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House Bill to Make NOAA’s Office of Space Commerce an Independent Entity

Commercial space

activities

House Bill to Make NOAA’s Office of Space Commerce an Independent Entity

Two Republican House lawmakers have introduced a bill that would spin off the Office of Space Commerce as its own entity within the Department of Commerce. The office currently serves as a unit within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a bureau of the Commerce Department.

The Commercial Space Act of 2023, authored by House Science, Space and Technology Chair Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chair Brian Babin, R-Texas, would create a certification process for nongovernmental space activities and make the Office of Space Commerce the only authority designated to approve such activities, according to Lucas’ office

Commercial space operators seeking for certification would be required to submit a plan for space debris mitigation.

Other proposed actions under the legislation include the establishment of a Private Space Activity Advisory Committee to monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of the space sector and to identify gaps for improvement.

The Commercial Space Act of 2023 is seeking to modernize how the government oversees commercial space activities to keep up with the space sector’s rapid growth and maintain U.S. leadership in international space policy.

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Category: Space

Tags: Brian Babin Commercial Space Act of 2023 Department of Commerce Frank Lucas NOAA Office of Space Commerce space space debris