Text: H.R.2616 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Bill text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (07/08/2013)


Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this legislative text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF or HTML/XML.




[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2616 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2616

    To authorize the programs of the National Aeronautics and Space 
  Administration for fiscal years 2014, 2015, and 2016, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              July 8, 2013

   Ms. Edwards (for herself, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Ms. 
Wilson of Florida, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Grayson, Mr. Peters of California, 
 Ms. Bonamici, Mr. Maffei, Mr. Swalwell of California, Mr. Veasey, Ms. 
Kelly of Illinois, and Mr. Kilmer) introduced the following bill; which 
    was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To authorize the programs of the National Aeronautics and Space 
  Administration for fiscal years 2014, 2015, and 2016, 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; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2013''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
                TITLE I--AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

Sec. 101. Sense of Congress.
Sec. 102. Fiscal year 2014.
Sec. 103. Fiscal year 2015.
Sec. 104. Fiscal year 2016.
               TITLE II--HUMAN EXPLORATION AND OPERATIONS

                        Subtitle A--Exploration

Sec. 201. Goal.
Sec. 202. Roadmap.
Sec. 203. Sense of Congress on international participation.
Sec. 204. Exploration systems development.
Sec. 205. Space radiation.
Sec. 206. Participatory exploration.
Sec. 207. Sense of Congress on science and exploration.
Sec. 208. Planetary protection for human exploration missions.
                Subtitle B--International Space Station

Sec. 211. Objectives and policy.
Sec. 212. Sense of Congress regarding operation and utilization of the 
                            ISS beyond 2020.
Sec. 213. Prohibition on precluding ISS operations beyond 2020.
Sec. 214. Criteria for extending ISS operations beyond 2020.
Sec. 215. ISS cargo resupply services lessons learned.
Sec. 216. Crew transportation to and from the ISS.
Sec. 217. Commercial crew transportation development independent 
                            review.
Sec. 218. Integrated plan to effect maximum utilization of the ISS.
Sec. 219. Centrifuge.
Sec. 220. Management of the ISS National Laboratory.
Sec. 221. Barriers impeding enhanced utilization of the ISS's National 
                            Laboratory by commercial companies.
                      Subtitle C--Other Operations

Sec. 231. Integrated space communications network and infrastructure.
                           TITLE III--SCIENCE

                       Subtitle A--Space Science

Sec. 301. Sense of Congress regarding a balanced space science program.
Sec. 302. Sense of Congress regarding integrated testing of James Webb 
                            Space Telescope.
Sec. 303. Sense of Congress regarding WFIRST mission.
Sec. 304. Astrobiology science strategy.
Sec. 305. Assessment of Mars architecture.
Sec. 306. Radioisotope thermoelectric generators.
Sec. 307. University class science missions.
                       Subtitle B--Earth Science

Sec. 311. Sense of Congress.
Sec. 312. Comprehensive Earth observation systems and research program.
Sec. 313. Study on sustained, long-term measurements.
Sec. 314. Assessment.
Sec. 315. Continuity of moderate resolution land imaging remote sensing 
                            data.
Sec. 316. Venture class missions.
                         TITLE IV--AERONAUTICS

Sec. 401. Sense of Congress.
Sec. 402. Aeronautics research goals.
Sec. 403. Strategic planning for aeronautics research.
Sec. 404. Research program to determine perceived impact of sonic 
                            booms.
Sec. 405. Research program to facilitate greater use of composite 
                            materials in aircraft.
Sec. 406. Transformative aeronautics research.
Sec. 407. United States leadership in aeronautics research.
                   TITLE V--SPACE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM

Sec. 501. Sense of Congress.
Sec. 502. Space technology program.
                    TITLE VI--ACQUISITION MANAGEMENT

Sec. 601. Project and program reserves.
Sec. 602. Cost estimation.
Sec. 603. Independent reviews.
Sec. 604. Avoiding organizational conflicts of interest in major NASA 
                            acquisition programs.
Sec. 605. Managing termination liability.
                      TITLE VII--OTHER PROVISIONS

