Summary: H.R.2782 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
House agreed to Senate amendment with amendment (10/08/1987)

(House agreed to Senate amendment with an amendment)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 1988 - Title I: Authorization of Appropriations for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - Authorizes appropriations for FY 1988 to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for specified activities relating to: (1) research and development; (2) space flight, control, and data communications; (3) construction of facilities; and (4) research and program management.

Authorizes the NASA Administrator to transfer a specified amount from any unobligated funds for prior years (with certain exceptions) for the preparation of the Mars Observer Spacecraft for launch in 1992.

Permits appropriations for research and development and for Space Research and Technology and for Transatmospheric Research Technology programs to be used for any items of a capital nature (other than acquisition of land) which may be required at locations other than NASA installations for the performance of research and development contracts, and for grants to nonprofit institutions of higher education, or to nonprofit organizations whose primary purpose is the conduct of scientific research, for the purchase or construction of additional research facilities. Requires the Administrator of NASA to notify specified congressional officers and committees whenever the cost of a facility exceeds a specified amount. Permits funds appropriated for research and development, for space flight, control, and data communications, or for construction of facilities to remain available without fiscal year limitation.

Permits appropriations for research and program management to be used for scientific consultations or extraordinary expenses upon the approval of the Administrator.

Limits certain uses of specified funds under this Act.

Permits the funds for construction of any specified facilities: (1) in the discretion of the Administrator, to be varied upward ten percent; or (2) following a report by the Administrator to specified congressional committees, to be varied upward 25 percent to meet unusual cost variations.

Permits one-half of one percent of the funds appropriated for research and development or for space flight, control, and data communications to be transferred to the appropriation for construction of facilities. Authorizes the expenditure of such transferred funds, together with a specified amount of the funds appropriated for construction of facilities, to construct, expand, or modify laboratories and other installations. Requires the Administrator, 30 days before expending such funds, to notify specified congressional officers and committees of the nature, cost, and necessity of such construction.

Prohibits, until 30 days pass after congressional receipt of a full explanation by the Administrator, the use of funds appropriated pursuant to this Act for any program: (1) deleted by the Congress; (2) in excess of the amount actually authorized for the particular program under provisions for research and development, space flight, control, and data communications, and research and program management; or (3) which has not been presented to either of the specified congressional committees.

Prohibits any civil space station authorized under this title from being used to: (1) carry or place in orbit any nuclear weapon or any other weapon of mass destruction; (2) install any such weapon or any celestial body; or (3) station any such weapon in space in any other manner. Permits this civil space station to be used only for peaceful purposes.

Directs the Administrator to undertake the construction of a permanently manned Space Station, for specified purposes, to become to become operational in 1995. Requires the Space Station to be developed and operated in a manner that supports other science and space activities. Directs the Administrator to undertake the development of such advanced technologies as may be appropriate, within the level of funding authorized in this title, in order to reduce the cost of Space Station operations. Directs the Administrator to seek to have portions of the Space Station constructed and operated by the private sector where appropriate. Directs the Administrator to promote international cooperation in the Space Station program by undertaking the development, construction, and operation of the Station in conjunction with (but not limited to) the Governments of Europe, Japan, and Canada. Requires the Space Station to be designed, developed, and operated in manner that enables evolutionary enhancement.

Requires the Administrator, for each of FY 1989 through 1996, to submit a budget request to the Congress, with budget estimates for the fiscal year involved and the two succeeding fiscal years, for the capital development of the space station. Limits the amount for Space Station development to no more than 25 percent of the total budget submission for NASA for any one fiscal year.

Limits the amount for operation and enhancement of the Space Station to ten percent of the total budget submission for NASA for any one fiscal year.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the launching and servicing of the Space Station should be accomplished by the most cost-effective use of space transportation systems, including the Space Shuttle and expendable launch vehicles. Directs the Administrator to report by January 15, 1988, on the cost-effective use of such system for the launch of Space Station elements, considering specified factors.

Directs the Administrator to set and collect reasonable user fees for the use and maintenance of the Space Station, taking specified factors into consideration. Authorizes waivers or modifications of such fees in furtherance of specified goals and purposes.

Requires the Administrator to submit to the Congress a detailed plan for collecting reimbursable amounts for the utilization of the Space Station, by September 30, 1988.

Requires that a specified agreement between the U.S. Government and foreign entities concerning the detailed design, development, construction, operation, or utilization of the Space Station be submitted to specified congressional committees. Prohibits such an agreement from taking effect until 30 days of either House or Senate session have passed after receipt by such committees of the agreement.

Expresses the sense of the Congress concerning the geographical distribution of NASA research and development funds. Directs the Administrator to report by January 15, 1988, to specified congressional committees on consideration and exploration of such distribution during FY 1987.

Directs the Administrator to award to a domestic firm a contract that, under the use of competitive procedures, would be awarded to a foreign firm, if: (1) the final product of the domestic firm will be completely assembled in the United States; (2) when completely assembled, at least 50 percent of the final product will be domestically produced; and (3) the difference between the bids submitted by the foreign and domestic firms is not more than six percent. Makes such requirement inapplicable to the extent that: (1) applicability would not be in the public interest; (2) compelling national security considerations require otherwise; or (3) the U.S. Trade representative determines that such an award would be in violation of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade or an international agreement to which the United States is a party. Applies such requirement only to contracts for which: (1) amounts are made available pursuant to this Act; and (2) solicitations for bids are issued after the enactment of this Act.

Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 to permit the Administrator to accept gifts and donations for the construction of a space shuttle orbiter. Provides that all gifts and donations not needed for such construction be used in tribute to the crew of the space shuttle Challenger and in furtherance of the exploration of space. Directs the Administrator to select the name of the space shuttle orbiter from among suggestions from elementary and secondary school students.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Space Shuttle is a critical national resource that should be preserved and used primarily for missions requiring its unique capabilities and that a diversified family of expendable launch vehicles should be incorporated by use into the U.S. civilian space flight program.

Directs the Administrator to establish a program for launching payloads by means of expendable launch vehicles, and if available, by commercial launch services.

Directs the Administrator to ensure that expendable launch vehicles or, if available, commercial launch services are obtained for the launch of specified payloads. Directs the Administrator to report on compliance with these requirements to specified congressional committees by January 15, 1988.

Authorizes the Administrator to enter into contracts for expendable launch vehicle services for multiyear periods and to provide for contingent liability payments and advance payments under such contracts. Allows limiting such contracts to sources within the United States when the Administrator determines it is in the public interest. Provides for payment of contract costs if funds are not available to continue a contract and it is terminated for the convenience of the Government.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the capital investment in space satellites and vehicles should be enhanced and protected by establishing a system of servicing, rehabilitation, and repair capabilities in orbit (satellite servicing). Directs the Administrator to study satellite servicing, taking specified factors into consideration, and report on such study to the Congress by January 15, 1988.

Directs the Administrator to review the findings, recommendations, and proposed space agenda of the National Commission on Space, and submit to specified congressional committees, within 60 days of the enactment of this Act, a recommendation for a long-range implementation plan, including an impact assessment of such implementation on personnel, budget, and other resources.

Amends the Commercial Space Launch Act to authorize appropriations to the Secretary of Transportation for FY 1988 to carry out such Act.

Express the sense of the Congress that the solid rocket motor project of the space shuttle program would benefit from competition, and that an advanced solid rocket motor would enhance the margin of safety, reliability, and performance of the space shuttle. Directs the Administrator, by the date of the President's FY 1990 budget request to the Congress for NASA, to request proposals for acquiring an advanced solid rocket motor by competitive procurement. Directs the Administrator to consider various options, including constructing a government-owned and contractor-operated solid rocket motor production facility and providing for a dual source of supply of the advanced solid rocket motor. Prohibits any contract for purchase of additional solid rocket motors until such a request for proposals has been issued. Allows the Administrator to proceed with procurement of long-lead materials for the solid rocket motors from the current contractor only after certifying to specified congressional committees that such action is necessary to prevent delay in the space shuttle launch schedule. Directs the Administrator to notify specified congressional committees if such competitive procurement cannot be conducted. Requires the Administrator, no sooner than 30 days after such notice is given, to: (1) conduct a competition to select a qualified second source of supply (in addition to the current contractor) for flight sets of the redesigned solid rocket motor that is currently under development; or (2) recompete the current source of supply for flight sets of the redesigned solid rocket motor. Directs the Administrator to present a comprehensive acquisition plan for the advanced solid rocket motor, in accordance with such requirements, to specified congressional committees by March 31, 1988.

Title II: National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program - National Space Grant College and Fellowship Act - Establishes within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) a national space grant college and fellowship program. Requires such program to advise the Administrator of NASA and coordinate Federal efforts.

Authorizes the Administrator to make grants or enter into contracts to assist any space grant and fellowship program for up to 66 percent of total cost. Authorizes the Administrator to make special grants for up to 100 percent of the cost of specified projects.

Authorizes the Administrator to make grants or enter into contracts for up to 100 percent of costs for identified specific national needs and problems relating to space.

Authorizes the Administrator to designate any institution of higher education as a space grant college if it maintains a balanced program in fields related to space and meets other qualifications. Authorizes the Administrator to designate an association or alliance as a space grant regional consortium if it is established to share research and facilities in any field related to space and meets other qualifications.

Directs the Administrator to support a space grant fellowship program for educational and training assistance to graduate students in fields related to space.

Directs the Administrator to establish the space grant review panel as an independent committee to advise the Administrator on implementing the program.

Requires interagency cooperation among all Federal agencies with authority over matters relating to space, authorizing the sharing of personnel, services, facilities, and information.

Directs the Administrator to report biennially to the Congress and the President on the activities of the program, subject to the review of the Directors of the Office of Management and Budget and of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1988 through 1991.

Title III: Amendments to the Land Remote-Sensing Commercialization Act of 1984 - Land Remote-Sensing Commercialization Act Amendments of 1987 - Amends the Land Remote-Sensing Commercialization Act of 1984 (the Act) to exempt contractors from a requirement to fully reimburse the Federal Government under certain circumstances in the case of research and development agreements.

Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce, following the completion of a contract under provisions for data continuity after the Landsat system, and upon 30 days' advance notice to specified congressional committees, to dispose of any Government assets (other than real property) so as to ensure continuation of the contractor's commercial activity.

Revises provisions concerning the use of experimental data from Federal research and development programs.

Adds provisions relating to the use of non-Federal data from the research and development activities of system operators or marketing entities.

Authorizes system operators to require that unenhanced data not be reproduced or disseminated by a foreign or domestic purchaser.