H.R. 2262: SPACE Act of 2015

This was a vote to pass H.R. 2262 in the House.

The United States Government updated US commercial space legislation with the passage of the SPACE Act of 2015 in November 2015. The full name of the act is Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015.

The update to US law explicitly allows "US citizens to engage in the commercial exploration and exploitation of 'space resources' [including ... water and minerals]." The right does not extend to biological life, so anything that is alive may not be exploited commercially. The Act further asserts that "the United States does not [(by this Act)] assert sovereignty, or sovereign or exclusive rights or jurisdiction over, or the ownership of, any celestial body." Some scholars argue that the United States recognizing ownership of space resources is an act of sovereignty, and that the act violates the Outer Space Treaty.

The SPACE Act includes the extension of indemnification of US launch providers for extraordinary catastrophic third-party losses of a failed launch through 2025, while the previous indemnification law was scheduled to expire in 2016. The Act also extends, through 2025, the "learning period" restrictions which limit the ability of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to enact regulations regarding the safety of spaceflight participants.

Indemnification for extraordinary third-party losses has, as of 2015, been a component of US space law for over 25 years, and during this time, "has never been invoked in any commercial launch mishap."

This summary is from Wikipedia.

Congress
114th Congress
Date
May 21, 2015
Chamber
House
Number
#262
Question:
On Passage of the Bill in the House
Result:
Passed

Totals     Republican     Democrat
  Yea 284
 
 
66%
236 48
  Nay 133
 
 
31%
3 130
Not Voting 15
 
 
3%
5 10
Required: Simple Majority source: house.gov
Seat position based on our ideology score.

Vote Details

Notes: The Speaker’s Vote? “Aye” or “Yea”?
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Statistically Notable Votes

Statistically notable votes are the votes that are most surprising, or least predictable, given how other members of each voter’s party voted and other factors.

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