SPACE COMMERCIALIZATION PROMOTION ACT OF 1996 (House of Representatives - September 17, 1996)
(i) a certification that the use of such missile--
(I) would result in significant cost savings to the Federal Government when compared to the cost of acquiring space transportation services from United States commercial providers; and
(II) meets all mission requirements of the agency, including performance, schedule, and risk requirements; and
(ii) comments obtained from United States commercial providers in response to prior public notice published in the Commerce Business Daily;
(B) the use of such missile is consistent with international obligations of the United States; and
(C) the Secretary of Defense approves of such conversion.
(2) The requirement under paragraph (1)(A) that the report described in that subparagraph must be transmitted at least 120 days before conversion of the missile shall not apply if the Secretary of Defense determines that compliance with that requirement would be inconsistent with meeting immediate national security requirements.
(c) Missiles Referred to: The missiles referred to in this section are missiles owned by the United States that were formerly used by the Department of Defense for national defense purposes as intercontinental ballistic missiles and that have been retired from service in compliance with international obligations of the United States.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Walker] and the gentleman from California [Mr. Brown] each will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Walker].
Mr. WALKER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I bring before the House H.R. 3936, the Space Commercialization Promotion Act of 1996. Commercial space activities by U.S. companies generated over $6.2 billion of revenue in 1994 and $7.5 billion of revenue in 1995.
This legislation aims to improve the legal and regulatory conditions that currently handicap the commercial space industry. The present environment accommodates Federal, civil, and military space programs, not business opportunities. By providing investment incentives and risk reduction measures for investors, H.R. 3936 will encourage private sector participation in the space industry.
Through this bill we are striving to provide the stable business environment that businesses need to invest their money, build commercial space businesses, offer new and better services to the American people, and employ more Americans in high-skilled jobs.
Briefly this bill amends the Commercial Space Launch Act to take into account the legal and technical advances that have occurred since its enactment; gives the Department of Transportation the responsibility and authority to license reentry from orbit, in anticipation of the day when commercial experiments will be returned to Earth, and the reusable launch vehicle will be in operation; updates the Launch Services Purchase Act of 1990, so that government will act more like a commercial buyer when it places payloads in space; makes changes to the Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992, updating it to take into account the experience we have gained over the last few years in licensing the operators of remote sensing satellites; eliminates, in a very narrow situation, some of the postemployment restrictions that could prevent NASA civil servants with critical skills in space shuttle operations from transferring to the new single prime contractor; and encourages NASA to purchase scientific data about the Earth and solar system from the private sector.
During my years of service on the Committee on Science, I have been an ardent advocate of space commercialization and the promise that it holds for a new economic frontier. For all of the wonderful accomplishments NASA has achieved in designing and building space transportation vehicles, sending humans to the Moon, and exploring our solar system and beyond, this Nation has only begun to realize the potential of doing business in space. It is not for lack of imagination; there are entrepreneurs who envision all kinds of space commerce, from on-orbit power stations to revolutionary pharmaceuticals.