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Sunday, May 30, 2004

Private spaceships
Almost three months ago, amid great fanfare, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a historic measure to open the door to private-sector spaceflight — a measure that would allow entrepreneurs to take passengers on suborbital space trips.
The chairman of the House Science Committee, Sherwood Boehlert, called the legislation "one of the most important measures this committee will move this year." California millionaire Dennis Tito, the world's first paying space passenger, said "I hope the Senate takes up this bill soon and sends it on to President Bush for his signature."
But since then, the bill — known as the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, or H.R. 3752 — has languished without Senate action. And some in the infant space travel industry are increasingly worried the measure might just fizzle out.
Without the legislation, private spaceflight could be left in "legal limbo," said XCOR Aerospace, a California-based company that received a suborbital launch license just last month. Read More


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