Commercial Spaceflight Federation Opposes Putting Commercial Space Vehicles on USML

csf_logo_newestWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation submitted the following comments to the State Department regarding the interim Category XV rule of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

June 27, 2014

Via E-Mail ([email protected])

Directorate of Defense Trade Controls
Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy
U.S. Department of State
PM/DDTC, SA-1, 12th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-0112

ATTN: Regulatory Change, USML Category XV
RIN: 1400–AD33

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is an industry association comprised of leading businesses and organizations working to make commercial spaceflight a reality. Our mission is to promote the development of commercial spaceflight, pursue ever higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The CSF commends the Administration for its efforts on export control reform, especially in relation to Category XV, which will reinforce the competiveness of the U.S. satellite industry in the global market. The modernization of Category XV will help bolster the growth of the domestic commercial space sector while enhancing national security by allowing the government to focus its scarce resources on sensitive military technologies.

While we applaud the progress that has been made, there is still more work to be done. As commercial space companies continue to test and develop their vehicles, it is vital to have an export control regime that will not illegitimately inhibit the potential of this growing industry. Steps should be taken to further investigate how to modernize the USML to appropriately move these vehicles to the Commerce Control List (CCL). Again, the CSF commends the State Department on its export control reform efforts to date as well as its outreach to industry, and we hope to continue to work together to determine the appropriate controls for commercial spacecraft.

Although the State Department did not request comment on this matter in its May 13, 2014 rule, the CSF will submit further detailed comments to the State Department along with our submission to the Department of Commerce in response to their request for comments on the continued application of USML controls to commercial space launch vehicles and human spaceflight.


Michael Lopez-Alegria

AIA Supports Lifting of Export Restrictions on U.S. Space Systems

aialogosmTogether with Ex-Im Reauthorization later this year, the Interim Final Rule will open the door to increased international space-related sales.

Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey 

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association applauds the Administration’s issuance of revisions to Category XV of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) that will end excessive restrictions on space systems like commercial satellites and related articles.  After a six month delayed implementation, the interim final rule will remove many of these less sensitive technologies from the USML and place them under the more appropriate controls of the Commerce Control List.


Stu Witt’s Prepared Remarks to Congress on Commercial Space

Stu_wittPrepared Statement of Stuart O. Witt
CEO and General Manager
Mojave Air and Space Port
Hearing on “Commercial Space”
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Subcommittee on Space Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
U.S. House of Representatives

Chairman Palazzo, Ranking Member Edwards, Chairman Smith, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to address the subcommittee this morning. My name is Stuart Witt, and I am the CEO and General Manager of the Mojave Air and Space Port, which is located in southeast Kern County, California.

Many of my tenants call Mojave the Silicon Valley of Commercial Spaceflight. I’m just proud to lead the nation’s only private experimental flight test center, a place where Innovation Takes Flight.

Our topic today is America’s commercial space industry, and my message to you from the high desert is that American engineers and entrepreneurs in Mojave and other places across the country are successfully revolutionizing America’s future in space. This is a 100% good news story. What my Mojave tenants require from elected representatives in Washington is continued permission, and modest encouragement, rather than obstacles.


Witt to Congress: Extend Learning Period, Revise ITAR and Make Indemnification Permanent

Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt (Credit: Bill Deaver)
Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt (Credit: Bill Deaver)

In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Space on Wednesday, Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt urged legislators to extend the “learning period” for new space systems to eight years, remove suborbital tourism vehicles from the ITAR list, and to make permanent the risk-sharing launch indemnification in which the government covers damages from private space missions above a certain level.

“This industry needs regulatory certainty,” Witt said in his prepared remarks. “But the learning period restriction on unsubstantiated safety regulations expires in less than two years and the risk-sharing (indemnification) regime expires at the end of next month. That regulatory uncertainty is difficult for many companies. I ask Congress to make Indemnification permanent, and also extend the Learning Period to a full eight years of R&D and operational flights to provide regulatory certainty to firms developing passenger carrying vehicles.”


AIA Praises Export Reform Measure, Calls for End to Shutdown

aialogosmARLINGTON, Virg. (AIA PR) — Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey calls on Congress and the administration to end the shutdown and allow exporters to take advantage of export control reforms in support of U.S. national security and economic prosperity as soon as possible.

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) welcomes today’s enactment of the first set of revisions to the U.S. Munitions List (USML) that are removing onerous controls on exports of essentially commercial technology used in military aircraft (Category VIII) and military aircraft engines (Category XIX).  Subjecting these technologies to the export control requirements of the Commerce Control List (CCL) will allow for more appropriate reviews and restrictions while making trade with America’s closest military allies and partners more predictable, efficient and transparent.


FSDC Joins Effort to Keep Spaceflight Vehicles Off Munitions List

nss_logoRockledge, Fla., June 14, 2013 (FSDC PR) — The Florida Space Development Council (FSDC), a chapter of the National Space Society, has written to the U.S. Department of State to voice opposition to proposed export-control rulemaking that would add commercial human spaceflight vehicles to a Department of Defense “munitions list” and thereby place onerous restrictions on their export from the U.S.


