross. they are out protecting our company country so many ways, secretary ross you are the guy who will oversee commerce in the united states, you know this industry, the aerospace industry is a tremendous asset to our country. we are relying on you, as you
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are showing today, to take leadership and keep that a major part of our economy. >> thank you. >> my time was up anyway. >> you have five minutes. >> okay mr. chairman and gentlemen, thank you for your testimony today. i just want to get back to some basics so i understand the terminology here because we are talking about space situational awareness which seems kind of wonky. we are also talking about traffic management. so general, from your testimony i understand, you can't be here for scott the department of defense would be in charge of the space situational awareness where you are monitoring capacity is that right? >> space awareness is
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important. we will continue to do that. it's interesting when you related to space management. the reason we started the mission is it was the foundation of the space control mission when i started this business 30 years ago. we did it for space control. when we started attaching space management to it we thought the cadillac -- catalog with attachment we do it to help defend ourselves against threats. by having someone else responsible for space management, the department of congress will allow us to get back to using our mission to focus on our space control mission which is the essential piece and somebody else will dotraffic management. we have a role to play but that is our focus for >> her main role is to catalog and gather this information which you will share with nasa
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and with the department of congress and other important agencies. intelligence agencies. >> exactly. and so mr. secretary, let me turn my question to you, so under this approach, that has come out of the space counsel in from the administration, commerce is in charge of traffic management. so that is a concept that is not hard for me to understand. i just think about, will is the law enforcement. who gets the tickets. who told the abandoned vehicles, coupons the road, how do these kinds of things occur. some of it will be commercial and some of it will be regulatory. is that how you look at this? >> yes i do. as you are probably aware, we have expensive collaborations in cooperation with the department of defense in our control activities. because both interface both with national defense and with our
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job as being the ones to find people who are violating sanctions on countries or who are planning to export military sensitive materials. we have a well-established vocabulary of how to deal with the department of defense and ourselves. this would just be another addition to that. i agree with what the general said, one size does not fit all. they will have to do adjustments. the technologies will evolve and space ventures will evolve, you will get into lunar habitation, you may get into astroid training in all kinds of activities. >> i am comfortable, i mean somebody in this hierarchy has to take the lead on if there is a collision.
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whose insurance pays for it. that kind of thing. mr. administrator, you and i have had this conversation, what are your thoughts, what is the basics of this. >> a few things. as a pilot, if somebody says you on the radio, call sign, turn right, the center thousand feet, you do it. if you don't you could possibly die. that is what you do it. right now in space, nobody has authority to compel you to maneuver. they can tell you that the department of defense if a it is a good idea, but they can't tell you to do it. that is the difference between space situational awareness and space traffic management. one of the challenges with management is if you compel someone to maneuver, you could be burning four months of their station fuel and prevent them from having a collision. the best we can do these days,
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is there is one in 10,000 chances your satellites will collide. are you going to burn four months of fuel and give up four months of revenue of the company, in order to avoid a one in 10,000 chance. you're probably not. but when you think about the catastrophic consequences of not maneuvering, should that chance occur, you can deny access to space or make it more problematic for generations to come. this is a big deal. there has to be some agency that is capable of doing that. i want to be clear, because this makes space offering the service. we want and absolute minimum burden with maximum certainty and safety. >> there has to be some kind of management. >> thank you gentlemen. mr. brooks for five minutes.
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>> thank you mr. chairman. forgive me for diverging from the primary focus. it appears to me that each of you have significant persuasive influence on where it will be headquartered. and that vein i hope he will be a finalist in the debate. they have a lot to offer. we have related to space command , or related a little or a lot, the following space command activities. united states army efficient missile command, aviation missile center, missiles and space, united states ours army in his command. united states missile defense agency, defense intelligence agency missile and space intelligence center, nasa's marshall space flight center which is the home in birthplace of america space program.
