FCC seeks to update orbital debris mitigation rules

Proposal from FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel calls on Commission to provide a 'clear benchmark' for limiting the probability of accidental explosions in space. #pressrelease

May 29, 2024

1 Min Read

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel today called on the agency to update the Federal Communication Commission's orbital debris mitigation rules to limit the risks posed by accidental explosions in space by adding a specific, quantitative metric that satellites must meet. If adopted, the updated rules would require satellite applicants to assess and limit the probability of debris-generating accidental explosions to be less 1 in 1,000 (0.001) for each satellite.

The Third Report and Order circulated today is part of the Commission's continuing efforts to mitigate the generation of orbital debris in light of the increasing number of satellites in orbit. The probability metric in the proposed rules is consistent with the U.S. Government Orbital Debris Mitigation Standard Practices and would provide satellite operators an objective and transparent benchmark for demonstrating as part of their applications to the Commission that they have assessed and limited the probability of accidental explosions during and after the completion of mission operations. The new requirement would be phased in one year after its publication in the Federal Register to allow potential applicants to prepare.

Read the full press release here.


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