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Office of Space Commerce Issues RFI on Space Traffic Management Services

By Rachel Jewett | January 30, 2023

Image of orbital debris generated from a distant oblique angle. Photo: NASA

The Office of Space Commerce (OSC) issued a request for information on Friday for input on its space traffic management system for the space industry. 

OSC, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has been tasked with taking over space situational awareness (SSA) services from the U.S. Department of Defense, and offering basic SSA safety services to all space operators. OSC has been working toward that transition and is calling the resulting program the Traffic Management System for Space, or TraCSS.

According to the RFI, OSC is seeking input from the space community on which SSA services should be included as part of TraCSS, and if additional capabilities beyond what the DoD currently offers should be included in the TraCSS. The RFI also asks how TracCSS would impact commercial SSa providers and which basic SSA safety services should be made publicly available.

OSC will use the feedback to help develop capabilities to share SSA data to space operators and the public. Responses are due Feb. 27. 

As part of the OSC’s work to develop TraCSS, the office awarded contracts in September 2022 and December 2022 for pilot programs evaluating commercial space object tracking data from different orbits, to inform its future offering.