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House Passes Posey’s Bipartisan Legislation to Promote Commercial Space Ventures

Washington, May 21, 2015 - Today the House of Representatives passed Congressman Bill Posey’s (R-Rockledge) bipartisan, bicameral legislation to expand opportunities and legal protections for American space companies. The Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act of 2015 (H.R.1508) was included as a provision of landmark commercial space legislation advanced by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the SPACE Act (H.R. 2262). Posey’s bill creates a legal framework to protect property rights for American companies that obtain asteroid resources in outer space.

“I am pleased to see this bipartisan, bicameral legislation move forward as a part of this historic space legislation,” said Congressman Bill Posey. “Asteroids are excellent potential sources of highly valuable resources and minerals. Space technology has advanced to the point that the private sector is now able to begin exploring and developing resources in space. Americans are willing to invest in asteroid mining, but they need legal certainty that they can keep the fruits of their labor.”

Specifically, the Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act of 2015 would clarify that resources mined from an asteroid are the property of the entity that obtained them, ensure U.S. companies can conduct their operation without harmful interference, and direct the President to facilitate commercial development of asteroid resources. A bipartisan companion was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Patty Murray and Marco Rubio.

Also included in the SPACE Act is Posey’s Amendment to streamline the regulatory process, encourage cooperation between government agencies, and eliminate red tape and bureaucracy impeding development of the commercial space sector. The Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other agencies oversee different aspects of commercial space launches, and sometimes there is overlap between agencies.

“By streamlining the regulatory process, the SPACE Act can cut costs to both the federal government and commercial companies, make U.S. companies more competitive in the global marketplace, and attract more commercial launches to Florida,” said Posey.

The SPACE ACT passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 284-133, with 48 Democrats supporting the bill.

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