Congress, NASA

Creating commercial spaceflight “centers of excellence”

Yesterday the two representatives from Florida’s Space Coast, Suzanne Kosmas and Bill Posey, introduced HR 3853, “Commercial Space Transportation Cooperative Research and Development Centers of Excellence Act of 2009″. The bill would authorize NASA to make grants to two more universities (with at least one of which within 100 miles of “an active commercial spaceport”, a term not defined in the bill text) to create these “centers of excellence”. The centers would combine NASA, academia, and industry expertise “to enhance the development of commercial space transportation through research and development activities” in a variety of areas, from policy analysis to biomedical issues to vehicle design. No dollar value is tied to the legislation other than “such sums as may be necessary” for fiscal years 2010 through 2012.

Kosmos and Posey worked together to introduce the bill because of their concerns about the upcoming post-shuttle gap and its effects on the Space Coast. “With the looming spaceflight gap, it is clear that the commercial spaceflight industry must play a significant role in maintaining our direct access to space and in providing high-quality job opportunities in Central Florida,” Kosmas said in a statement. Added Posey: “This is yet one more [approach] among many that will be needed to keep us moving forward and will help foster the development of commercial space technology.”

2 comments to Creating commercial spaceflight “centers of excellence”

  • Anon

    Pork for UCF. BTW what has the Florida Space Institute done to advance RLV technology from the last side of Congressional pork?

    Also if human settlement of space is impossible why bother with fundng low cost space access anyway?

  • common sense


    “Also if human settlement of space is impossible why bother with fundng low cost space access anyway?”

    I am not sure where they talk settlement of Space. There still is LEO for which all of this below may be valuable:

    (1) Space transportation policy analysis.

    (2) Spaceport safety, including range system development, testing, simulation, and qualification, and spaceport instrumentation, technologies, and processes.

    (3) Spaceflight passenger and crew training and qualification.

    (4) Spaceflight biomedical countermeasures.

    (5) Aerospace workforce technical training and certification.

    (6) Space vehicle design, including materials and engineering research and development, launch vehicle flight safety analysis, and design of passenger-carrying spaceflight vehicles to maximize safety and functionality.

    (7) Space weather interactions with space transportation systems.

    (8) Aviation and space transportation system convergence planning and analysis.

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