Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (10/19/1988)

(Measure passed House, amended)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1989 - Title I: National Aeronautics and Space Capital Development Program - Directs the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to submit to specified congressional committees, by March 15, 1989, a five-year capital development plan, including: (1) economic assumptions, budgetary requirements, and estimates of expenditures relating to objectives; (2) a detailed operating plan for FY 1989 and program plans for FY 1990 through 1993; and (3) estimates of total projected investments in various capital improvements necessary for plan objectives.

Expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the NASA budget should increase substantially, with a goal of at least 15 percent growth for each of the five years immediately following this Act's enactment.

Directs the President to submit annually to the Congress, beginning in FY 1990, a budget request for NASA for both the relevant current fiscal year and the one immediately following, as well as budget estimates for the third fiscal year.

Title II: Fiscal Year 1989 NASA and Multiyear Space Station Authorization - Authorizes FY 1989 appropriations to 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, including scientific consultations.

Authorizes FY 1990 and 1991 appropriations, as well as those for FY 1989, for research and development associated with the U.S. International Space Station.

Directs the NASA Administrator to contract for implementation of the Industrial Applications Center in Oklahoma through the NASA Rural Technology Applications Team.

Authorizes appropriations for the construction of an advanced solid rocket motor facility.

Permits appropriations for the first two categories listed above to be used for certain items of a capital nature (other than land acquisition) required for the performance of research and development contracts, and for grants to nonprofit educational and research organizations to augment their research facilities. Prohibits the use of these funds for the construction of any major facility whose estimated cost exceeds $500,000, unless the Administrator of NASA notifies specified congressional leadership and committees.

Provides for upward variances of funds for construction of individual facilities, but not beyond the total amount authorized for facilities construction.

Authorizes certain fund transfers and makes available specified funds for the construction and modification of laboratories and other installations. Requires the Administrator to notify specified congressional leadership and committees of the nature, cost, and need for such construction before expending the funds in question.

Prohibits, until 30 days following congressional receipt of the Administrator's full explanation, the use of funds appropriated pursuant to this Act for any program that: (1) has been eliminated by the Congress; (2) is in excess of the amount actually authorized for the particular program (except for construction of facilities); or (3) has not been presented to either of the relevant congressional committees.

Declares it to be the sense of the Congress that it is in the national interest to consider geographical distribution, whenever feasible, in allotting Federal research funds and that NASA should explore ways to do so.

Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 to authorize certain NASA-related personnel to make warrantless arrests, under limited circumstances, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Administrator and approved by the Attorney General.

Makes specified funds authorized for space flight, control, and data communications available, without fiscal year limitation, in connection with the advanced solid rocket motor project of the space shuttle program, if the Administrator determines that it is in the best interest of the United States to accept a proposal offering a privately financed and non-Government-owned production facility.

Directs the Administrator to: (1) contract with the National Academy of Sciences to review the microgravity research capability of the United States and issue a report addressing specified issues with respect to a commercially developed space facility; (2) contract with the National Academy of Public Administration to consider various features associated with Government costs that might be associated with such a facility; and (3) report to specified congressional committees, no later than May 15, 1989, on topics relating to a commercially developed space facility and microgravity facilities.

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 and at least 50 percent domestically produced; and (2) 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) the Administrator determines that applicability would not be in the public interest or that compelling national security considerations require otherwise; or (2) the U.S. Trade Representative determines that such an award would violate the GATT or other international agreement.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Administrator should establish a multilateral working group of representatives of appropriate nations, including the Societ Union, to explore the technology and procedures necessary for the development of international space docking capability and interface standards relating to it. Directs the Administrator to report to the Congress on the status of this International Space Docking Working Group within six months of this Act's enactment.

Designates the NASA National Space Technology Laboratories located in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, as the John C. Stennis Space Center.

Permits the Administrator to request and receive, in connection with any outer solar system exploration project, only those quantities of nuclear fuel necessary for the specific mission.

Amends the Commercial Space Launch Act to authorize appropriations to the Secretary of Transportation to carry out such Act for FY 1989.

Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 to include as part of the national space program's policy and purpose the congressional declaration that U.S. aeronautical and space activities should be conducted in a way that will preserve U.S. preeminence in these fields through research and technology development related to associated manufacturing processes.

Prohibits: (1) the obligation or expenditure of any funds authorized to be appropriated for NASA unless it implements a written policy designed to ensure that its officers and employees do not use, possess, or distribute controlled substances in the workplace; and (2) grant or contract payments to secondary NASA fund recipients unless they adopt a written policy ensuring a drug-free workplace. Applies these provisions and comparable provisions in specified science-related Acts, effective January 16, 1989.

Authorizes the NASA Administrator to lease to the State of Ohio or to an appropriate tax-exempt entity specified property at the Lewis Research Center in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, for an aerospace institute to serve as a facility for aeronautical and space research, the training and education of space and aeronautical engineers, and technology transfer activities. Permits, in addition, agreements for NASA administrative, maintenance, instructional, and other support for this institute.

Declares that the extension of human life into extraterrestrial space for the purposes of advancing science, exploration, and development will enhance the general welfare on earth and will eventually lead to space settlements (human communities with substantial independence from earth) that will further accomplish scientific purposes.

