Text: S.2772 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (07/22/2004)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 2772 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

  2d Session
                                S. 2772

   To promote the development of the emerging commercial human space 
flight industry, to extend the liability indemnification regime for the 
 commercial space transportation industry, to authorize appropriations 
  for the Office of the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space 
                Transportation, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 22, 2004

  Mr. Inhofe introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
   referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To promote the development of the emerging commercial human space 
flight industry, to extend the liability indemnification regime for the 
 commercial space transportation industry, to authorize appropriations 
  for the Office of the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space 
                Transportation, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Space Commercial Human Ascent 
Serving Expeditions Act'' or the ``Space CHASE Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--
            (1) the goal of opening space to the American people and 
        their private commercial, scientific, and cultural enterprises 
        should guide Federal space investments, policies, and 
        regulations;
            (2) private industry has begun to develop commercial launch 
        vehicles capable of carrying human beings into space, and 
        greater private investment in these efforts will stimulate the 
        Nation's commercial space transportation industry as a whole;
            (3) space transportation is inherently risky;
            (4) a critical area of responsibility for the Office of the 
        Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation is 
        to regulate the emerging commercial human space flight 
        industry; and
            (5) the public interest is served by creating a clear legal 
        and regulatory regime for commercial human space flight.

SEC. 3. AMENDMENTS.

