May 17, 2024


The Chamber was pleased that Congress included report language in the FY 2025 NDAA H.R. 8070 contains a section “Launch Site Diversity for the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Program”. The House Armed Services Committee rightly points out that NSSL is vital to DOD space objectives as well as American national and economic security. 2023 set a record with 109 launches from two primary sites, the Eastern Range at Cape Canaveral and the Western Range at Vandenburg Space Force Base.  Demand for launch far outstrips the current available supply, with launch capacity being a principal constraint.

Investment in supporting more launch activity will benefit both national and economic security. The current state of physical infrastructure at launch sites is a serious vulnerability to the NSSL program and America’s ambitions in space. Preparing additional ranges to support the NSSL program requires that the infrastructure built in the 1970s and 1980s be modernized. Overdue projects range from routine road maintenance to constructing new facilities to handle all the payloads of both government and private sector customers, and integrating technology that allows U.S. ranges to conduct more launches safely.

As National Infrastructure Week concludes, the Chamber is supporting several initiatives aimed at ensuring the United States has modern range facilities that support national security missions and American leadership in a rapidly developing and contested space domain.

  • The “Securing U.S. Leadership in Space Act of 2024” is bipartisan legislation introduced in both the Senate and the House that would allow spaceports to access private activity bonds (PABs) to attract private sources of capital to fund badly needed infrastructure projects.
  • The Spaceport Act” would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration’s Space Transportation Infrastructure Matching (STIM) grant program to support construction and space transportation infrastructure projects nationwide. 
  • The “Digital Spaceport of the Future” initiated by the Space Force and intended to ensure that the U.S. proactively adapts to the rapidly increasing demand and complex dynamics of space launches.

Space represents a new economic sector vital to American prosperity in the 21st century. As Senator Rubio remarked, “it’s imperative the United States takes decisive action to bolster our own capabilities.”  National and economic security depend on it.