WASHINGTON — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said Thursday it will vote this month on new rules to address the growing risks of orbital debris to space ambitions.
Currently, operators of satellites in low-Earth orbit ensure spacecraft will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere within 25 years following the completion of missions.
The new FCC rules would shrink the time frame required for satellite post-mission disposal to as soon as practicable but no more than five years. The new rules would apply to both U.S.-licensed satellites and systems, and non-U.S. satellites seeking U.S. market access. (Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis)