Darren Soto bill would cut red tape for rocket companies to get radio frequencies

The bill would make it easier for commercial space to get secured radio frequencies.

For every space launch, thousands of things must be in place and go right, and that includes seemingly simple — but in fact complicated — things like access to the right secure radio frequencies.

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, a Kissimmee Democrat, announced a bill to reserve certain bandwidths for commercial space companies to communicate with rockets as they go up, and with space vehicles as they come back down. The bill also instructs the federal bureaucracy to streamline approval processes for rocket companies to obtain temporary licenses for those frequencies.

Soto’s HR 8288, the “Leveraging American Understanding of Next-Generation Challenges Exploring Space (LAUNCHES) Act” drew applause from the space industry.

The bill, if enacted, is expected to significantly cut the number of approvals and time needed for a commercial space company to obtain Federal Communication Commission (FCC) licenses for secured launch or vehicle landing frequencies.


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