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Posey’s Bipartisan Bill to Promote U.S. Commercial Space Ventures Heads to the President’s Desk

Washington, November 16, 2015 - Today the House of Representatives passed important commercial space legislation containing Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and Rep. Derek Kilmer’s (D-WA) bipartisan proposals to expand opportunities and provide 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 and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. (H.R. 2262 – the SPACE Act and S. 1297 – the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act). Posey’s bill creates a legal framework to protect property rights for American companies that obtain resources in outer space.

“I am pleased to see this bipartisan, bicameral legislation move forward as a part of this historic space legislation,” said Rep. Bill Posey. “Asteroids and other celestial bodies 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 clarifies that resources mined from an asteroid or other celestial objects are the property of the U.S. entity that obtained them and directs the President to facilitate commercial development of asteroid resources.

Also included in the final 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. “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.

Furthermore, Posey worked with Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) on section 116 of the legislation. This requires the federal government to study space support vehicles, which are used to supply critical space flight training, and how the federal government can lay a regulatory foundation to allow for their use in the private sector.

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