"To promote the development of the
commercial space transportation industry,
to authorize appropriations for the Office
of the Associate Administrator for Commercial
Space Transportation, and for other purposes.
Includes also the instructions :
" Not later than 6 months after the
date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary
of Transportation shall submit to Congress
a report on the need for a distinct regulatory
regime for suborbital vehicles taking into
account the unique characteristics and purposes
of these vehicles."
`Pete' Conrad Astronomy Awards Act of
2002 - establishes "an awards program in
honor of Charles "Pete" Conrad, astronaut and
space scientist, for recognizing the discoveries
made by amateur astronomers of asteroids with
near-Earth orbit trajectories."
Treaty 1979 - fearing that it would
restrict private ventures in space, activist
groups, especially the L5
Society, helped to prevent the US from approving
this treaty. It has yet to receive a sufficient
number of signatures from other countries to
go into affect under international law.
R. 4752Make space settlement a top
priority for NASA - Introduced March 16,
2016 by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R-CA]
- "To require the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration to investigate and promote the
exploration and development of space leading
to human settlements beyond Earth, and for other
Tourism Promotion Act 2001 - H.R. 2443
- seeks to stimulate the development of space
tourism by means of guaranteed loans, tax credits,
establishment of a "straightforward and
predictable regulatory structure". However,
US govenment space vehicles and the US modules
of the Space Station could not be used by anyone
except officially permitted visitors. Sponsored
by Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX)
Gravity, Zero Tax Bill 2003- H.R. 914
- space-related income excluded from gross income
for calculating income taxes for 10 years, except
for income from space-based telecommunications,
remote-sensing , and space launch companies
currently in business. Also, it provides $100
million in tax credits for investments in new
space enterprises. No capital gains tax on the
sale of the stock for a period of 10 years.
Sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Ca).
Invest in Space Now
Act 2003 - H.R. 2177 - provide tax credits
to investments in qualified new space launch
vehicles. The sliding scale would drop from
50% of the value of the stock in 2002 to zero
after 2010. Sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.)
and Rep. Solomon Ortiz (TX).
Spaceport Equality Act 2003 - H.R.644
- commercial spaceports could be financed with
bonds exempt from federal tax on their interest
payments (i.e. like tax-free municipal bonds).
Spaceports would thus recieve equal treatment
as given to airports. Sponsored by Rep. Dave
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation,
February 1, 2010 - SpaceX protested NASA
selection of a Minotaur V, derived from ICBM
solid rocket motors, for the launch of the LADEE
science satellite. SpaceX argued that it violted
the restrictions in the Commercial Space Act
of 1998 on the use of ICBMs in the commercial
market. GAO ruled in favor of NASA due to the
lack of flight data at the time for the Falcons.
Vision for Space Exploration
(VSE) - Space initiative from President Bush presented
on January 14, 2004: Here are a sampling of articles and reference information
about the new space policy announced by President George
Bush on Jan.14.04
Hubble Space Telescope Rescue
After the Columbia accident, NASA administrator
Sean O'Keefe decided to cancel the final mission to
repair and upgrade the Hubble Telescope. This set off
a firestorm of protest from many space enthusiasts and
organizations. Below are links to
These efforts to convince NASA to reconsider its plans
were successful. Mike Griffin, O'Keefe's replacement
as NASA chief, reversed the decision un October 2006.
The successful Shuttle mission to the Hubble took place
in June of 2009.
Save the Hubble - an online petition
website was set up at www.savethehubble.org, no longer
Space Settlement Manifesto
In early March of 2003, in the aftermath of the Columbia
disaster, representatives of most of the major space
advocacy organizations met to develop a common goal
for human spaceflight. They agreed to make space settlement
as the primary objective. The justifications included:
Space provides a new arena for the expansion of
Protection of human culture and civilization from
catastrophic events such as asteroid collisions.
Who licenses what with regard to rocket launches, space
probe missions, etc. is a complex issue.
The Outer Space Treaty specifies, for example, that
the home country is responsible for any damage, e.g.
a booster falling on a house, caused by a launch to
space by any organization of that country. So even when,
for example, Boeing uses its Sea Launch platform in
the Pacific it must get a US license.
If a US spacecraft might take a picture of earth, even
incidentally, it must get a license from NOAA.
Technology transfer laws in the US place great burdens
on those wanting to launch an American spacecraft on
a rocket outside the US.
Here are some resources related to space licensing.
The success of the X PRIZE project in attracting many
serious competitors has given encouragment to those who
believe that the government can also use prizes to motivate
Challenges - NASA program that sponsors several
space related prize competitions. Each is managed
by a non-government organization.
America's Space Prize
- Created by Robert Bigelow, this $50M prize was intended
to spur the development of low cost orbital transportation.
The prize would have gone to the first private organization
to put a crew of 5 into orbit by 2010. There were
no entrants and the program has since become inactive.
NASA also has a poor record of separating its pure
research activities from those that could be taken over
by commercial enterprises. However, NASA is trying to
improve its efforts at commercialization of space as
indicated by these sites:
SpaceUp This organization holds "unconference"
events on space in different locations.
SpaceUp is a space unconference, where
participants decide the topics, schedule, and structure
of the event. Unconferences have been held about technology,
science, transit, and even cupcakes, but this is the
first one focused on space exploration.