President Signs Astronaut Artifacts Bill Into Law
A bill passed by the House and Senate to clarify that astronauts can keep certain items from their spaceflights like personal logs and checklists was signed into law yesterday.
The bill, H.R. 4158, was introduced by House Science, Space and Technology Committee chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX). In a statement today, Hall commended the bipartisanship that allowed the bill to quickly clear Congress and become law. The bill affects astronauts who flew in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs in the 1960s and 1970s. Hall stated today: "As I said on the House floor, these men are heroes who took extraordinary risks to establish American preeminence in space, and by doing so helped our country become a world leader."
The House passed the bill on September 19 and the Senate on September 22.
The astronauts still will not own Moon rocks or other lunar material gathered on their flights. That remains the property of the U.S. Government.
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