Believe it or not, President Donald Trump has repeatedly noted interest in space research and exploration. I don’t shy away from my various disagreements with the new President, but I’m also willing to admit that I particularly enjoy his pro-space venture policies. Which is why I find it a bit disconcerting to hear that Republican members of Congress are now ordering DARPA to end their work on Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites.
Why are they ordering them to stop? Because, according to National Space Policy guidelines, DARPA might be conducting operations that are potentially discouraging similar research in the private sector – in particular, Orbital ATK’s Mission Extension Vehicle.
“Refrain from conducting United States Government space activities that preclude, discourage, or compete with U.S. commercial space activities.” – National Space Policy guidelines