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Space Tourism and Suborbital Launches

NSS Urges Swift Passage of Commercial Space Act of 2003 (October 15, 2003)
A coalition led by the National Space Society and other space organizations is helping to advance legislation that will clarify and streamline a muddled and uncertain regulatory regime faced by the emerging American suborbital space flight industry.  The Commercial Space Act of 2003 (HR 3245) has been approved by the House Space & Aeronautics Subcommittee, but still needs approval by the full Science Committee before going to the floor for a vote.  The bill, introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Ralph Hall (D-TX) and Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), directs the Secretary of Transportation to set up an enabling regulatory regime for commercial human space flight, separate from that under which the FAA governs commercial aviation.  The coalition issued a statement to demonstrate its common purpose and objective.

An executive briefing on the suborbital industry is available online.  You can also read more about the legislation at

NSS members are encouraged to contact their U.S. Representatives and ask them to cosponsor HR 3245 so that it can continue advancing in the legislative process.  You can locate your Member of Congress at
FAA Regulatory Logjam Stifles Private Rocketeers (July 17, 2003)
The emerging suborbital rocket business has to overcome federal government regulatory hurdles to be successful, reports  NSS is playing a leading role in a coalition to help overcome these hurdles and help foster the growth of the suborbital launch industry.

"The U.S. suborbital rocket industry has the potential to develop a world-dominating business base in commercial space tourism," said Brian Chase, executive director of the National Space Society (NSS), and a coalition member.  "In the near future, space will be open to the public, changing how citizens view space transportation and exploration.  NSS is committed to helping ensure government policies and regulations help, not hinder, this fledgling industry," Chase said.
Space Adventures logo Space Adventures Announces First Private Soyuz Flights (June 18, 2003)
Commercial space flight took a giant leap forward today with the announcement by NSS partner Space Adventures, Ltd., the leading space experiences company, of its plans to launch the world's first privately funded mission to the International Space Station (ISS).  Space Adventures recently secured a contract with the Russian Aviation & Space Agency (RASA) to fly two explorers to the ISS aboard a new Soyuz TMA spacecraft.  The mission, Space Adventures-1 (SA-1), continues the company's record of opening the space frontier to explorers other than government astronauts and cosmonauts.  The company brokered the flights for the world's first private space explorers, American businessman Dennis Tito in 2001, and the first African in space, Mark Shuttleworth, in 2002.  SA-1 has the potential to establish several world records, and also marks the first private mission to the International Space Station.  Read more on CNN, or the BBC.
Techies Race to Suborbital Space (June 11, 2003)
The $10 million X Prize, to the first team that sends three people 100 kilometers above Earth twice in two weeks, is inspiring a shift from cyberspace to outer space.
NSS And Space Adventures Team Up To Support Commercial Space Exploration (August 14, 2002)
The National Space Society (NSS) and Space Adventures, Ltd., have announced a joint program to promote commercial space exploration and to advance the day when humans will live and work in space.  The two organizations will work together on a number of space tourism initiatives including joint conferences and events.  The partnership is also intended to provide NSS members with unique benefits and to bring space advocates closer to the next frontier through a number of Space Adventures' experiences.  NSS members will receive discounts on select programs such as terrestrial tours, zero-gravity and supersonic jet flights, and sub-orbital space flights.  Space Adventures will also operate an NSS members-only tour.  Read the full press release.

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Updated Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 02:41:36
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