The House of Representatives will be debating and voting on final passage of the SPACE Act this afternoon. Look for debate to begin at approximately 5:10 pm ET. Here is how it is listed officially:

Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2262 – SPACE Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)

As you are likely aware, the bill the House will be voting on is the bill the Senate passed last week and is the product of negotiations between the two chambers over the last several months that began with House passage of H.R. 2262 earlier this year.

Please stay tuned for updates. Until then, below is some background on the bill


Background information on the SPACE Act:

Extends the Operation of the International Space Station

Provides a four-year extension of the International Space Station (ISS) until at least 2024 by directing the NASA Administrator to take all necessary steps to ensure the ISS remains a viable and productive facility capable of utilization including for scientific research and commercial applications.

Ensures Stability for Continued Development and Growth of the Commercial Space Sector

Provides an extension of the regulatory learning period through September 30, 2023 so that the commercial space sector can continue to mature and innovate before the Department of Transportation transitions to a regulatory approach. The current learning period expires on March 31, 2016.

Extends Indemnification for Commercial Launches

Extends through September 30, 2025 a key risk sharing provision in current law critical to keeping a level playing field in the global market for U.S. commercial space enterprises.

Identifies Appropriate Oversight for the Commercial Development of Space

Directs the Office of Science and Technology Policy, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, Secretary of State, NASA and other relevant Federal agencies, to assess and recommend approaches for oversight of commercial non-governmental activities conducted in space that would prioritize safety, utilize existing authorities, minimize burdens on industry, promote the U.S. commercial space sector, and meet U.S. obligations under international treaties.

Space Resource Exploration and Utilization (Asteroid Mining)

Establishes a legal right to resources a U.S. citizen may recover in space consistent with current law and international obligations of the United States. Directs the President to facilitate and promote the space resource exploration and recovery.

Updates Space Launch System

Provides a use policy for NASA’s heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.