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Suborbital Legislation: Take Action Now!

Posted by: Arobie - Fri Sep 10, 2004 9:55 pm
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Suborbital Legislation: Take Action Now! 
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Post Suborbital Legislation: Take Action Now!   Posted on: Fri Sep 10, 2004 9:55 pm
From RLV-News.

Item: The fall Congressional session is scheduled for Sept. 7th to Oct. 1st only.

Item: Even the most optimistic sources estimate that the chances of reintroducing and passing 'infant industry' legislation for private human spaceflight next year are, for various procedural, non-partisan reasons, essentially zero.

Item: Yesterday, from an observer close to relevant events:

"Tangible issues regarding the legislation essential to opening private human spaceflight markets (a version of HR 3752 and/or it's recent Senate companion, S.2772) have become virtually trivial,--

"And the only thing preventing the passage this fall of such a Bill is that it will likely just not be given high enough priority in time for action."

There will no doubt be (deserved) extensive coverage of Mr. Rutan et al taking a shot at the X-Prize, presently scheduled for September 29th and October 4th. If the legislation has not been passed by then, however, even the most wildly successful Prize flights will likely be a tragedy masquerading as a triumph.

Finally, the Hill is enmeshed in the latest act of the decades-long drama, "How do we wrench an affordable human exploration program out of the NASA behemoth?"

Shouldn't Congress give a moment's attention to passing the private human spaceflight enabling Bill? It includes virtually no controversy, may profoundly improve the cost and safety of all human spaceflight, and doesn't cost the taxpayers a dime.

Target Senate Commerce Committee

[You should] contact the full Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to urge them to take action that will allow Congress to complete passage this fall of legislation allowing commercialization of private human spaceflight (on the heels of the Xprize). If they are asked about or wish to reference a bill number, people can say something like 'a version of S.2772 or HR3752'.

McCain is the chair of the committee, Hollings is minority leader.


People should/can contact:

a) the committee office: 508 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg | Washington, DC 20510-6125 | Tel: 202-224-5115

b) McCain's and (if possible) Hollings's offices - (commerce.senate.gov/about/membership.html).

c) their own senator's office if that person's on the committee (see same linked page as in 'b')



Of course email is probably a waste. The next easiest thing is to call the appropriate office. Writing via paper followed by a call would of course be the ideal but given the short time available the main thing is to get the message recorded to raise the visibility, and if more than a couple of folks call they may actually start keeping track of it.

If it gets to that, the key parts of the bill are the infant industry provisions, which include reasonable licensing requirements, passenger liability sign-offs while protecting uninvolved public, etc.

Of course, the Bill's other selling point is that a Member can do something virtually instantly this fall that has the potential of greatly aiding the future of all human spaceflight while not costing a dime and not getting caught up in the controversies over the NASA exploration proposals.


There's nothing more important for the future of spaceflight than getting this legislation through - and when it can be gotten through.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 10, 2004 10:09 pm
Here is another article:

From RLV-News

As recently noted here, legislation deemed by many to be crucial to the development of a successful commercial suborbital spaceflight industry is at a critical stage in the Senate. Though there is probably no real opposition to the bill, the session will be very short and it will be difficult to find time for it in a very crowded agenda. Public support will be a great help in raising its chances for passage.

I've been informed by Charles Lurio that the Senate version of any bill dealing with commercialization of private human spaceflight would not be the previously mentioned S2772 (the 'CHASE' bill introduced by Senator Inhofe) but instead it will be under the House Bill designation, HR3752 ("The Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004").

This is just an accounting measure, but if you contact Congressional staff to give your support for the legislation, you should refer to HR3752 to avoid any confusion.

Note that any improvements that were incorporated into S2772 will likely be applied in HR3752 (a process known as creating a "perfected" version of the legislation.)


We all need to do something about this! This needs to get some attention so it can be approved. We need to give it public support!


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Post    Posted on: Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:24 am
We are always talking about how great private industry will be for space, but for private industry to do great, regulations need to be set. This is what this proposed bill is about, setting regulations. This bill will pave the way for private industry to be able to make it into space It will be a major setback for private industry if this is not passed. All of private space industry will suffer.

This session, which I remind you ends October 1st, has to many "more important" issues to deal with. Personally, I don't understand what can be more important, but it is not just what I think that matters. What does matter is what many people think. If we write the congressmen and call them, giving it support, we will raise this bill's importance. We need to make this bill become an issue that deserves the time it needs to pass it. And that is all it needs, to be passed. It has all been worked out, all that is left is to pass it.

I am urging you to write you Congressmen and ask them to bring this bill up, to make it an issue that needs to be taken care of. If we don't do anything, this bill stands a VERY good chance of not getting the attention it needs to be passed. If we write and call, we can give it importance, and personally do something to contribute to helping private industry get off of the ground.

The X-Prize's efforts to give private industry a boost into space will be for nothing if private industry cannot get off of the ground because this bill is not passed. This our chance to make a difference in history, help to get this essential bill passed in Congress.


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