WASHINGTON, D.C. (Senate Commerce Committee PR) – The U.S. Senate, today, unanimously approved S. 1297, the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, introduced by Commerce Committee Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee chairman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), full committee ranking member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee ranking member Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and subcommittee members Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). The legislation, which the full Commerce Committee approved by voice vote with an amendment on May 20, 2015, extends the operational use of the International Space Station (ISS) until 2024, a regulatory moratorium on commercial space activity through FY 2020, and ensures stability for the continued development and growth of the U.S. commercial space sector and other space initiatives. (more…)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Senate Science Committee PR) — Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee Chairman Ted Cruz (R-Texas) released the following statement regardingS. 1297, the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, that he filed with U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) that extends the International Space Station (ISS) until 2024, extends the regulatory moratorium through FY 2020, and ensures stability for the continued development and growth of the U.S. commercial space sector, among other initiatives.
“We are making a commitment to supporting the continued development of a strong commercial space sector with this bill,” said Sen. Cruz. “The U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act provides the International Space Station nearly a decade of certainty by authorizing operations through 2024 and encourages dynamic private sector growth by giving industry the time it needs to foster and develop new technology.”
“We need to make it less cumbersome to launch from Florida’s Space Coast so private companies won’t take their business elsewhere,” said Sen. Nelson. “We need the jobs that come with commercial space ventures.”
Against the wishes of federal regulators, the commercial spaceflight industry would get another five years to learn lessons — and, hopefully, actually fly someone into space — under a bill being sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
That’s the word from SpaceNews, which says it has obtained a draft of the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act set for markup on May 20 by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. The measure would extend restrictions on the Federal Aviation Administration’s authority to regulate the still nascent industry until 2020.
The limits were first put in place in 2004, then extended for three years in 2012. They are due to expire on Sept. 30.
George Nield, who heads up the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, said six months before the fatal SpaceShipTwo crash last year that he wants the quasi-moratorium to end in September. He said that there are safety regulations that can be formulated based on 50 years of human spaceflight. He added that without some basic regulations, irresponsible companies with poor safety practices can enter the industry.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has announced his candidacy for the presidency. He will be seeking the nomination of the Republican Party.
Cruz has already staked out a position on space policy, arguing that NASA is overspending on Earth science research at the expense of human space exploration. This is not born out by the budget numbers; Obama’s FY 2016 budget proposes $8 billion for human space exploration vs. just under $2 billion for Earth science.
But, hey, let’s not let reality get in the way of a good campaign meme. Cruz is the space exploration candidate, which he believes will inspire school kids, restore America to its former glory, and (no less vitally) keep his constituents in Texas employed indefinitely.
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) sent the following letter to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) after he said NASA was spending too much on Earth science research at the expense of human spaceflight during a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness that he chaired.
13 March 2015
The Honorable Ted Cruz Chair, Senate Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee 185 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Cruz:
On behalf of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and its more than 60,000 Earth and space scientists, I would like to elucidate our position regarding the value of Earth science at NASA.
Earth sciences are a fundamental part of science. They constitute hard sciences that help us understand the world we live in and provide a basis for knowledge and understanding of natural hazards, weather forecasting, air quality, and water availability, among other concerns.
It didn’t take long for critics’ worst fears to be born out. Last Thursday, Cruz decided to engage NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a debate over the space agency’s core mission. The consensus is that Cruz got the worst of the exchange, in the process demonstrating a lack of knowledge about what NASA’s been doing for the past 57 years.
WASHINGTON, DC (Ted Cruz PR) — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in anticipation of his recently-announced chairmanship of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Space, and Competitiveness, today released the following statement:
“In 1961, President John F. Kennedy laid down a marker for space exploration that inspired a generation of Americans to reach for the stars, recognizing that the race to the heavens was nothing less than a crucial front in the battle between freedom and tyranny.
“More than 50 years later, we have lost sight of that clarion call. Russia’s status as the current gatekeeper of the International Space Station could threaten our capability to explore and learn, stunting our capacity to reach new heights and share innovations with free people everywhere. The United States should work alongside our international partners, but not be dependent on them. We should once again lead the way for the world in space exploration.