    (a) Findings and Purposes.--Section 70101 of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(3), by inserting ``human space 
        flight,'' after ``microgravity research,''; and
            (2) in subsection (a)(4)--
                    (A) by striking ``satellite''; and
                    (B) by striking ``services now available from'' and 
                inserting ``capabilities of''.
    (b) Definitions.--Section 70102 of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (1) by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (17) as 
        paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (12), (13), 
        (14), (15), (16), (18), (21), and (22), respectively;
            (2) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new 
        paragraph:
            ``(2) `crew' means any employee of a licensee or 
        transferee, or of a contractor or subcontractor of a licensee 
        or transferee, who performs activities in the course of that 
        employment directly relating to the launch, reentry, or other 
        operation of or in a launch vehicle or reentry vehicle that 
        carries human beings.'';
            (3) in paragraph (4), as redesignated by paragraph (1) of 
        this subsection, by inserting ``, crew, or space flight 
        participant'' after ``any payload'';
            (4) in paragraph (6)(A), as redesignated by paragraph (1) 
        of this subsection, by striking ``and payload'' and inserting 
        ``, payload, crew (including crew training), or space flight 
        participant'';
            (5) in paragraph (8)(A), as redesignated by paragraph (1) 
        of this subsection, by inserting ``or human beings'' after 
        ``place a payload'';
            (6) by inserting after paragraph (10), as redesignated by 
        paragraph (1) of this subsection, the following new paragraph:
            ``(11) `permit' means an experimental permit issued under 
        section 70105.'';
            (7) in paragraph (13), as redesignated by paragraph (1) of 
        this subsection, by inserting ``crew, or space flight 
        participants,'' after ``and its payload,'';
            (8) in paragraph (14)(A), as redesignated by paragraph (1) 
        of this subsection, by striking ``and its payload'' inserting 
        ``and payload, crew (including crew training), or space flight 
        participant'';
            (9) by inserting after paragraph (16), as redesignated by 
        paragraph (1) of this subsection, the following new paragraph:
            ``(17) `space flight participant' means an individual, who 
        is not crew, carried within a launch vehicle or reentry 
        vehicle.'';
            (10) by inserting after paragraph (18), as redesignated by 
        paragraph (1) of this subsection, the following new paragraphs:
            ``(19) `suborbital rocket' means a vehicle, rocket-
        propelled in whole or in part, intended for flight on a 
        suborbital trajectory whose thrust is greater than its lift for 
        the majority of the rocket-powered portion of its flight.
            ``(20) `suborbital trajectory' means the intentional flight 
        path of a launch vehicle, reentry vehicle, or any portion 
        thereof, whose vacuum instantaneous impact point does not leave 
        the surface of the Earth.''; and
            (11) in paragraph (21), as redesignated by paragraph (1) of 
        this subsection--
                    (A) by striking ``or'' at the end of subparagraph 
                (C);
                    (B) by striking the period at the end of 
                subparagraph (D) and inserting ``; or''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following new 
                subparagraph:
                    ``(E) crew or space flight participants.''.
    (c) Commercial Human Space Flight.--(1) Section 70103(a) of title 
49, United States Code, is amended--
            (A) by inserting ``, through the Associate Administrator 
        for Commercial Space Transportation,'' after ``Secretary of 
        Transportation''; and
            (B) by adding at the end the following new sentence: ``The 
        Secretary of Transportation shall ensure that the Associate 
        Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation has 
        sufficient personnel from within the Federal Aviation 
        Administration to carry out this chapter.''.
    (2) Section 70103(b)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is amended 
by inserting ``, including those involving space flight participants'' 
after ``private sector''.
    (3) Section 70104(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended--
            (A) by striking ``License Requirement.--A license issued or 
        transferred under this chapter'' and inserting ``Requirement.--
        A license issued or transferred under this chapter, or a 
        permit,''; and
            (B) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following:
``Notwithstanding this subsection, a permit shall not authorize a 
person to operate a launch site or reentry site.''.
    (4) Section 70104(b) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by 
inserting ``or permit'' after ``holder of a license''.
    (5) Section 70104 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by 
adding at the end the following:
    ``(d) Limitation on Conditions.--(1) The Secretary of 
Transportation shall not make it a condition or requirement for a 
person who receives a license or experimental permit under this chapter 
to obtain any other license, permit, certificate, or other legal 
instrument from the Secretary for the conduct of the activity, 
including flight and return, for which the license or permit was 
issued.
    ``(2) The Secretary of Transportation shall not require any 
additional license, permit, certificate, or other legal instrument be 
obtained from the Department of Transportation for any activity, 
including flight and return, for which a license or experimental permit 
has been issued under this chapter.''.
    (6) The section heading of section 70105 of title 49, United States 
Code, is amended by striking ``License applications'' and inserting 
``Applications'', and the item relating to that section in the table of 
sections for chapter 701 of title 49, United States Code, is amended 
accordingly.
    (7) Section 70105(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended--
            (A) by striking ``Applications.--'' and inserting 
        ``Licenses.--'';
            (B) in paragraph (1), by striking ``subsection (b)(2)(D)'' 
        both places it appears and inserting ``subsection (c)(2)(D)''; 
        and
            (C) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``, including crews,'' 
        after ``or personnel''.
    (8) Section 70105 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by 
redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as subsections (c) and (d), 
respectively, and by inserting after subsection (a) the following new 
subsection:
    ``(b) Experimental.--(1) A person may apply to the Secretary of 
Transportation for an experimental permit under this subsection in the 
form and manner the Secretary prescribes. Consistent with the public 
health and safety, safety of property, and national security and 
foreign policy interests of the United States, the Secretary, not later 
than 90 days after receiving an application pursuant to this 
subsection, shall issue a permit if the Secretary decides in writing 
that the applicant complies, and will continue to comply, with this 
chapter and regulations prescribed under this chapter. The Secretary 
shall inform the applicant of any pending issue and action required to 
resolve the issue if the Secretary has not made a decision not later 
than 60 days after receiving an application. The Secretary shall 
transmit to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives 
and Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a 
written notice not later than 15 days after any occurrence when a 
permit is not issued within the deadline established by this 
subsection.
    ``(2) In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary may establish 
procedures for safety approvals of launch vehicles, reentry vehicles, 
safety systems, processes, services, or personnel, including crews, 
that may be used in conducting commercial space launch or reentry 
activities pursuant to a permit.
    ``(3) In order to encourage the development of a commercial space 
flight industry, the Secretary, to the greatest extent practicable, 
shall when issuing permits use the authority granted under subsection 
(c)(2)(C).
    ``(4) The Secretary may issue a permit only for reusable suborbital 
rockets that will be launched or reentered solely for--
            ``(A) research and development to test new design concepts, 
        new equipment, or new operating techniques;
            ``(B) showing compliance with requirements as part of the 
