Suborbital days

Yesterday and today members of the Suborbital Insitutute, a trade association for the suborbital launch vehicle industry, have been on Capitol Hill lobbying for a number of legislative measures to benefit the industry. The talking points used for their meetings outline their areas of interest: getting HR 3752 passed in the Senate, export control relief, and full funding for the Office of Space Commerce within the Department of Commerce. Andrew Case, one of the participants in Monday’s efforts, summarizes his experiences over at Transterrestrial Musings.

I attended a lunch the institute organized Monday in the Rayburn House Office Building. Turnout was light, as many of the staffers who had been invited and even RSVPed to attend failed to show (perhaps given a busy day in the House, compounded by breaking events in Iraq); a similar luncheon last year was standing room only. During the lunch, though, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the House Science Committee’s space subcommittee, dropped by and spoke for a few minutes. He didn’t offer much in the way of insights, other than his description of the lack of action in the Senate on any legislation (not just HR 3752) as a “psychological phenomenon”.

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