Sharing Data to Avoid Collisions

Colorado Springs, Colo. The US on Monday entered into a space situational awareness agreement with United Arab Emirates, making it the 11th country to sign such data- and information-sharing agreements? with the US, Strategic Command boss Adm. Cecil Haney said Thursday at the 32nd Space Symposium. Haney said he is “not happy” with the US’s ability to “see, characterize, and understand” the space domain, and while the space community is “delivering new capabilities,” he said the US can’t do it alone. Sharing that space situational awareness information and data “is all about flight safety,” Air Force Space Command boss Gen. John Hyten told reporters, noting that the US also shares collision data with China. “I don’t think there’s anybody in the world that would say that sharing data about potential collisions is not useful to everybody on the planet,” Hyten said. “The goal is to avoid collisions, because every time it happens, the environment gets significantly worse and the chance of another collision comes up.” Frank Rose, deputy assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, said the State Department in recent years has established formal space security dialogues with more than 15 countries and expanded less formal dialogues with countries, including Turkey, Chile, Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam. It also is working to expand conversations with Gulf Cooperation Council states. (See also: US, Spain to Share Space Data.)