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Defense Budget Introduces New Launch Range Fees for Space Companies

Space Force funds

Defense Budget Introduces New Launch Range Fees for Space Companies

The fiscal year 2024 defense budget, once signed by President Joe Biden, would let the U.S. Space Force collect up to $5 million annually in indirect fees from commercial companies using its launch ranges.

The legislation marks a shift from the 1984 Commercial Space Launch Act, which bars the U.S. government from charging companies for any indirect costs such as facility maintenance, C4ISRNET reported Wednesday.

Introduced by Rep. Salud Carbajal, the amendment in the FY 2024 defense budget also limits how much the Space Force can collect at 30 percent of what companies are contracted to pay in direct costs.

Carbajal told C4ISRNET that the details of the cap can change and is intended to serve as a starting point for fee negotiations between the service branch and the private sector. He said the policy change will generate additional funds the Space Force can use to modernize.

The Space Force’s Vandenberg base is situated in Carbajal’s district.

Carbajal also introduced a bill empowering the service branch to lease land around its ranges for private-sector use. His proposal did not garner enough support to pass, but Carbajal said he plans to try again in the FY 2025 budget.

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Category: Space

Tags: C4ISRNET defense budget launch range Salud Carbajal space US Space Force Vandenberg Space Force Base