Congress planning an update to commercial launch legislation this year

By Jeff Foust on 2013 February 10 at 2:49 pm ET

While a planned reauthorization of NASA this year is attracting headlines, another space-related priority for members of Congress this year is a reauthorization of the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) and an update of the Commercial Space Launch Act. At FAA/AST’s annual conference last week, members of Congress and their staffs outlined several potential changes to existing legislation, from an extension of launch indemnification to granting the office authority for regulating on-orbit activities.

“I would suggest we could look forward to, at long last, a reauthorization of the Office of Commercial Space Transportation,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), vice-chairman of the House Science Committee, in a speech at the conference Wednesday. “It’s becoming very evident even to members of Congress that this industry is critical and we need to reauthorize that legislation.”

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