Today the House concurred with the Senate amendment to the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (SPACE) Act of 2015. The bill passed unanimously from both houses and now goes to the President for signature.
HR 2262 is designed to facilitate a pro-growth business environment for the commercial space industry. The legislation includes, in entirety, a bill sponsored by Congressman Jim Bridenstine, HR 2261 the Commercial Remote Sensing Act, relating to licensing private remote sensing space systems. Bridenstine also contributed a section enabling training of commercial space flight participants in space support vehicles.
Congressman Bridenstine commented, “We already rely on commercial space for so much, and this industry will continue to expand in the coming years. We will soon see worldwide internet coverage, utilization of space resources, improved communications and remote sensing technologies, and more. We must make sure that Congress does not do anything that could stifle this world-changing industry. That is why this Act is crucial.”
Bridenstine has been recognized as one of the top five leaders in space by SpaceNews. In their annual list of worldwide “Space Industry Game-Changers,” the Congressman was noted for his legislative initiatives.
Speaking on the floor of the House, Bridenstine said, “The most important aspect of this legislation is the extension of the moratorium on regulations for commercial human spaceflight, allowing time to create a regulatory environment based on real data, not speculation.” Other provisions will allow American space companies to remain competitive against international companies and enable private companies to explore and mine celestial resources.
The Congressman also addressed provisions he worked to include in the bill and the Senate retained in the final version: “Sec. 116 was an amendment I offered in committee to the original version of H.R. 2262 to require a GAO report on the role of space support vehicles in the commercial space industry, with recommendations to relieve regulatory and statutory barriers to the services these vehicles offer. People will need to be trained to fly, and vehicle designs will not stay static.
“Additionally, Title II of this bill incorporates H.R. 2261, the Commercial Remote Sensing Act, bipartisan legislation I introduced with Congressman Ed Perlmutter of Colorado. This title sets metrics to give Congress a picture of the workload facing the Department of Commerce when licensing remote sensing activities and any issues preventing them from meeting statutory deadlines. Title II recognizes the importance of seeking input from industry representatives. This legislation is crucial as industry expands beyond traditional remote sensing and as Congress starts to update the statutes governing these activities for the first time since the 90s.”
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