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Chairman Dana Rohrabacher's Statement on Historic Spaceship One Flight

Jun 21, 2004

Washington, Jun 21, 2004 - June 21, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Aaron Lewis (202) 225-2415

(Washington, D.C.) Today two American entrepreneurs made global history by launching the first totally private human mission into space. Paul Allen and Burt Rutan have succeeded at what only governments have done before: sending a human being into the endless frontier of space. Today's flight is just the first step in opening the adventures and opportunities of space travel to everyone and we should all take pride that American free enterprise is leading the way.

Just last week President Bush's Commission on Space Exploration declared that America's new agenda for space exploration requires the creativity and resources of the private sector. Commercial astronaut Mike Melvill's pioneering flight into space today is therefore just as big a breakthrough for our federal government's civilian and military space programs as it is for commercial spaceflight.

Now it's up to the U.S. Congress to enact legislation to streamline the regulatory barriers faced by entrepreneurs so they can not just develop and test experimental rockets like Spaceship One, but build operational spaceplanes to carry people and cargo into space more affordably. In March the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3752, the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, by a vote of 402 to 1. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to quickly secure this bill's passage so we can send it on to the President for his signature this summer.