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SPACE Act Passes With Amendment by Knight

Legislation Would Promote Safety And Certainty For The Commercial Space Industry

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Washington, DC, May 22, 2015 | comments

A provision by Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25) that would provide the commercial space industry with long-term regulatory stability passed the House floor Thursday afternoon. 

Last week Rep. Knight co-sponsored the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015, or SPACE Act, which was introduced by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-23). The bill contains many provisions aimed at providing stable and predictable regulatory conditions, including an amendment by Knight that would lengthen the general moratorium on the government's ability to issue new regulations on commercial space companies. The bill passed out of committee on an 18-12 vote and was considered on the House floor on Thursday where it passed with a strong bipartisan vote of 284-133.

“The SPACE Act is a huge step in creating a strong national space policy,” said Congressman Knight. “I’m proud that my amendment will contribute to this effort by providing these companies with the predictability they need to innovate and grow.”

Knight’s amendment to the bill extends through 2025 what is called a learning period for the growing industry. This means that commercial space companies will receive more time to mature their products without the FAA implementing new rules that could stifle their ability to innovate. It also allows the FAA more time to develop a more informed and effective regulatory framework.

“The commercial space industry needs time to develop the safest product possible, and the FAA needs time to determine what regulations are actually needed,” continued Knight. “The way to ensure this is lengthening the learning period.”

The SPACE Act now awaits consideration in the Senate.

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