Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984
|Long title||An Act to facilitate commercial space launches, and for other purposes.|
|Acronyms (colloquial)||CSLA, ELVCA|
|Nicknames||Expendable Launch Vehicle Commercialization Act|
|Enacted by||the 98th United States Congress|
|Effective||October 30, 1984|
|Statutes at Large||98 Stat. 3055|
|Titles amended||51 U.S.C.: National and Commercial Space Programs|
|U.S.C. sections created||51 U.S.C. § 50901 et seq.|
Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984 is a United States federal law authored to facilitate the private enterprise of the commercialization of space and space technology. The Act of Congress set forth the quest to acquire innovative equipment and services offered by entrepreneurial ventures from the information technology services, remote sensing technology, and telecommunications industries. The Act recognized the United States private sector as having the capability to develop commercial launch vehicles, orbital satellites, and operate private launch sites and services. The Act also assigned the duties of overseeing and coordinating commercial launches, issuing of licenses and permits, and promotion of safety standards to the Secretary of Department of Transportation.
In the 1970s, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration began to look for ways to outsource the use of its launching facilities and services to private companies such as COMSAT, RCA, and Western Union. This search was due to the fact that maintaining, modifying, launching, and other duties required to launch expendable launch vehicles cost upwards of billions of dollars. Once the space shuttle became operational, NASA and the United States Air Force began using it almost exclusively. In order to accommodate the heavy weight of the space shuttle launch system, the USAF spent billions of dollars modifying one launch pad in Vandenberg Air Force Base. However, it was never used. Upon realizing the economic benefits of utilizing private space companies, the House Science and Technologies Commission proposed H.R. 3942 which eventually became Public Law 98-575, or the Commercial Space Act of 1984.
Provisions of the Act
Title 51 United States Code Subtitle V and Chapter 509 was compiled as twenty-three code of law sections to vitalize commercial opportunities and space launch services for the Space programme of the United States.
- 51 U.S.C. § 50901 - Findings and purposes
- 51 U.S.C. § 50902 - Definitions
- 51 U.S.C. § 50903 - General authority
- 51 U.S.C. § 50904 - Restrictions on launches, operations, and reentries
- 51 U.S.C. § 50905 - License applications and requirements
- 51 U.S.C. § 50906 - Experimental permits
- 51 U.S.C. § 50907 - Monitoring activities
- 51 U.S.C. § 50908 - Effective periods, and modifications, suspensions, and revocations, of licenses
- 51 U.S.C. § 50909 - Prohibition, suspension, and end of launches, operation of launch sites and reentry sites, and reentries
- 51 U.S.C. § 50910 - Preemption of scheduled launches or reentries
- 51 U.S.C. § 50911 - Space advertising
- 51 U.S.C. § 50912 - Administrative hearings and judicial review
- 51 U.S.C. § 50913 - Acquiring United States Government property and services
- 51 U.S.C. § 50914 - Liability insurance and financial responsibility requirements
- 51 U.S.C. § 50915 - Paying claims exceeding liability insurance and financial responsibility requirements
- 51 U.S.C. § 50916 - Disclosing information
- 51 U.S.C. § 50917 - Enforcement and penalty
- 51 U.S.C. § 50918 - Consultation
- 51 U.S.C. § 50919 - Relationship to other executive agencies, laws, and international obligations
- 51 U.S.C. § 50920 - User fees
- 51 U.S.C. § 50921 - Office of Commercial Space Transportation
- 51 U.S.C. § 50922 - Regulations
- 51 U.S.C. § 50923 - Report to Congress
Commercial aerospace enterprises
- Orbital Sciences Corporation
- Scaled Composites
- Sierra Nevada Corporation
- Space Exploration Technologies Corporation
- United Launch Alliance
- Virgin Galactic
- XCOR Aerospace
- Northrop Grumman Corp.
- Clinton-Sherman Industrial Airpark
- Kodiak Launch Complex
- Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
- Mojave Air and Space Port
- Spaceport America
- SpaceX autonomous spaceport drone ship
Amendments to 1984 Act
Chronological amendments to the Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984.
|Date of Enactment||Public Law Number||U.S. Statute Citation||U.S. Legislative Bill||U.S. Presidential Administration|
|November 15, 1988||P.L. 100-657||102 Stat. 3900||H.R. 4399||Ronald W. Reagan|
|December 23, 2004||P.L. 108-492||118 Stat. 3974||H.R. 5382||George W. Bush|
- Commercial Orbital Transportation Services
- Commercial use of space
- Office of Commercial Space Transportation
- Private spaceflight
- Space advertising
- Timeline of private spaceflight
- "Chapter 509 — Commercial Space Launch Activities". United States Code ~ Office of the Law Revision Counsel. U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Reagan, Ronald W. (October 30, 1984). "Statement on Signing the Commercial Space Launch Act - October 30, 1984". Internet Archive. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service. p. 1688.
- McLucas, John L. Space Commerce. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1991. Page 89.
- McLucas, John L. Space Commerce. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1991. Page 91.
- "Enactment of Title 51 - National and Commercial Space Programs ~ P.L. 111-314" (PDF). 124 Stat. 3328 ~ House Bill 3237. U.S. Government Printing Office. December 18, 2010.
- "H.R. 3237 ~ Charles "Pete" Conrad Astronomy Awards Act". P.L. 111-314 ~ 124 Stat. 3328. Congress.gov. July 16, 2009.
- "Commercial Space Launches: FAA Needs Continued Planning and Monitoring to Oversee the Safety of the Emerging Space Tourism Industry" (PDF). U.S. GAO ~ GAO-07-16. U.S. Government Accountability Office. October 20, 2006. OCLC 124074607.