To create jobs and help maintain the United States’ leadership in science and technology, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation is actively developing policy in a number of areas and regularly engages with officials in Congress and the Executive Branch.

Relevant policy topics include areas such as:

Safety regulationsPublic safety is the highest priority for the commercial spaceflight industry. Existing laws and regulations are sufficient to protect the safety of the uninvolved public due to the passage of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 (CSLAA), which provides a solid regulatory foundation that also fosters innovation while allowing spaceflight participants to make informed decisions. Regulatory authority for the commercial space industry is principally held by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (known as FAA/AST). This also contains more information and examples of previous CSF engagement on regulatory issues.

Commercial crew to the International Space Station — NASA’s FY2011 budget proposes a $6 billion investment over five years to enable the development of multiple commercial capabilities to transport crew to the International Space Station. Commercial Crew was also the central recommendation of a policy paper submitted by members of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation to the White House’s Augustine Committee, which endorsed a Commercial Crew Program in its October 2009 final report. For more information on Commercial Crew, please click here.

Commercial suborbital science and research missions Commercial suborbital spacecraft will allow unprecedented access to the space environment for scientific, technology development, and education missions.  Since vehicle flights are set to ramp up in the next few years, NASA should move quickly to take advantage of these flight opportunities, building on the existing efforts of the NASA Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research (CRuSR) Program. For more info, please click here.

Spaceport infrastructure improvement Unlike airports, commercial spaceports have not previously had the opportunity to apply for federal matching dollars for infrastructure to support operations and protect public safety.  In the 1993 NASA Authorization Act (Public Law No. 102-588), Congress authorized a new program to support commercial space transportation facilities, known as the Space Transportation Matching Grants (STIM-Grants) Program, which received initial funding in Fiscal Year 2010. For more info, please click here.

Low-cost solutions for other core government missions — The commercial spaceflight industry can provide low-cost solutions for a variety of core government missions, if the right enabling policies and programs are put in place.  Innovative programs such as the NASA Centennial Challenges prize program and the NASA FAST Program (Facilitated Access to the Space Environment for Technology Development and Training), should be endorsed and fully funded.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) — The U.S. export control system must be modernized so our nation can maintain technological leadership and global industrial competitiveness, particularly in entrepreneurial aerospace activities.