President Obama signs H.R.3237 into Law: National and Commercial Space Programs is a new title 51 of the United States Code

December 20, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Posted in Space Law | 1 Comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: The White House Office of the Press Secretary

H.R. 3237, which codifies certain current laws related to national and commercial space programs as a new title 51 of the United States Code.

As per the Office of the Revision Counsel:

“Over the past five decades, a substantial amount of legislation has been enacted relating to national and commercial space programs. In the United States Code, some of these provisions appear in title 15 (Commerce and Trade), some in title 42 (The Public Health and Welfare), and some in title 49 (Transportation). No distinct title for national and commercial space programs exists in the United States Code because the organizational scheme for the Code was originally established in 1926, before such programs were contemplated.

The bill gathers provisions relating to national and commercial space programs, and restates the provisions as title 51, United States Code, “National and Commercial Space Programs”. The bill does not provide for any new programs. Nor does it modify or repeal any existing programs. Rather, the bill restates existing law in a manner that adheres to the policy, intent, and purpose of the original enactments, while improving the organizational structure of the law and removing ambiguities, contradictions, and other imperfections.

The bill was prepared by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives, as part of its responsibility under 2 U.S.C. 285b to submit to the Committee on the Judiciary proposed bills to enact titles of the United States Code into positive law. For more information about the process of positive law codification generally, see the brochure Positive Law Codification in the United States Code.”

1 Comment »

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  1. Joanne, for those of us working commercial space development inside NASA, does this have any substantive effect on our work? Positive or negative?


    Dave Huntsman
    Commercial Space Development

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