Thursday, January 3, 2013
The House approved a Senate amendment to a bill sponsored by Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., which requires commercial launch companies to purchase insurance for any reasonable risk of damage to third parties. As amended by the Senate, it also extends a waiver to allow American astronauts to continue to fly aboard Russian spacecraft to access the International Space Station through 2020. The bill also conveys a Sense of Congress regarding future U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, stressing the need to ensure continued development of both NASA's Space Launch System and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, along with the pursuit of commercial crew services to the ISS. (Source: Space Travel, 01/04/13) Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, and Stennis Space Center, Miss., are both involved in the SLS program. SSC also tests rocket engines for commercial launch companies.