        process for obtaining a license under this chapter; or
            ``(C) crew training prior to obtaining a license for a 
        launch or reentry using the design of the rocket for which the 
        permit would be issued.
    ``(5) Permits issued under this subsection shall--
            ``(A) authorize an unlimited number of launches and 
        reentries for a particular suborbital rocket design for the 
        uses described in paragraph (4); and
            ``(B) specify the modifications that may be made to the 
        suborbital rocket without changing the design to an extent that 
        would invalidate the permit.
    ``(6) Permits shall not be transferable.
    ``(7) A permit may not be issued for, and a permit that has already 
been issued shall cease to be valid for, a particular design for a 
reusable suborbital rocket after a license has been issued for the 
launch or reentry of a rocket of that design.
    ``(8) No person may operate a reusable suborbital rocket under a 
permit for carrying any property or human being for compensation or 
hire.
    ``(9) For the purposes of sections 70106, 70107, 70108, 70109, 
70110, 70112, 70115, 70116, 70117, and 70121 of this chapter--
            ``(A) a permit shall be considered a license;
            ``(B) the holder of a permit shall be considered a 
        licensee;
            ``(C) a vehicle operating under a permit shall be 
        considered to be licensed; and
            ``(D) the issuance of a permit shall be considered 
        licensing.
This paragraph shall not be construed to allow the transfer of a 
permit.''.
    (9) Section 70105(c)(1) of title 49, United States Code, as 
redesignated by paragraph (7) of this subsection, is amended by 
inserting ``or permit'' after ``for a license''.
    (10) Section 70105(c)(2)(B) of title 49, United States Code, as 
redesignated by paragraph (7) of this subsection, is amended by 
striking ``an additional requirement'' and inserting ``any additional 
requirement''.
    (11) Section 70105(c)(2)(C) of title 49, United States Code, as 
redesignated by paragraph (7) of this subsection, is amended by 
inserting ``or permit'' after ``for a license''.
    (12) Section 70105(c)(2)(D) of title 49, United States Code, as 
redesignated by paragraph (7) of this subsection, is amended by 
inserting ``or permit'' after ``for a license''.
    (13) Section 70105(c)(3) of title 49, United States Code, as 
redesignated by paragraph (7) of this subsection, is amended by adding 
at the end the following: ``Nothing in this paragraph shall be 
construed to allow the launch or reentry of a launch vehicle or a 
reentry vehicle without a license or permit if a human being will be on 
board.''.
    (14) Section 70105(c) of title 49, United States Code, as 
redesignated by paragraph (7) of this subsection, is amended by adding 
at the end the following new paragraphs:
    ``(4) The holder of a license or a permit under this chapter may 
launch or reenter crew only if--
            ``(A) the crew has received training and has satisfied 
        medical or other standards specified in the license or permit 
        in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary; 
        and
            ``(B) the holder of the license or permit and crew have 
        complied with all requirements of the laws of the United States 
        that apply to crew.
    ``(5) The holder of a license or a permit under this chapter may 
launch or reenter a space flight participant only if--
            ``(A) in accordance with regulations promulgated by the 
        Secretary, the holder of the license or permit has informed the 
        space flight participant in writing about the risks of the 
        launch or reentry, including the safety record of the launch or 
        reentry vehicle type, and the space flight participant has 
        provided written informed consent to participation in the 
        launch or reentry; and
            ``(B) the holder of the license or permit and space flight 
        participant have complied with all requirements of the laws of 
        the United States related to launching or reentering a space 
        flight participant.''.
    (15) Section 70105(d) of title 49, United States Code, as 
redesignated by paragraph (7) of this subsection, is amended by 
inserting ``or permit'' after ``of a license''.
    (16) Section 70106(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended--
            (A) by inserting ``at a site used for crew training,'' 
        after ``assemble a launch vehicle or reentry vehicle,''; and
            (B) by striking ``section 70104(c)'' and inserting 
        ``sections 70104(c) and 70105(c)(4)''.
    (17) Section 70110(a)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended by striking ``70105(a)'' and inserting ``70105''.
    (18) Section 70112(b)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (A) by inserting ``space flight participants,'' after ``its 
        contractors, subcontractors,'';
            (B) by inserting ``or by space flight participants,'' after 
        ``its own employees''; and
            (C) by adding at the end the following: ``The requirement 
        for space flight participants to make a reciprocal waiver of 
        claims with the licensee or transferee shall expire 3 years 
        after the first licensed launch of a launch vehicle carrying a 
        space flight participant.''.
    (19) Section 70112(b)(2) of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (A) by inserting ``crew, space flight participants,'' after 
        ``transferee, contractors, subcontractors,''; and
            (B) by inserting ``or by space flight participants,'' after 
        ``its own employees''.
    (20) Section 70113(a)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting ``but not against a space flight participant,'' 
after ``subcontractor of a customer,''.
    (21) Section 70113(f) of title 49, United States Code, is amended 
by striking ``December 31, 2004.'' and inserting ``December 31, 2007. 
This section does not apply to permits.''.
    (22) Section 70115(b)(1)(D)(i) of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting ``crew training site,'' after ``site of a launch 
vehicle or reentry vehicle,''.
    (23) Section 70119 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by 
striking paragraphs (1) and (2) and inserting the following:
            ``(1) $11,776,000 for fiscal year 2005;
            ``(2) $11,776,000 for fiscal year 2006; and
            ``(3) $11,776,000 for fiscal year 2007.''.
    (24) Section 70120 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subsections:
    ``(c) Amendments.--Not later than 12 months after the date of 
enactment of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, the 
Secretary shall publish proposed regulations to carry out that Act, 
including regulations relating to crew, space flight participants, and 
permits for launch or reentry of reusable suborbital rockets. Not later 
than 18 months after such date of enactment, the Secretary shall issue 
final regulations.
    ``(d) Effective.--(1) Licenses for the launch or reentry of launch 
vehicles or reentry vehicles with human beings on board and permits may 
be issued by the Secretary prior to the issuance of the regulations 
described in subsection (c).
    ``(2) As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of the 
Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, the Secretary shall 
issue guidelines or advisory circulars to guide the implementation of 
that Act until regulations are issued.
    ``(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), no licenses for the 
launch or reentry of launch vehicles or reentry vehicles with human 
beings on board or permits may be issued starting three years after the 
date of enactment of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 
unless the final regulations described in subsection (c) have been 
issued.''.

SEC. 4. STUDY ON THE GRADUAL ELIMINATION OF COMMERCIAL SPACE 
              TRANSPORTATION LIABILITY RISK SHARING REGIME.

    Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
Secretary of Transportation shall enter into an appropriate arrangement 
with the National Academy of Public Administration to conduct a study 
of how best to gradually eliminate the liability risk sharing regime in 
the United States for commercial space transportation under section 
70113 of title 49, United States Code. The study shall assess methods 
by which the liability risk sharing regime could be eliminated by 2008 
or as soon as possible thereafter and the impact those methods would be 
likely to have on the commercial space transportation industry. The 
methods examined shall include incremental approaches.

SEC. 5. TECHNICAL AMENDMENT.

    Section 102(c) of the Commercial Space Act of 1998 is repealed.
                                 <all>

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