The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) released today a survey on standardization for the commercial space industry. The survey seeks feedback from interested stakeholders on top priorities, topics needing coordination, topics not being worked on, and topics that could be discussed at an ANSI workshop. The survey follows a January 31, 2020, meeting exploring the need for an ANSI standardization collaborative and roadmap for the commercial space industry. Survey responses are requested by May 15, 2020.
The commercial space industry is growing. According to a recent report from investment firm Space Angels, 2019 was the largest year on record for space investment. More than 25 billion dollars has been invested in 535 unique space companies over the last decade, including makers of satellites, rockets, and other space innovations. Wall Street banks, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, predict the global space economy could grow to more than 1 trillion dollars over the next 20 years.
For its part, the White House has issued a number of space policy directives aimed at reinvigorating America's human space exploration program, streamlining regulations on the commercial use of space, and calling for the development of national space traffic management standards and best practices.
As the coordinator of the U.S. private sector-led system of voluntary standardization, ANSI has been in discussions with commercial space industry stakeholders since the middle of last year. The Institute provides a neutral venue for broad and open discussion of standardization issues for emerging technologies and in national priority areas. ANSI's standardization collaboratives bring public- and private-sector interests together for cross-sector dialogue to advance coordination of standards development activities and related conformance programs. The Institute has a long and successful track record of convening stakeholders in such diverse areas as homeland security, nanotechnology, electric vehicles, energy efficiency in the built environment, additive manufacturing, and, most recently, unmanned aircraft systems.
The by-invitation January meeting drew more than 60 participants from some 40 organizations. The event included remarks on current activities from federal agencies, industry trade associations and coalitions, and standards developing organizations. The ensuing discussion revealed that some participants felt that work on a standardization roadmap could potentially divert resources from writing standards and that there may not yet be sufficient industry practice to inform the development of standards. Others felt that it was important to demonstrate U.S. leadership, that standards can supplement regulation, and that a roadmap would help to avoid duplication of effort and identify gaps. All agreed that collaboration was desirable.
"Standards and conformity assessment have a critical role to play in supporting the public policy framework and helping to ensure a safe commercial space industry ecosystem," said ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia. "ANSI is releasing this survey to continue a dialogue on the key issues that need to be addressed to further inform how the standardization community can most effectively respond to this national priority."
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is made up of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. ANSI represents and serves the diverse interests of more than 270,000 companies and organizations and 30 million professionals worldwide.
The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). For more information, visit www.ansi.org.