US partners with France on space safety and traffic
The two nations say they don't want or need international space regulation.
Corinne ReichertSenior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
The US and France have partnered up on commercially developing space, including managing space traffic and developing "space situational awareness." US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross signed a declaration of intent with French space agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales on Wednesday. The agreement came during the International Astronautical Congress in Washington, DC.
The agreement is "crucial," Ross said, as nations "quickly race towards a trillion-dollar space economy."
The partnership "will also enable stimulating innovation, scientific and technological research, sharing SSA (space situational awareness) information on space objects and events, and improving operational coordination and communication for collision avoidance," Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) President Jean-Yves Le Gall said.
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The two nations have yet to implement a memorandum of understanding and reach an agreement on how to manage space traffic for safety and sustainability, the CNES president added.
The current agreement lays out the countries' regular coordination; exchange of information; and cooperation on research, exploration, development and use of traffic management, space safety and SSA by public and private entities.
It also contains the "agreement that, at this time, international regulation of space is neither desirable nor necessary."