Congress toes a cautious line on support for commercial space partnerships

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of Congress spoke to space industry leaders on Capitol Hill last week to show their support for the private sector, but both sides expressed frustrations as well. At the sixth annual Future Space conference, U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, the Texas Republican who chairs the House Subcommittee on Space, spoke highly of private partnerships in space. He referred to the promise of asteroid mining twice during his talk, which is good news for Planetary Resources, a space startup based in Redmond, Wash. But Babin also told the gathering of more than 100 space industry professionals that the federal government should be cautious about backing private ventures. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., also said he’s interested in space mining and gave a shout-out to the Evergreen State’s aerospace community. “We are quickly gaining a reputation as the Silicon Valley of space,” he said. Kilmer was more effusive than Babin about public-private partnerships, but he voiced his own frustrations – about governmental gridlock rather than the private sector. 

By:  Chelsey Ballarte
Source: Geek Wire