National Security Bubble, Meet the World

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) surprised industry with an interim final rule posted this past weekend. Effective more-or-less immediately, on January 6, 2020, the rule, tediously titled “Addition of Software Specially Designed To Automate the Analysis of Geospatial Imagery to the Export Control Classification Number 0Y521 Series,” appears familiar to anyone who has worked with ITAR in the space industry.

And like the laws surrounding ITAR, the rule here is knee-jerk. Also, it’s akin to closing the barn door and setting fire to the barn after the whole herd of horses ran out.

We understand that many senior officials with the DoC were uninformed of this pending rule. However, someone (or more likely, many someones), decided that software created to automatically conduct analyses of geospatial imagery (and something called point clouds) … Read the rest


Commerce’s BEA –The Gift that Keeps on Giving?

Just before Christmas, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) posted a notice–a Christmas gift for the space industry?–that it is developing a Space Economy Satellite Account (SESA) in partnership with… Read the rest


Is the U.S. National Security Space “Launch Market” only big enough for two launch providers?

In October 2018, the US Air Force selected four companies (Blue Origin, Northrop, SpaceX, ULA) to compete for the newly established National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program that replaces the 1990s vintage EELV program. The Air Force has… Read the rest