Department of Commerce (DoC)
Within DoC, the Office of Air and Space Commercializa-tion (OASC) ensures that U.S. commercial space interests are represented in the formulation of space-related Government policies and agreements. OASC activities for FY 1995 included contributing to the Clinton administration's policy on the use of foreign excess ballistic missiles, helping negotiate launch trade agreements with China and Ukraine, implementing the administration's commercial remote-sensing policy, and serving on the Common Spacelift Requirements Working Group called for in the National Space Transportation Policy. Also in FY 1995, OASC supported the revision of the National Space Policy, the development of a U.S. GPS policy, and a review of further guidance on the Government's use of remote-sensing satellite data.
The International Trade Administration's Office of Aerospace also contributed to the Clinton administration's new policy on the commercial use of Russian excess ballistic missiles and negotiations of commercial space launch agreements with China and Ukraine. In addition, the Office of Aerospace pressed for expanded export opportunities for U.S. aircraft manufacturers through negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Office of Aerospace participated in negotiations for a major coproduction project, the Russian passenger aircraft IL-96M/T, which could set the tone for future ventures with Russia. To promote the export of U.S. aerospace products, the Office of Aerospace led numerous trade missions, managed the U.S. pavilion at the Paris Air Show, and operated "Aerospace Product Literature Centers" at major international air shows.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), another Commerce unit, also was active in space activities during FY 1995. On December 30, 1994, NOAA-J (NOAA-14) of the Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) series was launched successfully. In May 1995, the newest in the series of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES-J) was launched into orbit for NOAA as GOES-9; GOES-8 was declared fully operational in June 1995. In May 1995, NOAA, NASA, and DoD finalized a Memorandum of Agreement regarding the triagency convergence planning effort. NOAA continued to rely on Landsat-5 to provide regular data about the Earth's renewable and nonrenewable resources. NOAA also continued its support for the international satellite-aided search-and-rescue program known as Cospas-Sarsat by signing a new intergovernmental agreement. In the area of atmospheric studies, NOAA satellites measured unusually low ozone levels over parts of the Northern Hemisphere. NOAA scientists also integrated ocean data from a variety of sources in the NOAA Satellite Ocean Remote Sensing program. Finally, NOAA continued negotiations with its European partners on a joint polar system of satellites.
As the lead advising agency for Government telecommunications issues, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) undertook a number of policy initiatives regarding satellites and other space-based communications systems. Specifically, NTIA provided policy guidance on the restructuring of INTELSAT and INMARSAT. While the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continued to regulate the electromagnetic spectrum for commercial users, NTIA administered the spectrum, helping firms clear unexpected regulatory hurdles. NTIA engineers also were instrumental in developing a national plan to augment the navigation signals of GPS for the benefit of a wide variety of civilian and commercial users.
Scientists and engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), another entity of DoC, performed a wide variety of research in measurement science and technology in support of aeronautics and space activities during FY 1995. These research areas covered a wide range of topics, including global atmospheric science, the Hubble Space Telescope, materials science, and microgravity science.
Curator: Lillian Gipson|
Last Updated: September 5, 1996
For more information contact Steve Garber, NASA History Office,