Many of you know that McHenry County Board member Andrew Gasser writes a blog called, “Tea Party in Space.”
That Gasser has some effect on the national legislative process is evidenced in the following press release from U.S. Senator Ted Cruz:
Space Community Applauds Cruz-Nelson Commercial Space Launch Act
Authorizes ISS through 2024 and supports growth in the commercial space industry
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) released the following statement regarding S. 1297, the Commercial Space Launch Act of 2015 (CSLA), 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 and ensures stability for the continued development and growth of the U.S. commercial space sector, among other initiatives.
“In 1984, President Reagan ushered in a new era of space exploration when he signed the first Commercial Space Launch Act, which recognized the vital role the private sector plays, along with NASA, that will contribute to continued American leadership in space,” said Sen. Cruz. “The 2015 Commercial Space Launch Act builds on that legacy, keeps the ISS operational through 2024, and encourages dynamic growth of the commercial space industry both here in Texas and across the country.”
Various leaders within the space industry have voiced their support for Sen. Cruz’s legislation, including the following:
Eric Anderson, Co-Founder, Planetary Resources:
“Planetary Resources fully supports the CSLA bill and the leadership of Sens. Cruz, Nelson, Peters, Rubio and Gardner. We thank the committee and its members in moving quickly to address this critical issue and we look forward to continuing this productive relationship.”
Howard Bloom, Founder and Chair, and John Strickland, Chief Analyst, Space Development Steering Committee:
“…The bottom line is this. The CSLA is crucial to the next stage of American economic growth, to American technological leadership, and to the American psyche. We deeply believe that it is the human mission to garden the solar system and green the galaxy. And that to maintain leadership on Earth, America must lead. America must be the nation that brings space to life by bringing life to space.
“We appreciate any and all support you can give to the achievement of this goal.”
John Conafay, Executive Director, and Andrew Newman, Board Member-at-Large, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space:
“We applaud the steps you’ve taken with this bill to support an innovative and growing industry, and inspire America’s next generation of scientists and engineers.”
Frank DiBello, President and CEO, Space Florida:
“As President of Space Florida, I want to offer my strong thanks to Chairman Cruz and of course our own senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio for introducing this thoughtful, measured, and significant legislation updating the Commercial Space Launch Act. I particularly want to thank Sen. Nelson and his staff for their bipartisan support of a five-year extension of the commercial human spaceflight learning period, as well as the formal endorsement of operating the International Space Station through 2024 and for streamlining the protection of public safety at federal launch ranges.”
Jeff Feige, Chairman of the Board, Space Frontier Foundation:
“We are writing to congratulate and thank you for your hard work towards reauthorizing the Commercial Space Launch Act. This piece of legislation has many important provisions that are needed to help advance the United States’ commercial space enterprise.”
Andrew Gasser, President, TEA Party in Space:
“The crushing force of regulation is one thing that surely kills innovation, burdens job creators, and stifles the growth of America.
“Fortunately, the Senate Committee for Commerce, Science, and Transportation will soon markup bipartisan legislation sponsored by Chairman Cruz, Ranking Member Nelson, and Sen. Rubio that will remove this threat from commercial spaceflight.
“These senators understand that it’s better for federal agencies to work with industry to use real world data to determine safety, rather than allow the bureaucracy to speculate about what might be safe based on theory and analysis.
“That is why TEA Party in Space strongly supports the reasonable approach of extending the commercial human spaceflight regulatory learning period, and applauds the Senate for advancing this legislation.”
Jeff Greason, Chief Technical Officer and Chairman of the Board, XCOR Aerospace:
“I’m very pleased that with the myriad of issues Congress has to deal with, they recognize that continuing the regulatory approach which has placed the United States firmly in the lead in the development of commercial space transportation is worth their time and attention. I want to thank Sen. Cruz for his leadership on this issue.”
Taber MacCallum, Chief Technology Officer, World View Enterprises:
“World View Enterprises appreciates the collaborative and thoughtful approach taken to work with industry as part of the reauthorization of the Commercial Space Launch Act. Industry input is an important part of the legislative process and we appreciate the opportunity to participate. The bill provides a balanced approach to strengthening America’s competitiveness in commercial spaceflight.
Jeffrey Manber, CEO, NanoRacks:
“I am writing in strong support of U.S. Commercial Space Launch Act, especially its inclusion of a formal extension of ISS operations through 2024. The ISS is not only America’s first beachhead in space, but it has developed into a marketplace with commercial cargo delivery, cutting edge research services, and innovative satellite deployment that is providing US leadership to a growing number of American companies in the critical markets of environmental monitoring and navigation. Thank you again for your bipartisan leadership in introducing this legislation.”
