The United States is making increased international cooperation a top priority in its new policy on America's activities in outer space.
In making the announcement June 28, President Barack Obama said the U.S. wants to promote peaceful collaboration in space, which will both enhance global security and help expand humanity's capacity to operate in orbit around Earth and beyond. The policy offers an expanded role for both other nations and private companies to work with the U.S. to monitor the Earth's climate, track debris hazards to astronauts and spacecraft, and protect satellites that conduct a long list of commercial, scientific and security missions. The aim is to help preserve the space environment for all nations and future generations.
In the past, the U.S. tended to approach space in terms of strategic competition, a destination to be reached and exert the nation's scientific and defense interests. The new policy recognizes the rights of all nations to access, use and explore space for peaceful purposes and for the benefit of all humanity.
When the Space Age began in the 1950s, only two nations had the resources and ability to take part, the commercial space industry did not exist, and there were limited consequences for irresponsible or unintentional behavior. Now, an ever increasing number of countries and organizations are operating in space. With the growth of the global economy and the world’s growing dependence on information provided by space capabilities, irresponsible acts in space can have damaging consequences for everyone.
Because we want to preserve the space environment for future use, it is in the shared interest of all nations to act responsibly there to help prevent mishaps, misperceptions, and mistrust. The U.S. is committed to conducting its space operations in ways that are open and transparent, and we call on all nations to do the same.