Rohrabacher Introduces Space Development & Settlement Act

Rep. Dan Rohrabacher
Rep. Dan Rohrabacher

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) has introduced a bill that would enshrine the development and human settlement of space as one of NASA’s objectives.

The Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement (SEDS) Act of 2016 would require NASA pursue “the expansion of permanent human presence beyond low-Earth orbit in a way that enables human settlement and a thriving space economy.”

Rohrabacher’s bill would add the following text to the National Aeronautics and Space Act:

Exploration, development, and settlement of space.—The Congress declares that expanding permanent human presence beyond low-Earth orbit in a way that enables human settlement and a thriving space economy will enhance the general welfare of the United States and requires the Administration to encourage and support the development of permanent space settlements.

SPACE SETTLEMENT.—The term ‘space settlement’ means any community of humans living beyond Earth’s atmosphere that is able to economically sustain its population through a neutral or positive balance of trade of goods and services, and is able to expand its habitable real estate as need and desire of the community may warrant and international law permits.”.

The measure would require the NASA Administrator to produce a report every two years on the space agency’s progress “toward expanding permanent human presence beyond low-Earth orbit in a way that enables human settlement and a thriving space economy.”

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.