Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) introduced bipartisan legislation to support spaceports across the nation, unleashing investment in space and addressing the concerning spaceport bottleneck. The Alleviating Spaceport Traffic by Rewarding Operators (ASTRO) Act would award funding to spaceports with proven track records of launches, protecting and promoting America’s strategic, military, and commercial interests in space exploration while supporting local economies surrounding spaceports.

“Space is an incredibly critical frontier for the next generation of America’s strategic needs and economic growth,” said Sen. Warner. “The ASTRO Act would solve a pressing need by allowing successful spaceports to rapidly scale their operations, unleashing the potential for more frequent launches and paving the way for breakthroughs across the cosmos.”

“America’s spaceports are facing increasing demand for launch services,” said Sen. Sullivan. “As one of four sites in the United States with a demonstrated ability to vertically launch objects into orbit, the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Kodiak Island plays a key role in providing American access to space, and also providing much-needed missiles to our allies, like Israel. The ASTRO Act is a critical step towards strengthening our space launch capabilities and will allow for needed infrastructure developments that will help bolster our national security, and propel our nation’s space ambitions for generations to come.”

America faces a severe and worsening “spaceport bottleneck” as the need for space launch facilities vastly outstrips supply, creating very high demand on a small number of facilities. The ASTRO Act would get non-federal spaceports the resources they need to build transit infrastructure and quickly increase launch capacity and cadence. Under the ASTRO Act, spaceports would receive $250,000 for each licensed launch and $100,000 for each permitted launch up to $2.5 million annually, promoting investment in spaceports that already have a record of successful launches.

Spaceports across the nation would be eligible for these funds, including the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia, and the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska.

Full text of the ASTRO Act is available here.