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a wealth of intellectual talent, engineers, we have the highest concentration of engineers in the united states of america, businesses, mathematicians, scientists, in conclusion i hope you will concur that we seem like an excellent fit. with that sales pitch behind me, let's go more to the substance of this hearing. i do appreciate your indulgence and i know you all have influence. i know you have outcome decision on the debate. i know the department of defense has done some work on ssa. with respect to jim from last congress, this is a one-stop shop at the department of transportation what what would be your insight on where we are
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looking at now. >> that is a great question, i have in the past, sponsored legislation to the one-stop shop here in moving it out and making it a direct report to the department of transportation specifically to the secretary. that is legislation i ran a couple of years ago to force the conversation about this kind of activity and how important it is i will also tell you the subcommittee specifically i have voted many times on the free enterprise that which put this at congress. so my views on this have ship it but i think more importantly than anything else, it has to be done. to be it doesn't matter where just the fact that we don't
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have time to waste anymore, if we get caught in this issue we get held up for a year, we are at risk especially when you consider the large consolations that will be put into orbit. i think he has made a compelling argument i fully support that. i am ready to move out on a. the question for you. it is always good to see someone with the success that you have enjoyed. anytime you get a chance to come back we have over 100 generals who have retired their. you will be welcome. this question is for you, what is the ability to manage these authorities and do they have the proper resources and personnel needed to manage these authorities. if not, what is your opinion on
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what is needed to get there. >> i don't know if this is a yes or no russia. no they don't have all of the things they need to do. secretary ross realizes that and he has committed inside of the space council. he has committed to me at breakfast this morning that he will identify the right people even if you have to go down the path and put these weapons are. his folks have been transparent. they have been helpful. they have been straightforward. he does not have all of the issues he will need to do the job in the future. he is committed to making sure he identify everything. he will be working with you in the future. >> with respect to the secretary in the general, i happen to serve on the vice chair of the space subcommittee i am also in strategic forces.
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so if there's anything i can do to help ensure that the department of congress as the resources they need, please let me know and i will wear either had. >> mr. chairman. >> thank you gentlemen. >> thank you mr. chairman. administrator bridenstine, the first question for you, you mentioned that you thought if we took the lead on ssa in the united states and developed a better system and work with private enterprises that would give the united states a competitive advantage when it came to firms opening their businesses. would you mind elaborating on how that would work. i am picturing if what we are doing is making data available, what with that give them an incentive to relocate to the
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united states. >> that's a great question. the idea is, we have companies that are international. they are investigating billions of dollars into constellations. those companies are going to be looking for opportunities to protect their investments. i'll save of a regime will be have and certainly, they will want access to what the united states has to offer. it is absolutely true that given the current regime that exists right now, the department of defense is ultimately providing situational awareness and analysis for the entire world. they do it for free. they do it for free because we have to protect the space domain. if you look historically, the department of defense got into this business to protect american national security interest. it is still that way. we need to prevent collisions and other things.
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i do believe the united states have a regime there could be commercial and could be led by a civilian agency. a lot of companies all over the world will want to establish american companies to get the absolute best data for the protection of their dollar investments. that i think is good for america. it grows the economy. it helps our balance of payment and trade deficit. i think that is a big piece of what we ought to be doing. it could also lower insurance premiums if they have access to that data. >> does that place it on us to make sure any data sharing from the civilian agency with private firms would be dependent on that private firm having an american presence? >> there's different levels. we talked about having basic data that would be necessary for safety in general. then there is data that could
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be made available from commercial operators that would provide an enhanced level of detection. so finding that right balance is important. we want to have a competitive market where we get better data. as everybody here has agreed, it is governmental because ultimately it is in everyone's interest to protect space. we have to have the agency that is responsible for it. >> thank you. >> i just want to follow-up on a point in your testimony about our adversaries, other countries and even our allies making investments in space at the same time. can you talk about any of those to the extent you are able to hear that should concern us or that makes the space more competitive than we may realize. >> so both china and russia, have invested enormous amounts of their national treasure to
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build capabilities for the sole purpose of counting. they have grown capabilities, a variety of different technologies that i can go to this hearing. they have enormous amounts of their treasure going with the sole purpose, it is not for something going on in the western pacific, it's nothing but the sole purpose to counter the united states advantages in space. as the commander responsible for defending the nation in that domain, i have to look at those as real threats. that means i have to develop counters to those threats. that is why the first thing i have to have, is exquisite awareness of what is happening in that domain so i can respond quickly. that is the same in air, land and sea. >> are they spending more than us in any of these capacities? >> i can't go into specifics but in certain areas, they are
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investing more than we are. our capabilities are so huge, enormous and powerful, that they can't impact us today. but we have to make sure is that in the future that is the same. that is the challenge for >> thank you very much for >> at this point we will pause for a minute. we appreciate the secretary ross and his participation. he has been called to the white house. so we will excuse secretary and take any further questions for him and allow him 10 days to provide a written response. with that thank you mr. ross and you are excused. thank you mr. chairman. >> the chair now recognizes mr. higgins for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman.
