The Facts Behind SPACE Act

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.

Thanks go to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, an honorary member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee for sponsoring this important legislation. This bill will encourage the private sector to launch rockets, take risks, and shoot for the heavens.

H.R. 2262, the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015, or SPACE Act, facilitates a pro-growth environment for the developing commercial space sector. It creates more stable regulatory conditions and improves safety, which in turn attracts private investment. The SPACE Act secures American leadership in space and fosters the development of advanced space technologies.

This bill is the product of over three years of work, numerous committee hearings, and input from industry, education groups, and grassroots citizen advocacy groups. Virtually every stakeholder group has supported this bill.

H.R. 2262 will keep America at the forefront of aerospace technology, promote American jobs, reduce red tape, promote safety, and inspire the next generation of explorers.

The SPACE Act facilitates a pro-growth environment for the developing commercial space industry by encouraging private sector investment, creating more stable and predictable regulatory conditions, and improving safety. The Act will ensure American leadership in space and foster the development of advanced space technologies. The bill:

  • reaffirms FAA’s ability to regulate to protect the uninvolved public, in the event of an accident, or an unplanned event. The bill also establishes a process for developing a safety framework outside of the regulatory process that can more rapidly address safety concerns without implementing arbitrary regulation and red tape;
  • provides a long-term extension of the third party liability risk sharing regime to keep American space companies internationally competitive;
  • closes loopholes that leave spaceflight participants vulnerable to financial ruin for participating in commercial human spaceflight thereby making space accessible for everyone;
  • provides much needed flexibility in the experimental permitting and licensing regimes to allow for rapid improvements in safety and reliability systems;
  • enables U.S. private sector exploration and use of celestial resources; and
  • affirms Congress’s bipartisan commitment to the development of the commercial space industry.

Our aerospace economy was founded by two bicycle makers in a garage from Ohio. We've spent the last 50 years of the space age leading the way by daring to succeed, not fearing failure. We need to make sure the next 50 years are marked by that same freedom and spirit.

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