Rob Meyerson, President, Blue Origin:
“Blue Origin supports the Commercial Space Launch Act, which provides a firm foundation from which the U.S. commercial human spaceflight industry can continue to grow. The bill extends key legal provisions, streamlines regulatory requirements, and maintains a focus on safety. While there is still work ahead to ensure we realize the opportunities that will enable safe and successful commercial space activities, this important legislation offers a wide range of improvements on many issues that face this promising industry. We commend Chairman Cruz, Ranking Members Nelson and Peters, and Sens. Rubio and Gardner on their leadership in introducing this bipartisan legislation, and look forward to its passage in the Senate.”
Bob Mitchell, President, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership:
“The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership supports the development of commercial space capabilities, especially those associated with cargo and crew support to the International Space Station, as part of a balanced space exploration program that includes timely development of the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System for human deep space missions, as well as extended operations of scientific research aboard the International Space Station. We are very excited to see the strong support of the ISS extension to 2024 and beyond.”
Wayne Rast, Executive Director, Texas Space Alliance:
“The Texas Space Alliance (TXA) and applauds the noble and heroic efforts being undertaken to advance the cause of space, led by Space, Science and Competitiveness subcommittee Texas Chairman Sen. Cruz, with help from the Texas delegation on the vitally needed Commercial Space Launch Act. CLSA helps commercial space launch and space endeavors generally in numerous ways. First it includes long term extensions of commercial third party liability, something neglected for far too long. Second it extends and defines learning periods and testing with operations for commercial space, as this grows from early to more mature stages in commercial space industry history. Third, it calls for extending International Space Station life to at least 2024 from current 2020, and strongly suggests extension to 2028, the date listed by experts as the time period when major upgrades may be required. All these vitally important items are addressed in one bill, along with many other useful effects. The TXA unreservedly calls for of passage of the CLSA, and solicits all actors in the space arena to work together to make CLSA a reality.”
Bob Richards, CEO, Moon Express:
“Moon Express is leading America’s commercial return to the Moon, so we want to offer our strong endorsement of the Senate’s bipartisan CSLA update legislation. We particularly support this bill’s measured approach to ‘Space Authority’: the issue of clarifying how the federal government will oversee commercial activities beyond Earth orbit. The legislation gives the Executive Branch the right tools for assuring continued compliance with international treaty obligations while unleashing the power of American free enterprise to help NASA explore and open for economic development the Moon, asteroids, and even Mars.
“We also appreciate the legislation’s strong focus on regulatory streamlining, particularly for experimental permits and at federal launch ranges. MoonEx has already flown our prototype MX-1 lunar lander at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and we intend to do significant flight testing over the next year or more at our new home at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Enabling the FAA to provide one-stop public safety reviews will dramatically ease the paperwork load to test the next American spacecraft to land on the Moon! Thanks to Chairman Cruz, and to both Senators representing our new engineering base in Florida, Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio.”
John Sharp, Chancellor, The Texas A&M University System:
“While the reauthorization of the Commercial Space Launch Act is primarily focused on commercial launch concerns, including indemnification and permitting, we note that Section 13 of the draft speaks to the extension and use of the International Space Station (ISS). We are pleased to see that the draft includes an extension of the ISS through at least 2024, and supports continued research experiments and test bed opportunities. Thank you again for your efforts on this legislation and your leadership on NASA issues.”
Dale Skran, Executive Vice President, National Space Society (NSS):
“NSS thanks the Senate leadership, and in particular Sens. Thune and Nelson of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Sens. Cruz and Peters of the Space, Science and Competitiveness subcommittee for developing a strong pro-commercial space bill in a bipartisan fashion.”
“SpaceX supports the Senate’s U.S. Commercial Space Launch Act that will help to strengthen overall U.S. commercial space competitiveness, and looks forward to continuing working with Congress as the legislation moves forward.”
Eric Stallmer, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation:
“Since the passage of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act in 2004, the commercial human spaceflight industry has grown significantly, as demonstrated by two successful test flights this month alone.
“We applaud the Senate for recognizing the need to continue and strengthen the law to enable the full emergence of this new economic sector. In particular, CSF strongly supports the Senate draft legislation’s addressing urgent regulatory issues, including an extension of the learning period and liability risk-sharing regime, in addition to thoughtfully addressing forthcoming issues for our industry. We also greatly appreciate the bill’s agreement with the Administration to extend operation of the International Space Station through 2024. We look forward to seeing the prompt passage of this bill by the Committee, and subsequently, the full Senate … Thanks to Sens. Cruz, Nelson, Peters, Rubio, and Gardner for sponsoring this critical piece of legislation.”
Pamela Welch, Executive Director, Midland Development Corporation:
“I am writing to express our support for the proposed legislation that you have prepared in order to update the Commercial Space Launch Act. We appreciate your leadership in developing this important legislation and request your continued support in moving the bill through Congress this year.”
George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic:
“Virgin Galactic commends Chairman Cruz, Ranking Members Nelson and Peters, and Sens. Rubio and Gardner for their leadership in introducing the Commercial Space Launch Act, which will provide the commercial spaceflight industry with a strong foundation for continued growth in the years to come.”