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thank you for your service to your country. thank you administrator bridenstine, you have a lot of common sense which makes sense why you are no longer in congress. gentlemen, you have provided excellent testimony and very fascinating venues. space has clearly become a theater of engagement militarily. while at the same time, it is a new frontier for a big expansion of commercial activity. we have models like this of course. throughout the history of man there has never been a very that did not include civilian, commercial activity via by land, sea or air. so the models of the past, as
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they help us to plan for the future, i believe we are on the right track your fear the dod, needs to handle the defense and warfare capabilities and any fear of engagement and to divest itself. it is understandable why over the last several decades, the dod has become deeply involved. it is obvious that cataloging activities in space because of the responsibility of recognizing space as a peer of engagement. it is understandable why this is happening. why it got to this point. dod is doing activity that is pulling them away from warfare activity. it makes sense that we would divest some to the appropriate agency. so with respect to everyone, i
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believe what we endeavor to determine, is which civilian agency is appropriate to relieve that burden from dod. so it has been suggested, and i'm leaning guess to concur, that the department of commerce is that agency. so general, is this a good idea? is this a win for america and for the defense of our nation? >> this is actually a great day. i probably should've said that early on. this is the date that we have been looking for, for a long time. we have an interesting dynamics . the first time you see a collision, what are you
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supposed to do. well, i remember that conversation with the commander saying tell them, we don't want a collision to happen. how is that a mission. we started a long time ago trying to figure out how do we do this differently. that should be the responsibility of the dod. we should be forcing our airmen and soldiers to make those kind of decisions. that is other elements of our government. we have gone back and forth. the administration has decided commerce is the place. secretary ross jumped in and said i am the guy to do that. i am all in with that. i think that is the right decision. we ought to go with it. administrator bridenstine said the same thing a while ago. we have to go now. it is the time. we can't waste any more time. >> i concur.
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would you comment on that question. >> here is what i would like to share. it is a philosophical debate. when you look at the expense of humanity. whether humanity is crossing the atlantic or the continent, or expanding into space, it is all driven by commerce. so philosophically if we are going to go further it will be driven by commerce. the resources that are available are limitless. so commerce, should take the helm here for that basic reason. the other thing that is important is that space is transformed. we are now dependent on space in ways a lot of americans will recognize. it is the way we navigate, the way we communicate, the way we produce food and energy, how we do disaster relief, predict weather, monitor the climate, the way we do national security and defense. it all depends on space.
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in fact the gps system is -- signal is required for banking. it could be catastrophic for our country for changes. you can't do baking and there's no milk in the grocery store. it would be civil unrest. that is a huge challenge. here is the important thing. when you think about the history of naval power. he -- alford was a great theorist, congress that's right commerce can't be threatened. that is what is happening right now. our life is dependent on space. our competitors know that and they are developing capabilities brought our way of life. if commerce is powerful, then defending that commerce is important.
