Enabling Legislation

U.S. Capitol. (Source: Public Domain)
U.S. Capitol. (Source: Public Domain)

Legislation:

  • U.S. Spacefaring Authority
  • Spacefaring Enterprise Act
  • Spacefaring Education Act
  • Spacefaring Academy Act
  • United States Space Guard Act
  • United States Space Corps Act
  • Space Object Protection Act
  • Federal Spacefaring Agency Act
  • Exterrestrial Resources Agency Act
  • U.S. SUNSAT Corp. Act
  • Space Department Act

U.S. Spacefaring Authority

The U.S. Spacefaring Authority (USSA) would be a new, not-for-profit Federal Government Corporation (FGC) chartered by Congress to identify, develop, and oversee the operation of the spacefaring logistics infrastructure needed to jump-start the American commercial human spacefaring industry. A possible organization chart for this FGC is shown below.

US Spacefaring Authority org chartSpacefaring Enterprise Act

The Spacefaring Enterprise Act would establish the federal government’s responsibilities for encouraging and supporting American spacefaring enterprises. This would include changes in federal tax law to encourage American spacefaring activities similar to those undertaken to encourage the growth of Internet-related enterprises. This act would establish new federal guidelines for the use of federally-backed bonds and grants, such as loans and grants to new small spacefaring businesses, to establish and foster the growth of American commercial human spacefaring enterprises. Finally, this act would establish any legislative permissions, restrictions, or requirements needed for the establishment of permanent governmental and commercial space facilities located in Earth orbit, in lunar orbit, at the Earth-Moon Lagrangian Points, on the lunar surface, and elsewhere throughout the central solar system.

Spacefaring Education Act

The Spacefaring Education Act would establish the responsibilities of the Department of Education to ensure that America’s needs for future scientists, engineers, and other technology workers to support a growing American commercial human spacefaring industry are met. The nation’s education system will need to respond to the challenges of the new industrializing space race much as it did when responding to the challenges of the first space race.

Spacefaring Academy Act

The Spacefaring Academy Act would establish a new federally-sponsored academy to provide an accredited course of graduate study for American spacefarers who will undertake commercial and governmental spacefaring operations. Upon graduation and licensing, graduate spacefarers will be comparable to other licensed professionals charged with the responsibility of ensuring and protecting pubic safety for American space enterprise operations in space. Essentially, these professional spacefarers will command, operate, and oversee the construction and management of space facilities and spaceships.

United States Space Guard Act

The Space Guard Act would establish a new unit, comparable to the U.S. Coast Guard, to be known as the U.S. Space Guard. The U.S. Space Guard would enforce U.S. laws in space as they would apply to U.S. commercial space enterprises; enforce federal government rules and regulations to protect public safety; take proactive measures to mitigate potential damage from man-made space debris threatening U.S. government and commercial space systems; and, provide emergency services to support and enable American commercial space enterprises. Further discussion of the concept of a U.S. Space Guard can be found in this article by Lt. Col. Cynthia McKinley (USAF, ret.).

United States Space Corps Act

The United States Space Corps Act would establish a new element of the United States Air Force, known as the U.S. Space Corps, similar to the U.S. Marine Corps. The Space Corps would provide expeditionary military support for the protection and defense of American commercial enterprises in space, such as space solar power satellites. The U.S. Space Corps would also be responsible for the protection against extraterrestrial threats such as asteroid impacts.

Space Object Protection Act

The Space Object Protection Act would establish a new Earth Defense Agency to identify and develop the technological capabilities needed to protect the Earth from the impact of space objects. Specific responsibilities for the protection of the Earth would be assigned to the U.S. Space Corps.

Federal Spacefaring Agency Act

The Federal Spacefaring Agency Act would establish a new Federal Spacefaring Agency, similar to the Federal Aviation Agency, to ensure the certification of the space-worthiness of American governmental and commercial space facilities and spaceships in the manner that airworthiness oversight and the protection of the involved and non-involved public is provided for governmental and commercial aviation. This act would also establish a new spaceflight command and control system to guide and monitor United States-flagged reusable space access systems and spaceships and to provide coordinated range safety during the launch and reentry of space access systems. Finally, this act would place responsibility for the mitigation of new man-made space debris, originating from American governmental and commercial space operations, with this new agency.

Extraterrestrial Resources Agency Act

The Extraterrestrial Resources Agency Act would establish a new federal agency to identify, categorize, and demonstrate the technological capabilities needed to extract and commercially utilize the natural resources of the Moon, asteroids, and comets to support American space industrialization. This agency would also record American commercial claims to these extraterrestrial resources in order to encourage and facilitate their use and to resolve disputes. The Extraterrestrial Resources Agency would also represent the Federal Government, in concert with the State Department, in international discussions regarding the use of extraterrestrial resources.

U.S. SUNSAT Corp. Act

The U.S. SUNSAT Corp. Act would establish a new, not-for-profit Federal Government Corporation to oversee the creation of a space solar power industry to provide electrical energy to support American space industrialization and to provide energy to terrestrial electrical power networks. (For one approach to this, see here.)

Space Department Act

Department of Space org chart R2The Space Department Act would establish a new cabinet-level department of the Executive Branch responsible for non-military federal government spacefaring activities. The Commercial Spacefaring Commission, Spacefaring Academy, U.S. Space Guard, Earth Defense Agency, Federal Spacefaring Agency, Extraterrestrial Resources Agency, and U.S. Space Power Corp. would be organized under the Space Department.

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