Under the Trump administration, space exploration and a space force have been important matters that the President and Republicans have tried to tackle. Specifically, the sunshine state has been actively involved in both conversations with Governor DeSantis calling for the space force base to be in Florida.
This week, Florida Senators Marco Rubio (R), Rick Scott (R) and Texas Senator John Cornyn (R) set their sights on space once again, but this time they partnered up to introduce the Contracts and Obligations Modernization for Efficient Terms of Service Act. With the COMETS Act, the bill would modernize NASA contracting requirements.
The legislation would allow NASA to use its procurement contracts to acquire supplies and services to meet not only NASA requirements but also the requirements of its commercial partners. As well, it would enable more efficient NASA center operations across the country, which becomes increasingly important as the commercial space sector explains.
Commenting on the need for the legislation, Senator Rubio expressed that “NASA Space Centers, such as Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, are experiencing remarkable growth, but are currently unable to include the needs of commercial entities in its procurement contracts.” Rubio also added that “this legislative fix is needed to allow NASA to appropriately size its contracts to fill both government and commercial needs and help better facilitate informed business decisions” because “as the commercial space sector continues to grow in Florida and across our nation, it is imperative this law is updated to allow for increased efficiency and continued flourishing for America’s space industry.”
Senator Scott also weighed in on the bill, noting that “the space industry has long been an important and iconic part of Florida’s history and economy.” He cited his time as Governor of Florida, explaining that “we’ve worked to make sure the businesses and families on our Space Coast have every resource they need to thrive.” So, with the COMETS Act, it would continue “to build on our efforts and continue the incredible growth and success of Florida’s Space Coast.”