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we need to protect that commerce. that is why i believe it is perfectly legitimate and that commerce take the wheel of doing this. >> gentlemen you present a compelling argument. >> thank you for >> mr. lucas you may speak for five minutes for >> thank you. in response to the invitation i have a question for secretary ross that i will submit noting my curiosity about as we transition to this new plan, since i don't see anything in the budget to help the department of commerce finest back, how will they address that. i will submit that in writing. if i can now turn to administrator bridenstine. i promise. constituents i will give the best oversight. i'm just taking care of my fellow oklahomans concerns. let's talk. since this is the summer, it is
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the 60th anniversary of the legislation that created your agency on the eisenhower administration and our predecessors determined we needed a civilian perspective on space. as we talked about today as to what commerce will do, where do you envision nasa. >> where do you see them as these issues evolve over the coming decades. >> nasa is an agency. we do discovery and expiration. we do science. of course we are not involved in national security space. we are not involved in defense. we want to make sure that our assets are secure. that is what you think of when you think of awareness and management. we have humans in orbit right now. we have to be very aware of the space environment and the risk it imposes to our astronauts.
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i like how you framed it. in 1958, eisenhower created nasa. he did and with an intent that space exploration not be part of the department of defense. he wanted it separate. he wanted a peaceful agency that could partner with the rest of the world in making civilization discoveries. there was his objective. i would say now, that we don't necessarily want space situational awareness and management to be a dod specific issue. certainly they will do that but they don't have to do it for the analysis for the world for free and not to mention all of the commercial operators. i think it is important to have a simple agency capable of doing that.just like eisenhower envision back in 1958. >> general, 30 years ago i had
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a conversation at a public event with a colonel, and as a nonpublic office i spent time asking him a variety of questions. he was one of the most cautious and thorough officers i've seen. he said absolutely nothing. i finally asked him a question and i wish you a question, the same when i asked him. how do you sleep at night, 30 years ago he said i sleep very well at night. how do you sleep at night with your responsibilities? >> i sleep very well. >> thank you for the answer i wanted. >> one comment on that. it is important. the reason i sleep well, i mentioned it in my opening statement. i have a lot of people that do a job every day. they actually do the work. i don't do any of the work. they do the work. because they are out there,
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deployed under the ground, under the sea, in the air, operating in space, that should allow you to sleep well because i sleep well. >> that is the exact point i want you to make. the general public does not have an understanding or appreciation for that. for 30 years, this role has been fulfilled. thank you. >> thank you. >> i just want to say to the administrator welcome back. we are honored that you are in the role your interior you are the right person for this position at this time. we are honored deeply that you are in that role. welcome back here today. let me begin with you general. just in light of all of the conversations, how do you prioritize the competing interests between the dod,
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commercial, ssa requirements. >> so it goes back to the discussion of the building block. the building block, the sensual building block is our national security. that is the first thing that i've to worry about. do we have enough information, enough awareness to allow me to exercise the authorities and the responsibilities that have been given to me for the mission to defend our nation in space. that is the first priority. that is what the united states and the dod has to pay for and understand, we have chosen over the last 9 years, to pay for the rest of the world both with resources and with money to provide that kind of warning and situational awareness for the world. we've realized after the
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collision in 2009 if a collision occurs, it is really bad for the security of america and the world. nobody was doing it so we said we can do it so we did. ever since that time, we have been looking for the the structure that will allow us to focus on a mission to help someone else do that. somebody else pay the resources for that additional function. not above the baseline, we still up to do the baseline. now, the directive is for someone else step up and secretary ross said he is the guy. he said he will step up and do that. that is what we have been looking for for a number of years. we are happy with where we are right now. >> are you saying the dod will be the top priority. >> from an ssa perspective, raised traffic management
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should be someone else's job. we have to focus on what we need from space awareness to allow us to defend ourselves in space and defend ourselves against any adversaries. >> that means explicit awareness. that means this is needed for space traffic awareness. we will give that data to somebody else to process got to do the analysis, to reach out to nations, reach out to companies, we have been doing that and we have been making it up. i am proud of the people who have been making a. it is a miracle to me we haven't had a collision. that should be somebody else's job. >> in light of that, how much manpower and resources and so forth do you use when dedicating efforts to negotiate agreements. >> for negotiating, it has been very small.
