This week, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., scored a win as his “Commercial Space Support Vehicle Act” was sent to President Donald Trump’s desk.
The bill, which was cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., “streamlines the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) licensing and permitting process of hybrid launch vehicles to allow for licensed commercial space support flights.” The bill passed the House back in June and was rolled into the FAA Reauthorization bill this week.
“Recent FAA and GAO reports issued last year recommended that the FAA examine its current regulatory framework for space support vehicles and suggested legislative or regulatory changes, as applicable,” the congressman’s office noted. “Posey’s bill will further open up this new market so more commercial space companies looking to train space flight participants and conduct space related research can participate in these activities. Posey said that spaceports like those in Florida would like to attract these companies to operate out of their facilities.”
Posey himself weighed in on the bill after it cleared both chambers of Congress.
“Our landmark, bipartisan legislation creates a foundation for more companies to engage in human space flight activities and support commercial space operations,” said Posey on Wednesday. “Companies would like to utilize space support vehicles to train crews and spaceflight participants by exposing them to the physiological effects encountered in spaceflight or conduct research in reduced gravity environments.”
Posey worked with McDonnell Douglas and served at Kennedy Space Center where he we worked on the Apollo Space Program. In 1976, Posey was elected to the Rockledge City Council and later turned to state politics, leading the state Association of Realtors before being elected to the Florida House in 1992 and the state Senate in 2000. In 2008, he won an open congressional seat after U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Fla., retired. Posey faces Democrat Sanjay Patel in November.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.