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DOD’s John Hill Eyes Broader Adoption of Space Operations Guidance

John Hill,

Acting Asst. Secretary,

Department of Defense

DOD’s John Hill Eyes Broader Adoption of Space Operations Guidance

The guidelines for responsible space operations released by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin should be part of a wider conversation and be adopted beyond the Department of Defense, according to a top DOD official.

The recommendations by John Hill, a past Potomac Officers Club event speaker who is performing the duties of assistant secretary of defense for space policy, call for limiting the generation of long-lived debris, avoiding the creation of harmful interference and maintaining safe separation in space, among other things.

Voluntary compliance should be encouraged among commercial space operators, as well as those from the government and universities, Hill told SpaceNews.

He argued that pursuing non-binding norms instead of imposing rigid rules is more productive for all space operators due to the complexity of space operations and the number of investors in the space domain.

Hill’s call for a broader dialogue on responsible behavior in space comes amid growing concerns over the increasing number of satellites orbiting the Earth, including potential safety problems and access restrictions to the space domain.

Moving forward, Gen. James Dickinson, who leads the U.S. Space Command, will be tasked with turning the tenets outlined in Austin’s memo into more specific guidance. Hill anticipates that the commander will work closely with civil and commercial space operators to accomplish Austin’s directive.  

A USSPACECOM spokesperson said the focus will be on defining responsible military space behavior similar to those seen in the air and sea domains.

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Tags: Department of Defense James Dickinson John Hill Lloyd Austin space guidelines space operations SpaceNews Speaker News