House Speaker Kevin McCarthy recently introduced legislation called the Space Transformation And Reliability (STAR) Act, which would extend the regulatory “learning period” for commercial spaceflight safety to 2031.
The key points about this bill are:
- It would extend the current moratorium on certain commercial spaceflight safety regulations by the FAA by 8 more years, to September 30, 2031.
- The moratorium was originally enacted in 2004 and has been extended several times since then. It is currently set to expire on September 30, 2023.
- The bill's proposed 8-year extension matches the length of the original learning period (2004-2012) and the previous extension to 2023 under the 2015 SPACE Act.
- The purpose is to allow more time for the commercial space industry to conduct launches and for the FAA to gather data before setting final safety regulations.
- The bill prohibits the FAA from regulating spaceflight participant safety during this extended learning period, except in response to serious accidents.
- It aims to provide regulatory certainty for the growing commercial space industry.
The STAR Act bill would extend the regulatory learning period for commercial human spaceflight to 2031, restricting the FAA's ability to set regulations during this time. The goal is to allow for more industry growth and data collection before finalizing regulations.