Congress Passes Wicker Proposal to Strengthen Public-Private Space Partnership

Measure Could Benefit Mississippi’s Stennis Space Center

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today announced that Congress has passed his proposal requiring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to examine how existing NASA facilities, such as Stennis Space Center, can be incorporated into future commercial space licensing activities. The measure now awaits President Obama’s signature to become law.

“Strengthening the commercial-public space partnership will help maximize the use of tax dollars and make the most of proven test facilities, such as Stennis Space Center,” Wicker said. “Commercial space launch testing could help usher in a new era of technological advances and exploration.”

Wicker’s proposal is included in the “Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act,” H.R. 2262. The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 284-133. It was passed unanimously by the Senate.

Specifically, the measure would direct the Secretary of Transportation and the FAA to include an assessment of how existing test facilities can be used in future licensing activities. The report to Congress would also examine ways to streamline licensing and permitting processes of both launch and reentry vehicles.