Directs NASA to report biennially to the President and to the Congress on: (1) activities undertaken in connection with space settlements, including an analysis of research and development activities on the Space Station, the moon, and other outposts necessary to accomplish a manned mission to Mars; and (2) other specified topics relating to space settlements, including applied technologies, international cooperation, finance, and pertinent sociopolitical and legal concerns.

Limits the uses of any civil space station authorized under this Act to those associated with peaceful purposes, expressly prohibiting the use of such a station for weapons-related activities.

Title III: Ten Year Strategic Plan - Recommends that the Administrator: (1) undertake a program of science and applications, including the robotic exploration of other solar system bodies and the enhancement of understanding of the behavior of biological systems in the space environment; (2) undertake an aggressive and balanced program of space research and technology; (3) pursue the continued manned exploration of the solar system and low-Earth orbit, including the establishment of an operational U.S. International Space Station and missions involving Mars and the moon; (4) improve both the manned and unmanned space transportation systems; and (5) conduct a program in aeronautics research and technology development and validation, and, with the Department of Defense, conduct a flight demonstration program targeting specified goals.

Title IV: Authorization of Appropriations for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Authorizes FY 1989 appropriations to the Department of Commerce (DOC) to enable the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to carry out the operations and research duties of the National Weather Service under specified Federal laws. Includes among these duties meteorological, hydrological, and oceanographic public warnings and forecasts, as well as applied research.

Authorizes FY 1989 appropriations to the DOC to enable NOAA to carry out its public warning and forecast systems duties under specified Federal laws.

Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), in procuring information processing and telecommunications services of the NOAA for the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System, to provide in services contracts for the payment of any contingent liability of the Federal Government if the Government decides to terminate the contract before its expiration. Limits these payments to amounts permitted in advance in appropriations Acts.

Authorizes FY 1989 appropriations to the DOC to enable NOAA to carry out its climate and air quality research duties under specified Federal laws. Includes as duties interannual and seasonal climate research, long-term climate and air quality research, and the national climate program. Sets aside a specified portion of funds for: (1) activities under the National Climate Program Act; and (2) the establishment of a program to study climate and global change.

Authorizes FY 1989 appropriations to the DOC to enable NOAA to carry out its atmospheric research duties under specified Federal laws, including research for developing improved prediction capabilities for atmospheric processes, as well as solar-terrestrial services and research.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1989 to enable NOAA to carry out its satellite observing systems duties under specified Federal laws. Includes among these duties spacecraft procurement, launch, and associated ground station system changes involving polar orbiting and geostationary environmental satellites and land remote-sensing satellites, as well as the operation of these satellites.

Authorizes FY 1989 appropriations to enable NOAA to carry out its data and information services duties under specified Federal laws, including climate data services, ocean data services, geophysical data services, and environmental assessment and information services.

Directs the Secretary to prepare and submit to the Congress: (1) within 90 days after the enactment of this title, a ten-year strategic plan for the comprehensive modernization of the National Weather Service; (2) by the beginning of the fiscal year following the submission of the strategic plan, a National Implementation Plan for Modernization of the National Weather Service; and (3) at the beginning of each successive fiscal year, a revised National Implementation Plan.

Prohibits the Secretary from closing, consolidating, automating, or relocating any Weather Service Office or Weather Service Forecast Office unless the Secretary has certified to specified congressional committees that the action will not result in any degradation of weather services provided to the affected area.

Authorizes the Secretary to assess fees for access to environmental data archived by, which NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. Prescribes conditions to govern these user charges, to be phased in over a three-year period, which may not begin until FY 1990. Directs the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on plans for fee implementation and revenue uses.

Directs the Secretary to submit to specified congressional committees by July 1, 1989, a plan to construct and operate a worldwide system of ground-based remote sensors to monitor the stratospheric levels of chemicals that can affect the level of ozone in the stratosphere and to use these results to improve understanding of the possible changes in stratospheric ozone due to human activities.

Expresses the sense of the Congress concerning the global change program as a significant opportunity for international cooperation, finding it in the best interest of the United States to maintain a separate civilian polar meteorological satellite program to facilitate data sharing with foreign participants.

Prohibits funds authorized under this title from being used either to move or to close the National Weather Service Training Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Directs NOAA's National Weather Service to maintain a data base describing the acid content of precipitation in the United States, using data from various Federal monitoring sites, as well as information transferred from other agencies that collect pertinent data.

Title V: National Space Council - Establishes in the Executive Office of the President the National Space Council, to be chaired by the Vice President. Calls for the creation of the Council effective February 1, 1989, requiring the President to submit to the Congress, by March 1, 1989, a report outlining the Council's functions.

Title VI: Air Traffic Controller Performance Research - Directs the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to research the effects of automation on the performance of the next generation of air traffic controllers and the air traffic control system, and to report to the Congress regarding such research.

Authorizes the FAA Administrator to enter into an agreement with the NASA Administrator regarding the use of NASA facilities to study the human factor aspects of a highly automated environment upon air traffic controllers. Prescribes the contents of such research. Authorizes appropriations.