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it is four or five people on my staff that do that work. that is not their only job. they have other jobs they do as well. that is one of their additional duties. the biggest impact is the people that have to do the work. the processing. that number is in the dozens. that will be offloaded to numbers that will free them up to do the war fighting missions. >> so inferring that up, you would be able to better utilize it for defensive purposes. >> exactly. >> i hurt you bring up earlier, and let me just ask you this, how will the trend that is currently underway for small satellites affect ssa capabilities and beyond? >> that's another great question. so every orbit regime is
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different. we have a lot of assets in the lower orbit. we have a lot of assets in the stationary orbit. those are two that are critically important and they will require awareness and space traffic management regime. it is different from a medium earth orbit or one that is lower. sometimes, i have heard people make the argument that they ought to be below the international space station in order to be not regulated at all. if you are below the orbiting, at that level, within 5 to 10 years anyway, we don't need a regime. i would say, it's not necessarily the size of the satellite that matters. what matters is where it is positioned. they will have different requirements for where they are located. >> thank you both gentlemen for
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all you do. we are honored. >> the chair now recognized mr. mitchell for five minutes. >> think it was secure. first, i want to congratulate you administrator bridenstine on becoming an administrator. you gave me the opportunity to join the community. i am warming your chair. it is an honor. the question is if you could relate, you advocated that any awareness should go to the faa. the fda is currently involved in they certify launches, can you share with me how much involvement the faa has in this process. >> i will also has congressman
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ross as well. >> i will be honest with you. i have been in congress only seven weeks, i was a part of the negotiations. we got to the point where we were ready to make an announcement. i to know if they were involved and there were meetings where this discussion was had. how robust it was and who said what, i am not sure. i can tell you that everybody is in agreement that i talked to that this has to be done in a civil agency. comers is a good place to do it. it is also good to know as secretary ross noted, that commerce is involved in space in a robust way already. a lot of people don't realize, about 40% of their budget is space related activity. of course that is controlled by comers but ultimately they make purchases for those activities
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and nasa is involved in buying a lot of their satellite. so nasa is involved in that. it is a commerce function in commerce is involved in remote licensing and that kind of activity. there's a lot of activities that are done. a couple of years ago when i drafted the bill, my thought was we will could it in faa. it appears now that the right course of action given the consensus that we have come to, it would be comers. i fully support that. it needs to be done. that is after >> one of the questions i have is, is space and commercial faa traffic, is there a clean division.
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there is an overlap, how do you reconcile and make that work. >> i will tell you a quick. there's a lot of things here that are critically important. as you mentioned, if you're going to go through the national and space system. when you get there you will have to potentially deorbit. so in each of these cases, you will be taking advantage of the system. one of the challenges we have is when a launch occurs, the national airspace system gets shut down for a number of hours. commercial air traffic as well rounded and it costs a lot of money and they put big burdens on the interesting whether it is launched or other things happen, commerce will have to work with faa and vice versa. so these beings have to be really thought out and we have
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to prepare for them. that will happen regardless of where it is. congress and faa will have to work together. >> agreed. my concern was i looked at it and i don't see it. i would encourage how actively engaged they are. i think there is failure of a launch got we have a lot of risk factors. >> do you have anything you want to add? >> i agree with the administrative. the key is when it comes to space, every element of the government is involved. some in big ways some in small ways. there's always going to be themes. the way you handle names is with responsibilities for the authority to the secretary of defense to protect the nation. you have to decide, for this management, where's the best
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place to put the authority for >> this is the best place but that. that doesn't mean the fah stool does not rule, but he'll decide's rule, mask still has a role. everyone has a role that we have to undermine someone. >> i appreciate that. i would suggest a little more clarity. i will submit my question to secretary ross. i will ask what is the role of the faa. i appreciate your answers. >> college thank you so much for being with us all morning. administrator bridenstine i am very at -- impressed with everything that's been going on. that radar and the reengineering model which predicts which will come in next 35 years. the debris model which looks at what the environment will look
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like in 200 years, can you tell us what led to this. will space ever become crowded or dangerous. >> just to be clear, this is not a nasa project this is a guilty project. we certainly will benefit from it. i am a little concerned that we will learn about so much space debris that our astronauts will be sheltering in space a lot more than they are now. we haven't done that since 2015. once we have more awareness on all of the debris, it could -- once you know what you need to be worried about, you worry more about it. there is a concern on my end. >> let me ask you the most naove question of the morning. is there anything we can do to collect the debris. >> there are certain technologies that are being developed.
