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.


McCarthy Could Become House Speaker as Boehner Bails

Rep. Kevin McCarthy
Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), a prominent supporter of commercial space, is a leading candidate to replace John Boehner (R-OH) as the new speaker of the House of Representatives.

On Friday. Boehner shocked Washington by announcing  he would be resigning his position as speaker and his House seat at the end of October. He was facing increasing challenges to his authority from conservatives Republicans who believe he should be more confrontational with the Obama Administration.  Boehner has served as speaker for nearly five years.

McCarthy, 50, serves as Majority Leader, which is the second most powerful position in the House. He represents California’s 23rd District, which includes the Mojave Air and Space Port, Rosamond and Ridgecrest.

Earlier this year, McCarthy introduced the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (SPACE) Act of 2015. The measure extends the learning period for commercial human spaceflight, which limits the ability of the Federal Aviation Administration to regulate the industry. It also extends an legal regime under which industry and government share liability for third-party damages caused by commercial launches.

The SPACE Act is now being reconciled with a similar measure passed in the Senate.

The Federation Praises the SPACE Act

csf_logo_newestWashington D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015 (SPACE Act of 2015) by a large bipartisan majority, 284-133. Among other things, the SPACE Act of 2015 addresses many of the major policy issues currently facing the commercial spaceflight industry relating to the Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984.

This bill represents the culmination of many years of bipartisan oversight and study by the House, spanning multiple congresses, on matters related to U.S. commercial space transportation. It responds to input from a diverse set of experts in industry, government, academia and non-profit organizations, communicated through a multitude of democratic mediums, including Congressional oversight hearings, briefings, and reports.


White House Opposes Provisions of SPACE Act

H.R. 2262 — Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (SPACE) Act of 2015 (Rep. McCarthy, R-CA, and 12 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly supports the development of a commercial space sector that pushes the boundaries of space exploration while creating jobs and strengthening the American economy. The American commercial launch industry is the most competitive in the world. Over the past several years, the industry has rapidly increased its share of the global market for sending satellites and other payloads into space. The Administration agrees with the goal of H.R. 2262 to bring more stability and certainty to this growing market. While the Administration does not oppose House passage of the bill, it has serious concerns with certain provisions of the bill.


House Republicans Praise SPACE Act Passage

Rep. Kevin McCarthy
Rep. Kevin McCarthy

WASHINGTON, D.C. (House Science Commnittee Leadeship) – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today joined House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in praising passage of H.R. 2262, the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015 or SPACE Act. Almost 50 Democrats joined Republicans to pass the bill with broad bipartisan support, 284-133.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “America has always led because it’s in our nature to lead. We crossed over the mountains of the Appalachians and into the Great Plains. We climbed the Rockies to the golden coast of California and beyond, creating a nation in this land that has far surpassed all others in truth, hope, and liberty. We are a beacon of freedom and human dignity to every person that longs for the right to choose their own future. And we are a force for good unlike anything this world has ever known.

“And yet, in space, we are losing our ability to lead. We once stood up to the challenge of the Soviet’s Sputnik and made it to the moon, but today, our astronauts use Russian rockets and other nations are working to put people on Mars and beyond.

“But we must go beyond. We must face the great unknown with that American spirit of adventure and hope.  To paraphrase President Kennedy, we must lead mankind into space not because it is easy, but because it is hard and because that goal brings out the very best of our nation. …


House Democrats Slam SPACE Act as “Commercial Space Industry Wish List”

Capitol Building
Washington, DC (House Science Committee Democrats PR) –
Today the House passed H.R. 2262, the SPACE Act of 2015. The bill takes a fundamentally unbalanced approach to the issues facing the commercial space launch industry. Moving far beyond addressing the legitimate needs of the industry, the bill is heavily skewed towards industry’s desires.

Colorado Officials Narrow Down Sites for NASA-Supported Research Park

Site for Colorado’s Space Act research park could be picked next month: Unnamed developer has submitted letter of intent to build
Colorado Daily

The location of a 200-acre research campus resulting from Colorado’s recent Space Act agreement with NASA — a broad program estimated to result in the creation of 10,000 jobs statewide — could be determined as early as mid-January, an official involved with the agreement said Monday.