Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) has reintroduced legislation aimed at strengthening the commercial space sector by streamlining the regulatory process, which also includes a presumption of approval for all private sector space activities, including remote sensing.
The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act passed the House unanimously by voice vote last year during the 115th Congress. The bill was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee, which didn’t take it up.
“The American Space and Commerce Free Enterprise Act is fundamentally about American competitiveness and security,” Babin said in a July 2 statement. “The remote sensing industry in America is constrained by complex regulations and decades-old legislation. Our country is losing commercial space entrepreneurs, industry jobs, and innovative technology because of our slow, uncertain, and difficult regulatory process.”
The bill creates a one-stop shop in the Commerce Department’s Office of Space Commerce for authorization and oversight of non-governmental space activities.
Within one year of enactment, the bill directs the Secretary of Commerce to issue certifications for operation of a space object to any entity that submits an application in line with requirements outlined in the legislation.
Babin’s district includes NASA’s Johnson Space Center and he is the ranking member on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Space Subcommittee.