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Space Policy Directives (SPDs)

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

Space Policy Directives (SPDs) provide information on U.S. policies and procedures as they relate to space activities.

NASA Astronaut David R. Scott during the Apollo 15 lunar surface EVA. Credit: NASA

SPD-1 Reinvigorating America’s Human Space Exploration Program (2017)

Amends Presidential Policy Directive-4 (2010), articulating a direct call for space missions beyond LEO, specifically to the Moon and eventually to Mars and other celestial bodies.

SPD-2 Streamlining Regulations on Commercial Use of Space (2018)

Calls on Executive Branch agencies to review existing regulations and ensure rules are not duplicative while also promoting economic growth, advancing national security and foreign policy goals, and encouraging U.S. space commerce leadership.

SPD-3 National Space Traffic Management Policy (2018)

Calls for a new method of space traffic management (STM) that: meets current and future risks; sets priorities for space situational awareness and STM innovation; aligns with national security priorities; and encourages U.S. commercial space growth.

SPD-4 Establishment of the United States Space Force (2019)

Directs the Defense Department to develop a legislative proposal establishing a sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as establishing a U.S. Space Command.

SPD-5 Cybersecurity Principles for Space Systems (2020)

Directs executive departments and agencies to foster practices within government space operations and across the commercial space industry to protect space assets and their supporting infrastructure from cyber threats and ensure continuity of operations.

SPD-6 National Strategy for Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion (2020)

Establishes a national strategy ensuring the development and use of space nuclear power and propulsion (SNPP) systems for scientific, exploration, national security and commercial objectives and outlines policy goals and a supporting roadmap to advance the use of SNPP systems.

SPD-7 U.S. Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Policy (2021)

Establishes implementation actions and guidance for U.S. space-based positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) programs and activities for national and homeland security, civil, commercial and scientific purposes; SPD-7 supersedes the 2004 National Security Presidential Directive-39, “United States Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Policy.”


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