Photo: NASA

A new space policy directive issued by the Trump administration last week calls on the space industry to develop cybersecurity measures to protect essential satellites in orbit.

Why it matters: GPS, communications and other satellites are integral to U.S. national security. As other nations continue to develop their space capabilities, experts are warning that key U.S. assets in orbit could be vulnerable to attacks.

Details: The new policy directive loosely defines best practices when it comes to cybersecurity and the space industry.

  • The directive also outlines a plan for the U.S. government to work with companies to help adopt those best practices and create norms around cybersecurity.
  • The policy suggests space-based assets should make use of encryption when sending commands to satellites and when satellites are sending information to Earth and make efforts to protect satellites from tampering, jamming and spoofing.
  • "We're not trying to impose new government-driven, top-down requirements and standards, but are in fact trying to work with and leverage the private sector," a senior administration official speaking on background said.

Yes, but: Many companies have already instituted their own protocols for cybersecurity and their assets in space, so it's not yet clear exactly what this directive will change.

  • The White House also has yet to lay out an enforcement mechanism for those companies that ignore the best practices.

Go deeper

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,722,699 — Total deaths: 198,484 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
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  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.