The FCC rule could apply to some satellite operators outside of the US. The FCC wants to design this so that anyone who wants to enter the US market can do so. In order to create a rule that applies to other space operators, they are flexing their muscles. The 25-year rule was adopted by the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space. The lack of coordination within the US government could limit its effectiveness.

Tens of thousands of pieces of trackable debris now hurtle through low Earth orbit at an altitude of 1200 miles or lower, along with millions of bits too small to be tracked but not too small to damage. Even if the companies make an effort to deorbit their own satellites, they could still be victims of debris impacts.

The five-year rule is important because it limits risks to the International Space Station, China's Tiangong space station, and other crucial satellites. He thinks that technological advancement will make it possible to move a satellite even if only a small amount of fuel is used.

There are other innovations that could help, says Marlon Sorge, a technical fellow at theAerospace Corporation. Drag-enhancement devices are another option for small satellites. He says that these are things that increase its area.

Upper-stage rocket bodies will be covered by the FCC rule. The US, China, and Russia left behind many of the old-timers in space. Since rockets can't burn up on re-entry, they need to be brought back to Earth in a controlled way.

The biggest problem is that there isn't an enforcement mechanism to make sure that owners follow through on their plans The argument against a five-year rule is that people are not complying with the 25-year rule. We wouldn't need a five-year rule if we had a higher compliance with the 25 year rule.

It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to these license requirements. Accidents don't affect the next flight. The accident in space lasts for a long time.