Wicker Proposal Would Strengthen Public-Private Space Partnership

Miss. Senator Seeks Ways to Incorporate Existing NASA Facilities For Use In Commercial Space Flights

May 20, 2015

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today launched an effort to require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to examine how existing NASA facilities, such as Stennis Space Center, can be incorporated into future commercial space licensing activities.

“We need to maximize the use of existing NASA facilities, such as Stennis Space Center,” Wicker said. “These test facilities, as well as precious tax dollars, could be better utilized by strengthening the commercial-public space partnership. I am hopeful this type of coordination will lead to a renaissance in American space flight.”

Wicker’s amendment was successfully added to the “Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act,” S. 1297. The bill was passed by the Commerce Committee today and now awaits consideration by the full Senate.

Specifically, the amendment would direct the Secretary of Transportation and the FAA to include an assessment of how existing test facilities can be used in future licensing activities. The report to Congress would also examine ways to streamline licensing and permitting processes of both launch and reentry vehicles.