Space Imaging reacted to the President’s newly released White House policy titled US Commercial Remote Sensing Space Policy (https://www.ostp.gov/html/new.html). The policy concerns the commercial remote sensing industry and the government’s commitment to it. The Bush Administration’s new directive, under interagency review for a year, was announced by the White House on May 13, 2003. The directive strengthens the government’s long-term objective to establish domestic high-resolution satellite imagery companies as world industry leaders and states that it is in the national security interest to have a strong and competitive commercial remote sensing industry anchored on U.S. shores. Delivering a keynote address at a U.S. Government-sponsored conference on commercial remote sensing in Washington, D.C. today, Secretary of Commerce Don Evans said, “The remote sensing industry is poised for great market penetration. At our department, we recognize the promise of the remote sensing industry.” During Operation Iraqi Freedom the industry “provided timely and accurate information,” said Secretary Evans.
Encouraged by this policy, Space Imaging also announced that it is teaming with its key investors, Lockheed Martin Corporation and Raytheon Company as principal sub-contractors to bid for NextView. NextView is NIMA’s competitive contract that assures the availability of high-resolution imagery from next-generation U.S. commercial imaging satellites. The Pentagon’s proposed NextView contract and the new White House policy are part of a growing trend that demonstrates the government intends to use and rely on the commercial industry’s investment in satellite imagery technology. In November 2002, Space Imaging applied for a .25-meter license with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This license would enable Space Imaging to build and launch an imaging system that will be able to see objects on the ground as small as a quarter meter in size. Space Imaging has a .5-meter license from NOAA approved in December 2000 and a .4-meter license approved in November 2002.