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HR 656 provisions

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:07 am
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By Jeff Foust: Thomas has finally posted the text of HR 656, the legislation introduced last week by Rep. James Oberstar to amend the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act with additional safety provisions. As expected, the bill includes a provision to require AST to ensure that each launch license “includes minimum standards to protect the health and safety of crews and space flight participants, taking into account the inherently risky nature of human flight”. The bill would also extend the amount of time AST has to approve the new experimental permits introduced in last year’s legislation from 120 to 180 days—the same amount of time AST has to consider a launch license application once it is substantially complete. This would undo some of the advantages of the experimental permit regime, at least in the eyes of industry, who saw the permit system as a way to expedite the testing of new vehicle designs.

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