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H.R. 2262: SPACE Act of 2015

May 21, 2015 at 12:43 p.m. ET. On Passage of the Bill in the House.

This was a vote to pass H.R. 2262 (114th) in the House.

The United States Government updated US commercial space legislation in 2015 with the passage of the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, sometimes referred to at the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (SPACE) 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."

Businessweek has summarized one effect of the legislation as "American citizens could keep anything they brought back from space.".

This summary is from Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia

Totals

All Votes R D
Yea 68%
 
 
284
236
 
48
 
Nay 32%
 
 
133
3
 
130
 
Not Voting
 
 
15
5
 
10
 

Passed. Simple Majority Required. Source: house.gov.

Ideology Vote Chart

Key:
Republican - Yea Democrat - Yea Republican - Nay Democrat - Nay
Seat position based on our ideology score.

Cartogram Map

Each hexagon represents one congressional district. Solid hexes are Yea votes.

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Vote Details

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