Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s office September 21, 2023–
Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Representative of California’s 20th Congressional District and Speaker of the House, introduced the Space Transformation And Reliability (STAR) Act. The STAR Act would continue to provide regulatory certainty by extending the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) learning period for regulating commercial human space flight through 2031. Extending the learning period is necessary to provide sufficient time for the commercial space industry to conduct the launches needed to inform the FAA’s standards for safe human space flight.
Congressman McCarthy released the following statement:
“When NASA completed the first Space Shuttle mission in 1981 at Edwards Air Force Base, Shuttle commander John Young declared, ‘The dream is alive.’ Today, as we usher in a new era of space flight with the commercial space industry leading the way, I am proud to say that dream lives on. As we look to this century and beyond, the commercial space industry is crucial to advancing U.S. national security and scientific discovery. I am confident that the STAR Act will help provide this industry with additional time to fly, innovate, and grow.”
The STAR Act would extend the learning period by eight years to provide sufficient time for the FAA and commercial space industry to develop consensus standards for human safety in space flight. The bill’s proposed 8-year extension corresponds with the lengths of the original learning period — from 2004 to 2012 — and the extension by Rep. McCarthy’s SPACE Act (P.L. 114-90) — from 2015 to 2023.