Commercial sector of space industry could breathe a sigh of relief. House of Representatives accepted amended version of H.R. 2262, the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act after short discussion, which was a reflection of last discussions from May 2015.
It is well known that space exploration and space travels are still in its infancy. Especially commercial manned missions, which are most sensitive sector of space industry, are in early phase of development. Since now, Companies were not forced by any law to meet extended safety regulations. Also the Federal Aviation Administration was not able to establish any regulations. This duration was called a “learning period” and it was considered as time for creating solid basements for further FAA regulations. Unfortunately, commercial manned space flights are still at the beginning of the way of development, therefore probably “learning period” was extended to September 2023. As for the Government, its responsibility to pay compensations for losses due the commercial, launches remains limited to Companies insurance again maximum probable loss. This time limited to 2016 – after 16th November it is extended to 2025.
Another part of amended version of H.R. 2262 is referring to exploring space resources. From now, every citizen of the United States of America who obtains space resource becomes its legal owner. This right covers further selling and/or owning. It refers to resources gathered from asteroid and is not covering owning of whole asteroid (due the international law no one could poses asteroid or any celestial body). Passed version covers also Moon and any solar system body.
Passed bill will inevitably contribute to further intensive space exploration development. Companies potentially interested in exploring space resources, have obtained the protection of future ownership. In this conditions, certainly would be easier to find investors for space mining ventures. In the other side, commercial space travel Companies got next few years for improving their spacecrafts, working thereby future FAA regulations.