House Passes Amateur Astronomy Bill Honoring Astronaut Pete Conrad

By Keith Cowing
October 2, 2002
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The U.S. House of Representative passed H.R. 5303 yesterday evening by a voice vote. H.R. 5303, also known as the Charles “Pete” Conrad Astronomy Awards Act, is named for the third man to walk on the moon, establishes awards to encourage amateur astronomers to discover and track asteroids crossing in a near-earth orbit.

Earth has experienced several near-misses with asteroids that would have proven catastrophic, and the scientific community relies heavily on amateur astronomers to discover and track these objects 

H.R. 5303 was introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher earlier this year. “Pete Conrad was a pilot, explorer, and entrepreneur of the highest caliber.  I think it is fitting that we honor Pete Conrad by establishing this award to encourage amateur astronomers and private citizens to keep looking up and out into the future,” said bill sponsor and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). 

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Source: House Science Committee, SpaceRef

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.