House and Senate Introduce Bills to Extend Space Launch Liability Provisions

February 19, 2014

House and Senate Introduce Bills to Extend Space Launch Liability Provisions

On November 20, 2013, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), along with co-sponsors Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), introduced the “Space Launch Liability Indemnification Extension Act” (H.R. 3547). If enacted, this bill would extend certain liability protection measures for the commercial space transportation industry. The measures subject to the extension under the bill protect commercial space companies against third-party liability costs, and were originally established by the 1988 Commercial Space Launch Act amendments. These provisions, which were set to expire on December 31, 2013, would instead remain in effect until December 31, 2014. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced a similar bill in the Senate, along with nine other co-sponsors, on November 20, 2013 (S. 1753). However, the Senate bill would extend the same liability provisions until December 31, 2016. The House bill was referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; the Senate bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. 






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