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nasa of course is involved in servicing satellites and is a project we have underway. we will service a satellite which is a good project. if we want to do robotic servicing that is beneficial, we need to develop technologies that can be licensed to companies in each one could have a dozen satellites. when we get to that position, it is possible that we could hire some of the commercial companies to remove orbital debris. that is certainly in the realm of possibility. this teach them how to deal with the population. >> if you look at the future, i'm under the assumption that mankind will put more debris up there year..
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>> is true. it is also true the biggest risk is from objects that are too small to track. we can kind of create a cystoscope model as to what the environment looks like and create abilities about how long the satellite will last. we will also see how much shipping is needed. the biggest threat is from objects we track right now. it will be hard to remove them if we don't know they are there. >> mr. administrator, i know you have a science background, is there any value to the degradation of the stop or is it just a small. >> a lot of the orbit to degrade. especially the low orbit. the gravity of the earth is not uniform.
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we see a lot of objects behaving in ways that are an anticipated. i know a doctor was here a few minutes ago, he talked about the fact that a lot of the objects are not even trackable. or the objects that are trackable. we modeled them as if they are perfect spheres and they are not. we modeled them as if they don't spin or maneuver. we as if the earth's gravity is uniform. there's a lot we need to learn about orbital debris and how it behaves so we can get better data to ultimately make predictions and characterizations that can protect our assets and properties. you are hitting some key points, which it is a dangerous environment. we need to do the best we can to characterize it and we need to be able to detect objects that are smaller than 10
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centimeters which is what we can do right now. >> let me ask you a budget question, in your testimony you talked about the risk analysis, and that they have the primary role of checking the spacecraft, this is done yearly in the rest of the things are more expensive. are we spending enough money? >> i think we are. more money is better. given the risk that we are seeing in their ability to accept those risk and make determinations, i believe we are in a good position right now with the investments that we have. >> thank you. thank you the chair now recognizes mr. dunn. >> mr. chairman, administrator bridenstine , it is good to see
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you here. i have a couple of questions about the services currently provided. so the space policy reaffirmed the basic coalition avoidance should continue to be provided free of user fees. can you confirm that that is going forward. >> that is a big object to because it is important for the united states of america to be preeminent we want companies that are located in the united states to believe they will have these kinds of services available through a civil agency. i believe basic ssa is important. >> as to my constituents. >>. >> in that same vein, if they contract with a private company, in that situation, will be paid a at the analytics continue to
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be available. will brought dana be available so civilian companies can perform their own analytics. >> that is a wonderful question not an easy one. eventually the way i think it will be, there will be a basic capability that is available to everyone. it will be without the. there are also going to be private companies that will want to get advantages to other private companies operating in space. to provide that they will have to license your data to a private company in the u.s. government may not have access to that. that presents an opportunity for commercial companies to augment data and get better resolution, higher resolution and a free market that they can't confiscate. so i think there will be an architecture that will have
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basic capabilities and there will be commercial companies that can come along and provide that to operators in their model. other people may want to develop sensors and data and sell it directly to the government. that may be a model as well. >> can you address the raw data that the government currently gathers. will that be available to private companies? >> it would be available to the public. any government data would be available to the public. right now it comes from -- >> maybe i should've asked the general. what is the rationale for the lead situation. >> nasa is a agency that does science technology explore station -- expiration.
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>> i just want to get you on record. i agree with that. >> i just want to get out. general john hyten, space is a war fighting domain as well as the commercial domain, what do you see the trend evolving for tod and space situational awareness. >> that's in testing -- interesting. i have two priorities. priority is to defend the nation against all prints. i have to be able to watch any threat, deal with any threat and defeat any threat. i do that. i also have an implied pass that means i have to make sure that the space environment is safe for the future. anything that that happened in space, it is not like cleaning up the environment. it's not like you could just go clean it up. if you have a collision in space, the impact is forever. there is an implied task that i had to do.
