Lucas and Perlmutter Introduce Commercial Remote Sensing Legislation

Frank Lucas

WASHINGTON (Frank Lucas PR) — Today, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) announced the introduction of H.R. 6845, the Commercial Remote Sensing Amendment Act, to support commercial remote sensing activities in the U.S. The bill renews an expired requirement for the Department of Commerce to send an annual report to Congress on the status of commercial remote sensing applications, regulations, and adjudications.

“Remote sensing has become a crucial tool allowing us to improve crop production, weather forecasting, and emergency responses to natural disasters,” Lucas said. “The technology is constantly evolving, and the commercial remote sensing industry is seeing tremendous growth. To effectively support and manage commercial remote sensing activities, Congress needs timely and comprehensive reports from the Department of Commerce so we can evaluate the state of the industry and how regulations are affecting its growth. I appreciate Representative Perlmutter’s support of this legislation, and I look forward to working with him to pass this into law.”

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Lucas, Babin Push Back Against NTSB Move to Expand Role into Commercial Space Accident Investigations

Part of SpaceShipTwo’s fuselage. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

WASHINGTON (Frank Lucas/Brian Babin PR) — House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas joined Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Ranking Member Brian Babin in a letter to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) requesting information on their attempts to expand their role in commercial space accident investigations. Concurrently, Babin introduced a resolution to reiterate that commercial space launch is a developmental activity, rather than a mode of transportation.

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Congress Returns to Work, Unlikely to Achieve Very Much

Capitol Building
Jeff Foust of Space News reports on the dismal prospects for a federal budget before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

Legislators return to work on Monday after their traditional August recess. The House has only 12 working days until it adjourns on Oct. 2 for a six-week break. That recess is needed so representatives can return home to campaign for re-election based on their stellar records of achievement.

With much to do and little time, legislators are expected to pass a continuing resolution that will keep the government operating for a few more months based on the current budget. Foust reports that NASA is unlikely to have a new budget until at least December, and most likely sometime in 2015.

On the plus side, it appears unlikely the government will be shut down again as it was last year when legislators and the White House could not agree on a continuing resolution.

Legislators have a number of other space-related measures to consider, including amendments to the Commercial Space Launch Act, the American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act, and re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank.

No progress is expected on any of these measures until after the election. In fact, action is likely to be delayed until after the next Congress convenes in January.