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Space Guard

The most recent disquisition on the idea is now available on line, as a PDF.

[Update a little later]

Yes, it’s long and wonky (it’s an appendix of a Space Policy Institute study), but once past the first couple pages it gets more interesting.

[Late evening update]

For those not aware, “SSA” is a TLA for “Space Situational Awareness.”

[Update a few minutes later]

I read this several months ago, and only passed it on in a hurry this morning on my way out the door, but by way of encouraging interest in the article, here is a representative sample of it:

Throughout the early days of aviation, there was a network of mutually supporting connections between the predecessors of the Air Force and the aviation industry, including both aircraft manufacturers and the airline operators. All parts of the aviation world generally supported each other. Due to NASA’s peculiar status as the sole civil government space organization for the majority of its life, NASA on the one hand has tightly controlled its contractors and discouraged robust discussion of means and ends when such collided with perceived NASA organizational goals. Meanwhile it viewed the emergence of private entities providing service directly to customers with hostility, or at a minimum an awkward uncertainty as to how such efforts should interact with the agencies. A USSG would be able to start with a clean slate and strive for a more balanced relationship with an industry whose existence and prosperity is part of its charter and rationale. A USSG might better be able to have comfortable and useful interactions with the Air Force, NASA, and the commercial space sector.

Really, read the whole thing, if you’re into space policy.