NOAA Commercial Space Policy

On January 8, 2016, NOAA issued its Commercial Space Policy, which sets a broad framework for use of commercial space-based approaches for the agency.

Changes in the commercial space services arena are happening rapidly, yielding new technical and business approaches to building, launching, and operating satellites, and selling private satellite capabilities as services. NOAA is interested in exploring these new business models to better understand how they might complement the agency’s current offerings.

The policy establishes critical components for engaging with the commercial sector:

  • Designating the Office of Space Commerce as a single point of entry for commercial providers to streamline the process for easier engagement;
  • Establishing an open and transparent marketplace;
  • Defining guiding principles, implementation considerations, and strategic planning for potential commercial data buys; and
  • Establishing demonstration projects to test and evaluate new potential data sources and provide an avenue to operational commercial data buys.

As demand for information about the changing state of our planet grows, NOAA strives to support and grow an observing enterprise that is flexible, responsive to evolving technologies, and economically sustainable. This policy will allow NOAA to seek solutions that meet this need while also supporting and upholding the data sharing commitments upon which we depend for global data and data products.