On June 28, President Obama announced the administration's new National Space Policy. The policy articulates the President's commitment to reinvigorating U.S. leadership in space for the purposes of maintaining space as a stable and productive environment for the peaceful use of all nations. Secretary Clinton said:
"Enhancing international cooperation and collaboration in space, both today and in the future, is a critical mission of the Department of State. The U.S. National Space Policy calls on countries around the world to work together to adopt approaches for responsible activity in space in order to preserve this right for the benefit of future generations. Nations and organizations are increasingly using space to create wealth and prosperity, monitor the Earth's environment, maintain peace and security, and explore the mysteries of the furthest unknown reaches of the universe. The world's growing dependence on information collected from and transmitted through outer space means that irresponsible acts can have damaging and potentially long-term consequences for all.
"Along with other U.S. departments and agencies, the Department of State will support this policy's call for cooperative action in several ways. We will expand our work in the United Nations and with other organizations to address the growing problem of orbital debris and to promote 'best practices' for its sustainable use. The United States will also pursue pragmatic transparency and confidence-building measures to mitigate the risk of mishaps, misperceptions, and miscalculations. This policy reaffirms the longstanding and bipartisan U.S. policy that we are open to space-related confidence building and arms control concepts and proposals, provided they meet the rigorous criteria of equitability, effective verifiability, and consistency with our national security interests.
"We intend to promote suitable commercial space regulations, international standards that promote fair market competition, and the international use of U.S. capabilities such as launch vehicles, commercial remote sensing services, and the civil services of the Global Positioning System. Finally, we will pursue enhanced cooperative programs with other space faring nations in space science, human and robotic space exploration, and in the use of Earth observation satellites to support weather forecasting, environmental monitoring, and sustainable development worldwide.
"As long as humankind has dreamed, we have looked to the heavens. For millennia, the planets and stars have been our signposts and inspirations, our irresistible call to exploration and the spark to human creativity. Today, they help us to unlock the potential of our planet and the universe. As a young girl growing up fascinated by the beginnings of space exploration, I imagined not only a career as an astronaut, but also a world in which anything was possible. We must do all we can to preserve space's limitless promise for future generations who gaze skyward."
Read the Secretary's full statement here.