Senator Gilmer Capps of the Oklahoma State Senate has been awarded the 2002
ProSpace American Space Legislator of the Year award. The presentation took
place in a surprise ceremony on the Senate floor in the Oklahoma State Capitol
on Monday, April 22nd. The full legislature marked the occasion by passing a
concurrent resolution congratulating Senator Capps for his recognition by

This award is given annually by ProSpace to an American lawmaker who, in the
judgment of the organization, has made the most significant contribution to
space-related endeavors centered in the private sector. Senator Capps is being
recognized in large part because of his authorship of Senate Bill 55, which
passed both houses of the Oklahoma legislature last year and was subsequently
signed into law by Governor Keating.

The bill provides state tax credits that pass through to the investors in
companies that are developing new space transportation systems. These new
systems promise to reduce the cost of launching payloads and as such will
enable new markets for space services and products.

“We need to enter a period of incremental development for new launch vehicles
and spaceplanes, an approach similar to that experienced by aviation early in
the last century,” observes ProSpace President Marc Schlather. “Space
transportation today in the U.S is far too expensive, largely because current
systems have come from the military and NASA. The legislation put forward by
Senator Capps promotes indirect government investment through the tax code
rather than direct government funding and design as has been the norm in the
space launch industry. This will put decisions about financing the next
generation of vehicles in the capital markets rather than a government agency.
That will lead to lower costs and a more efficient business model.”

This is the first time that a non-Federal legislator has received this
award. “The fact that this is taking place at the state level is very exciting
to ProSpace,” Mr. Schlather continued. “For far too long now space has been
viewed as a federal government program and we need to move away from that
paradigm if we are going to see real breakthroughs. Initiatives like that put
forward by Senator Capps will move us closer to seeing new private-sector
activity in space, creating new markets, new industries and great new jobs.”

The text of the resolution passed by the Oklahoma legislature and the remarks
made by Marc Schlather on the floor of the Oklahoma Senate in presenting the
award to Senator Capps are available at ProSpace OnLine at: