Space competitiveness bill stirs controversy


  • M. Catherine DeVito


On April 9, a controversial bill that calls for commercializing NASA sounding rocket launch services was approved by the House Subcommittee on Space. Space scientists fear the bill will reduce the amount of research conducted and jeopardize a successful program.

HR 3848, the Commercial Space Competitiveness Act of 1991, is sponsored by Rep. Ralph M. Hall (D-Tex.) and was first referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on November 21, 1991. Its purpose is “to encourage the growth and development of commercial space activities in the United States.” The bill now awaits action by the full committee. A vote is expected in early summer.