Space policy and space tourism legislation

A couple articles of note in this week’s issue of The Space Review:

Ryan Zelnio argues that the Bush Administration needs to develop a new space policy for the commercial satellite industry. Such a policy would focus in large part on export control issues, including directing the State Department to increase the workforce devoted to handing export control applications and reexamining what space-related items should fall under the more restrictive provisions of the Munitions List. Zelnio’s arguments are similar to those made by David Cavossa of the Satellite Industry Association last month (and are cited in Zelnio’s article).

In another article, Taylor Dinerman worries about potential changes to the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act that Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) might want to push through Congress. Oberstar, as discussed here earlier this month, will likely become chairman of the House Transportation Committee in January, and two years ago tried to get more strenuous passenger safety regulations added to the CSLAA; he also introduced legislation last year to amend the CSLAA with similar provisions, although that bill went nowhere. There have been indications that Oberstar is still interested in making changes to the CSLAA, but as Dinerman notes, “One hopes that the new Congress will have enough to do so that it just leaves space tourism alone, at least for the next five years or so.”

1 comment to Space policy and space tourism legislation

  • Rick Sterling

    Regarding Rep. Oberstar & the commercial launch industry, AW&ST(Nov. 13,2006-Page 23) had some important comments. After discussing Rep. Oberstar, it stated, “On the bright side,the Democrats’ soon-to-be Senate majority leader is Harry Reid. He hails from Nevada–home to Bigelow Aerospace, which hopes to build private inflatable space stations–and was instrumental in getting the 2004 act passed without the more stringent rules Oberstar favored.”