Space & Science Chair Sinema Helps Introduce Bipartisan Bill Improving Space Traffic

Jan 26, 2024

Sinema’s SAFE Orbit Act strengthens space travel efficiency and safety by sharing data about objects in orbit

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema – Chair of the Space and Science Subcommittee – introduced the SAFE Orbit Act alongside U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.). 

The bipartisan legislation improves space traffic coordination by allowing the Office of Space Commerce (OSC) to provide data about objects in orbit to interested agencies and the public – strengthening space travel safety, efficiency, and commercial capabilities.

“Arizona leads the way exploring space. We are working to make space travel and discovery safer and more successful by managing space traffic better,” said Sinema, Chair of the Senate Space and Science Subcommittee.

The Sinema-backed SAFE Orbit Act makes it easier for the OSC to share critical data with other agencies and private companies for space situational awareness by monitoring objects in orbit and predicting where they will be at any given moment.

The bipartisan bill also strengthens the ability for the OSC to distribute data collected by entities that monitor space objects and debris, including the University of Arizona’s Space Objects Intelligence program. The program focuses on providing data about space objects to “study movement and manage space traffic.” The work of University of Arizona’s team contributes to creating and maintaining a safe and efficient operating environment in space. 

Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) also backed the bipartisan bill.

Last year, as Chair of the Space and Science Subcommittee, Sinema cosponsored the bipartisan ORBITS Act– legislation that directly addresses the immediate need to track and mitigate orbital debris that pose risks to Earth and space operations. The ORBITS Act improves national security, supports communications reliability, and protects American astronauts on the International Space Station.