An Urgent Plea for Help in Keeping Crewed Spaceships Off the U.S. Munitions List

DOD_logoBy Andrew Nelson
Chief Operating Officer,
XCOR Aerospace

Just a quick note while I have a moment to stop and reflect in the thick of NSRC 2013. Specifically, I want to address some new rules being proposed by the US State Department on export controls for manned suborbital space vehicles designed for commercial spaceflight.

At the end of May, the Department of State published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (or NPRM) Rule 78 FR 31 444 (pdf)– that did a great thing. The DoS proposed a move of commercial satellites from the US Department of Defense (DoD) Munitions List to the Department of Commerce’s commerce control list (CCL).  This is a great step for the industry. Since the time commercial satellites were placed on the munitions list in 1999, the commercial satellite industry was almost wiped out.


Satellite Industry Association Hails Speedy Publication of Draft Export Reform Rules

boeing_spacecraftWashington, D.C., May 23, 2013 (SAI PR) — The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) applauded the publication today of draft rules to reform the export controls for satellites and related items. The Departments of State and Commerce published draft regulations that would result in the transfer of commercial communications satellites and associated parts, components, and ground equipment from the more restrictive U.S. Munitions List to the Commerce Control List. The publication of these draft rules represents the first step by the Administration toward fully implementing the provisions to reform satellite export controls contained in the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act that was passed by Congress in December 2012 and signed by President Obama in January 2013.


Obama Administration Moves Forward with Export Control Reform

Credit: Matt Wade
Credit: Matt Wade

Fact Sheet: Implementation of Export Control Reform
The White House
March 8, 2013

Today, the Administration announced two key steps to further the goals of President Obama’s Export Control Reform Initiative, which is a common sense approach to overhauling the nation’s export control system.  President Obama signed an Executive Order today to update delegated presidential authorities over the administration of certain export and import controls under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, and yesterday the Administration notified Congress of the first in a series of changes to the U.S. Munitions List.

Space 2013: A Very Busy Year Lies Ahead in Mojave

old_mojave_tower_snowI had only two wishes for Christmas. Can you guess what they were?

A trip to Hawaii? Well, yes. But, that really wasn’t—

Winning a $100 million lottery jackpot? That would have been great, to0. But…any other guesses?

The Eagles winning the Super Bowl? No, I gave up on that waaay before Christmas. I mean, what the hell happened?!

OK. Since you’re way off, I’ll just tell you: My two wishes for Christmas were to see SpaceShipTwo in powered flight and the Lynx making its first runway hop from the Mojave Air and Space Port by the end of the 2012.

Neither of these wishes came true. Which means 2013 –best known thus far as the year not wiped out by the Mayan apocalypse — just got a whole lot better.


China: U.S. Satellite Export Reform Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Chinese Long March rocket.

The decision to relax controls on the export of U.S. satellites isn’t going over well in China, which remains on a list of nations to which these spacecraft cannot be exported, re-exported or transferred. Those restrictions ban China’s launch industry from placing U.S.-built satellites into orbit.

In remarks posted on the Ministry of Commerce website, Spokesman Shen Danyang “pointed out that the US once expressed that its reform of export control system would benefit China and promised to promote export of high-tech products to China for civil use. However, the US always exclude China from the benefited parties in its export control reform, and adopted measures to continue to restrict China-US cooperation on civil satellite field. China is deeply disappointed and dissatisfied with this result.

“Mr. Shen said that China hopes the US can practically fulfill its promise, change the discriminatory conducts against China, and pay attention to and address China’s concerns and materially relax export control against China in its export control reform. It will be conducive to expanding China-US bilateral trade and promoting trade balance between the two countries, which accords with the common interests of the two sides.”

Praise for Satellite Export Reform

Capitol Building
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), and the Space Foundation are all praising an amendment in the defense bill that removes satellites and related technologies from the U.S. Munitions List, a key move to allow American satellite manufacturers to compete on the world market.
“This is a remarkable success, achieved by a coalition that included industry, researchers and the foreign policy community. By rationalizing export controls, Congress has simultaneously improved our national security and created an environment that will keep high-tech jobs here in America,” stated Michael Lopez-Alegria, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

AIA Urges Passage of Defense Bill

aialogosmARLINGTON, VA (AIA PR) — AIA congratulates conferees on the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (H. R. 4310) for completing their work and producing a final conference agreement that supports our warfighters and helps sustain our defense industrial base in a time of uncertainty.  We urge the House and Senate to pass the agreement and President Obama to sign it into law.


Satellite Export Reform Included in Defense Bill as CSF Chairman Vows to Continue Fight in 2013

Capitol Building
By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Satellite export reform is included in the final version of the $633 million defense bill agreed to in conference by House and Senate leaders on Tuesday. Speaking the same day in Mojave, Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) Chairman Stu Witt said  the federation would help lead the effort for additional measures next year.