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that's why for the last 9 years we have stepped up to the job of providing that for the world. we will continue to do that until the department of commerce steps up to do it for us. it is in our interest of the nation to have a secure space in the environment. >> i think you have done a great job. i hope you have a great presence continually. when i saw this, i had a chance to look at this and std 1 was listening to mars. the second one was list streamlined the environment. nine looking at smith vest backspace svd 3. my staff summed it up well for me. it means just make space great again. >> thank you very much for >> thank you to everyone and congratulations to administrator bridenstine. it is nice to have you back .
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if you could speak a little bit about how you are going the international government, in the united states is not alone, the rest of the world has a lot of orbiting devices. that ratio is going to change over time. do you anticipate a future where every country will go their own way and regulate and we will have to worry about a race to the bottom for the lowest level regulation which would be the lowest cost. or to anticipate the u.s. regulator will serve underneath and be overridden with overhaul space activities for >> that's a great question. currently in some portable -- orbital regime, the it unit,
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the license orbital slots for the international community. american companies are involved. the it is also involved in allocating spectrums for commercial operators. there is a component there. at this point, it is insufficient where in these areas they have more risk. the answer is right now there is an international oversight. what i would say is i think the direction we should go is to set the standards for nasa has a history of doing this for >> there is the enforcement problem. someone goes to a country that is not setting those standards and put stuff in space. will says no and how is that enforced.
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>> it is done through the itu. >> look at the china sea. they said that is not acceptable. a certain country is ignoring that. what is the scenario hear that you are thinking of. >> as a pilot in the navy, we would stop in the person will i get challenge. they would say you are operating in the wrong part of the world. we would always go back and say under certain procedures, that we were a private aircraft. the word to regard is what protects us from challenges from the international community. i would argue that as it relates to us in space, we operate with due regard, i would say as time goes on, american leadership may need to be stronger here so we don't have collisions. >> what happens when two
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countries start fighting over mining the same ashtray. is there any alternative to the organization and if there is not, why are we not prioritizing that first to get that structure in place. >> i think the model that we utilize right now, this was established through the outerspace treaty, >> many countries are not ratified to that. like china and other countries for >> sure. so, certainly that requires pressure to get them to conform. >> so, what is your concept here. u.s. regulation will be secondary to international regulation or we will just go make up our own rules. >> i think we adhere to the treaties that are currently in
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space -- place. as long as we are operating under the obligations, -- >> there has to be detailed regulations. if you look at cyber security, you can't have people put up swarms of satellite. you have to make sure they can't be hacked. they can do a lot of scenarios. there will have to be international standards on cyber security for any satellite with station capabilities. different, unusual -- countries with different opinions. some will think our centers are not high enough, how do you anticipate that will be have appeared >> as far as your earlier suggestion that we might an asteroid and someone else wants to minded, that could result in a dispute, i think the odds of
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that are small. at the same time, we can operate to regard. whoever extracts the resource can do it. >> i guess my time is appear. i urge you to think more about the idea that america acting alone is a reasonable model to proceed will not work. the majority of objects are not going to be u.s. objects. we are not going to dominate space in the long term and we should start planning for that rather than pretending like the world is not changing. >> i would argue that we are in compliance with our obligations. ultimately, -- >> we have to get all of the countries on board. that is the thing that worries me. we have to start by strengthening those agreements and making them uniform.
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i don't see a lot of effort on this administration, plugging into a routine. >> there isn't a strong team. >> should be priority. >> we need american leadership. >> that brings us to the conclusion of this hearing. i did want to point out that we did have some members come and go. file they may send them in writing. >> this is a very important area of interest. that is demonstrated by the fact that we had 30 members of congress participate in this hearing today. combine if you went outside two hours before this hearing the line started forming. that usually only happens when the chiefs are here or the secretary. people care about what you do and we are very proud that we
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have confident individuals serving in this role. thank you. this hearing is adjourned.
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