March 05, 2004

Commercial Space Bill Passes House

Thursday March 4, the US House of Representatives approved HR 3752, The Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act.

The bill adds definitions to the existing Commercial Space Launch Act for "crew," "space flight participants," and "suborbital rockets," among others and clears the way for suborbital rocket flights with passengers, at least on an experimental basis. The Act is aimed at encouraging X-Prize participants and other similarly-situated rocket developers by removing the legal uncertainties they face, as bill sponsor Rep. Dana Rohrabacher makes clear:

"It is my sincere hope that this bill will encourage individuals like Burt Rutan and others to continue leading the way in pushing the boundaries of technology and safety by building and flight testing hardware, something NASA has yet to do. This fine piece of legislation carries forward my goal of promoting this new industry and cutting back bureaucratic red tape, while protecting the public health
and safety."

Let's hope that with some regulatory certainty, we'll see many private launches in the near future.

Posted by JohnL at March 5, 2004 12:04 AM
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