A budgetary bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee discarded the idea of merging the Office of Space Commerce with another office to raise funds for maintaining the space travel operations. The Committee passed the commerce, justice and science appropriations bill making minor alterations arising from specific changes.
The bill ensures that both the Office of Space Commerce and that of Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs (CRSRA) office get $1.8 million each. Both of these offices are in the jurisdiction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The budget of this administration intended to integrate CRSRA into the Office of Space Commerce and bring it under subjection to the Secretary of Commerce. The administration is taking out NOAA.
The bill discarded this proposal and their demand of $15 million for the integrated office. The Committee is waiting on a report from the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) concerning this merger before giving more reasons why it rejected the merger.
This year’s appropriations bill discarded a similar combination explaining that they have reviewed a submission by the office responsible for public space traffic management. The bill follows NAPA’s report and has suggested NAPA to identify the agency fit to operate space traffic travels.
The Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross reiterates that NAPA will be submitting their report concerning this matter before August. He presumes that Congress will utilize this report in giving instructions on the way forward concerning the merger and its funding. The proponents of this merger hope that Congress can consider giving out the funds to facilitate space traffic management activities.
NOAA is also one of the companies whose spending bill appears to have the same requests as the administration. This bill details funds needed for geostationary and polar-orbiting meteorological satellites. This program requires $7.678 million for ordering commercial satellites intended for obtaining weather data.
The legislators have passed the bill detailing travels, housing, and urban development. The bill provides $27.555 million as funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.
The lawmakers have also agreed to pass a bill adding the FAA firm about $2.5 million. The FAA retorted that these funds would help them hire more engineers to work on the operations leading to the commercial launches.
Finally, the legislators are excited to oblige with the FAA’s demands, but their concern is the firm’s credibility in finalizing the licensing activities. The bill will also be covering the company’s research activities related to commercial space launches.