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.

Make FAA/AST the "FAA for Space"

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The Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA) represents a tremendous achievement for American space leadership. This legislation will enable the continued growth of the commercial space sector by allowing innovation and expanded access to space, making this a truly exciting time for commercial space. Worryingly, a 2013 study by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee determined that even if nothing new is launched, debris in orbit will continue to grow due to collisions, ...

GOES-13 Instrument Failure Punctuates Lawmakers’ Concerns About NOAA Transparency

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WASHINGTON — House lawmakers scolded NOAA’s top satellite official here during a Dec. 10 hearing about a lack of transparency in the civilian agency’s major geostationary weather satellite program, which recently fell six months behind schedule on launching its next spacecraft. The admonishments drew a mea culpa from Steve Volz, NOAA’s assistant administrator for satellite and services, who testified here alongside David Powner, director of Information Technology Management Issues at the Governm...

Washington Weighs an FAA Role in Managing Space Traffic

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WASHINGTON – The White House and members of U.S. Congress are in early discussions about how to give the Federal Aviation Administration a role in monitoring the space environment and heading off collisions between commercial satellites, a task currently handled by the U.S. Air Force, sources tell SpaceNews. The discussion has a sense of urgency, sources said, as several new businesses, many with ties to Silicon Valley, have plans to launch hundreds of satellites in the coming years. With that i...

Op-ed | Time for Action on Commercial Weather Data

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Commercial space-based weather satellites, owned and operated by private companies, can augment the federal government’s weather data, be assimilated into our numerical weather models, and substantially improve our ability to predict severe weather. This is my firm conviction. I represent the state of Oklahoma. My constituents year after year find their lives threatened by severe storms and tornadoes. They deserve to have the best possible weather data available to protect their lives and proper...

5 Space Leaders Making a Difference

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4. Rep. Jim Bridenstine U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) hails from a state that lacks a significant space constituency but has an abundance of dangerous weather, a fact the second-term lawmaker has cited to explain his early interest in satellite activities. As a freshman, Bridenstine made his mark as a champion for companies seeking to commercialize the collection of weather data via satellite, traditionally a government function. He has since taken over the chairmanship of the House Scienc...

Lawmaker Floats Paying ULA To Keep Delta IV In Service

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A key lawmaker Friday floated the idea of paying United Launch Alliance (ULA) to keep its Delta IV rocket available for future national security space launches, in contrast to the company’s current plan to retire the launch vehicle later this decade. House Armed Services (HASC) strategic forces subcommittee Ranking Member Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) asked during a hearing whether the federal government has the legal ability to force the continuation of the “Delta medium.” ULA has said it plans to retir...

House Offers Partial Budget Increase To FAA Commercial Space Office

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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives approved an amendment to an appropriations bill June 3 that gives the Federal Aviation Administration’s commercial space office part of a budget increase it requested to keep up with its growing workload. The House approved by voice vote an amendment to appropriations bill for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development that transfers $250,000 from an FAA account for financial and management activities to its Office of Commercial ...

House Science Committee Approves Four Commercial Space Bills

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WASHINGTON — The House Science Committee approved four bills on commercial space topics during a lengthy markup session May 13 marked by partisan divides on a number of issues. Most of the discussion during the three-hour session revolved around an update to commercial launch law called the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship, or SPACE, Act. The legislation was formally introduced May 12 by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), along with committee chairman...