Commercial spaceflight industry boosted by Congress

DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - Congress gave the commercial spaceflight industry a boost by passing legislation that frees the industry from having to worry about new safety regulations until at least 2023.

The Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act also extends the availability of government-backed insurance for commercial spaceflights until 2025, allows companies to mine asteroids, and extends the life of the International Space Station until 2024. The House passed the bill Monday evening, following Senate passage last week. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it.

The legislation "will ensure America remains the leading force in the economic development of space, from safe and reliable space transportation for cargo and humans, to the exploration and utilization of space resources," said Eric Stallmer, president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, a trade association representing the industry.

Boosting the commercial spaceflight industry also could boost Florida's Space Coast, which has suffered as NASA cut back its programs.

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