WASHINGTON — Key members of the House and Senate say they continue to work on space-related legislation, including a NASA authorization bill, but the two branches of Congress appear to remain far apart on their bills.
At the time the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, stopping most legislative activity other than relief measures and other critical legislation, the House Science Committee was considering a NASA authorization bill. A full committee markup of the bill, introduced in January, was expected in March but never scheduled.
The committee may soon take up the bill. “We’re about to take it up and mark it up in the full committee,” Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.), chair of the House space subcommittee, said at a June 24 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES) held online. “We’re continuing to work towards that end. I think it is important to get that through.”
That bill made waves when it was introduced in January because, in part, of its provisions regarding NASA lunar lander development. That bill directed NASA to own and operate the lander, rather than use public-private partnerships as it has been doing through the Human Landing System program. It also favored a ...