Space Updates

Space plays a big role in your daily life. The day’s weather forecast, your cell phone calls, and the men and women in uniform fighting for our freedom, all heavily rely on our capabilities in space.  Our lives have been improved by technologies developed for NASA missions and research done by astronauts in space.

The United States is the preeminent spacefaring nation. NASA got us to the Moon, and we are still the only nation to land humans there. Our commercial space industry has become adept at launching rockets, building satellites, and will soon begin transporting humans to and from space. To ensure our country remains the leader in space, we need to change government processes and further leverage the innovation coming from the commercial sector. This will free up government resources to focus on the things that will take a national effort, such as getting Americans to Mars.

As a Member of Congress, I am working to ensure that space can continue to contribute to and improve your quality of life. This blog will keep you up-to-date with my latest work on space issues. Please visit for more detailed information and the ASRA bill text.

House Passes FY2018 "Make America Secure" Appropriations Bill

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The House passed a FY2018 appropriations bill today that includes funding for the Department of Defense (DOD). The defense appropriations bill was bundled with three others into the "Make America Secure" appropriations bill, H.R. 3219. The only space-related amendment that was adopted during floor debate specifies $5 million for the Air Force's commercial weather data pilot program. H.R. 3219 combines four of the 12 regular appropriations bills: Defense, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (M...

House bill seeks to streamline oversight of commercial space activities

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WASHINGTON — The House Science Committee is expected to approve a bill that seeks to improve regulation of commercial space activities, but not without criticism from some within the industry. The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, H.R. 2809, was formally introduced June 7 by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science Committee. The bill has eight other co-sponsors, including space subcommittee chairman Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) and Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), a mem...

Report recommends civil agency for space traffic management

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WASHINGTON — A report prepared for Congress recommends giving a civil agency responsibility for space traffic management work, but stops short of recommending which agency should take on the job. The “Orbital Traffic Management Study” was prepared by SAIC for NASA under a provision of the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 to examine models for improved space traffic management. The final report, dated Nov. 21, was recently delivered to Congress as required by the law. The repor...

Bridenstine Says Satellite Industry Needs to Do More

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Via Satellite recently spoke to Winston Beauchamp, a member of the Senior Executive Service, the deputy under secretary of the Air Force for space, and the director, principal DOD space advisor staff, the Pentagon, and Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee, where he was selected to serve as Chairman of the House Environment Subcommit...

This is Our Sputnik Moment & The Moon Will Ensure U.S. Preeminence in Space

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Original Article on Exclaiming "this is our Sputnik moment," Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) told an audience of lunar scientists and entrepreneurs tonight that the Moon is the pathway to American preeminence in space. He also addressed comments made several weeks ago by his colleague, Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), that seemed to contradict his approach to government oversight of commercial space activities, saying that the two views are closer than they appear. Bridenstine, a forme...

Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Encourage U.S. and Israeli Collaborations on Space Exploration Breakthroughs

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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06) and Jim Bridenstine (R-OK-01) introduced bipartisan legislation to encourage U.S. and Israeli scientists to continue collaborating on breakthroughs in space exploration. The United States and Israel Space Cooperation Act would direct the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to work with the Israel Space Agency to identify and together pursue new potential scientific discoveries in space. “We want ...

Moon Express becomes first private company to get US approval for lunar mission

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The solution that Moon Express proposed was really only meant to be a temporary fix for the company, but it's possible the company has inadvertently created ground rules for all future commercial missions beyond Earth orbit. Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) has proposed a bill, called the Space Renaissance Act, which incorporates Moon Express' solution. Rather than have companies voluntarily disclose how they'll adhere to the Outer Space Treaty, however, Bridenstine's solution gives the FAA au...

Commercial Space Needs Regulatory Clarity

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Representative Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma proposed a bill earlier this year that would do some of the things suggested here. In particular, it would put the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in charge of space traffic management. The FAA makes sense to take on many of these responsibilities because it already performs a regulatory and licensing role for aviation and could be expanded to play a similar role for a wide array of space missions. While it lacks the technical capabilities of the ...

Bridenstine pleased by progress on space policy bill

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WASHINGTON — Nearly two months after introducing a comprehensive space policy bill, U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) says he’s made good progress getting provisions of that bill included into defense authorization and other legislation. Bridenstine, speaking at an American Bar Association space law conference here June 8, said he’ll continue to work to get additional provisions of the American Space Renaissance Act included in other legislation this year, including a defense spending bill and...

Kilmer, Bridenstine Secure Full Funding for Office of Commercial Space Transportation

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Today, the House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill from Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) to increase the funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA/AST) by $1 million. Building on efforts led by Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), this amendment brings appropriations for this office in line with the President’s Budget Request an...