Senate may take up launch indemnification bill today

The Senate may attempt to pass today a version of a commercial launch indemnification bill that the House has already passed, but with a longer time period. According to discussion at working group meetings this morning of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Committee, or COMSTAC (which are taking place as scheduled despite inclement weather that shut down federal government offices in the DC area), the Senate will attempt to “hotline”, or passed via unanimous consent, the bill the House passed last week, but amended to extend indemnification for three years instead of one, as the House bill states. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced a bill last month, S. 1753, that provided a three-year extension; that bill now has 10 co-sponsors, but an effort to pass it by unanimous consent before the Thanksgiving break didn’t work.

If the Senate does pass the House bill with an amended extension period, it would have to go back to the House for approval again. The House plans to adjourn at the end of this week until after January 1, thus it would have to take up the bill again this week. If that doesn’t work, the Senate would likely have to accept a one-year extension and seek a longer extension next year.

4 comments to Senate may take up launch indemnification bill today

  • Aberwys

    I am surprised that no one here is talking about the departure of NASA’s Chief Engineer, Mike R.

    • Dark Blue Nine

      “I am surprised that no one here is talking about the departure of NASA’s Chief Engineer, Mike R.”

      Ryschkewitsch is going to head up APL’s space department, Griffin’s job before he became NASA Administrator. I could read the move two ways:

      1) It’s about what APL offers. More money, prestige, and direct responsibility for hardware and missions (which are closer to what Mike used to do before becoming Chief Engineer) than leading a support office at NASA.

      2) It’s about what’s going wrong at NASA. Ryschkewitsch would rather wrestle a slightly overweight Solar Probe spacecraft with a clear mission than wrestle a massively overweight MPCV with no mission.

      Probably some of both.

      • Vladislaw

        Does the MPCV have to stay heavy in order to justify the need for the SLS?

        • Dark Blue Nine

          No, given that the first MPCV test flight is on a DIVH, and we’re still pursuing SLS down a very expensive dead-end.

          And MPCV has this problem regardless of what it launches on. It’s overweight for its parachutes, not any LV.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>