Space industry lobbies Congress

California’s congressional delegation is getting a visit from outer space this week. A trade group that represents California’s space technology businesses is launching an effort to get more government support. KPCC’s Washington Correspondent Kitty Felde reports.

California’s congressional delegation is getting a visit from outer space this week. A trade group that represents California’s space technology businesses is launching an effort to get more government support. KPCC’s Washington Correspondent Kitty Felde reports.

Kitty Felde: More than $30 billion a year is spent in California on satellites, launch vehicles, and software. Janice Dunn with the California Space Authority says that’s about half of the U.S. space market.

Dunn says her trade group is lobbying the state’s congressional members this week to keep NASA’s budget intact. Dunn says they’ll also ask the State Department to streamline exports of satellites. To keep sensitive technology out of the hands of adversaries, Congress moved licensing from the Commerce Department to State. But, says Dunn…

Janice Dunn: In addition to not helping national security, in fact it’s proving to be a real hindrance to industry.

Felde: Dunn says her group can cite a list of generals who say the State Department export licensing process isn’t working. Dunn says the California Space Authority is also concerned about environmental costs and red tape in the Golden State. And she says the trade group worries that California schools and universities won’t be able to supply the next generation of space engineers and scientists.

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