Sec. 701. Facilities and infrastructure.
Sec. 702. NASA education program.
Sec. 703. Independent review of the National Space Grant College and 
                            Fellowship Program.
Sec. 704. Review of practices to detect and prevent the use of 
                            counterfeit parts.
Sec. 705. Remote satellite servicing demonstrations.
Sec. 706. Astronaut occupational healthcare.
Sec. 707. Use of operational commercial suborbital vehicles for 
                            research, development, and education.
Sec. 708. Fundamental space life and physical sciences research.
Sec. 709. Restoring NASA's commitment to engineering research.
Sec. 710. Near-Earth objects detection.
Sec. 711. Research on near-Earth object tsunami effects.
Sec. 712. Review of orbital debris removal concepts.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space 
        Administration.
            (2) Covered program.--The term ``covered program'' means 
        the International Space Station, the Space Launch System, the 
        Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, and the James Webb Space 
        Telescope.
            (3) DOE.--The term ``DOE'' means the Department of Energy.
            (4) ISS.--The term ``ISS'' means the International Space 
        Station.
            (5) NASA.--The term ``NASA'' means the National Aeronautics 
        and Space Administration.
            (6) NOAA.--The term ``NOAA'' means the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration.
            (7) Prime contractor.--The term ``prime contractor'' means 
        a person or entity contracting directly with the Federal 
        Government on a covered program.
            (8) Safety, security, and workforce support programs.--The 
        term ``Safety, Security, and Workforce Support Programs'' means 
        the programs and activities accounted for in the ``Cross-Agency 
        Support Programs'' accounts in the National Aeronautics and 
        Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010, and subsequent 
        appropriations Acts.
            (9) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.

                TITLE I--AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

SEC. 101. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that a strong, robust NASA program is 
in the national interest. Ensuring that NASA can continue to pursue 
cutting-edge space and aeronautical research and development activities 
and push back the frontier of space exploration requires a sustained 
and adequate commitment in resources. However, NASA's share of the 
Federal discretionary budgetary authority has declined significantly 
relative to even its post-Apollo historical average. Challenging goals 
cannot be reached and multimission responsibilities cannot be fulfilled 
with the consistent erosion of purchasing power and unstable funding, 
which NASA has experienced in recent years. It should be a national 
goal to restore NASA's funding to a level of one percent of the annual 
Federal budget.

SEC. 102. FISCAL YEAR 2014.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to NASA for fiscal year 
2014, $18,100,000,000, as follows:
            (1) For Exploration, $4,220,800,000, of which--
                    (A) $1,650,000,000 shall be for the Space Launch 
                System, $1,230,000,000 shall be for the Orion 
                multipurpose crew vehicle, and $318,200,000 shall be 
                for Exploration Ground Systems;
                    (B) $322,600,000 shall be for Exploration Research 
                and Development; and
                    (C) $700,000,000 shall be for Commercial 
                Spaceflight.
            (2) For Space Operations, $3,761,700,000, of which--
                    (A) $2,927,900,000 shall be for the ISS program, of 
                which $230,900,000 shall be for ISS research; and
                    (B) $833,800,000 shall be for Space and Flight 
                Support.
            (3) For Science, $5,300,300,000, of which--
                    (A) $1,846,100,000 shall be for Earth Sciences;
                    (B) $1,500,000,000 shall be for Planetary Science;
                    (C) $642,300,000 shall be for Astrophysics;
                    (D) $658,200,000 shall be for the James Webb Space 
                Telescope; and
                    (E) $653,700,000 shall be for Heliophysics.
            (4) For Aeronautics, $569,400,000.
            (5) For Space Technology, $615,000,000.
            (6) For Education, $136,100,000.
            (7) For Safety, Security, and Workforce Support Programs, 
        $2,850,300,000.
            (8) For Construction and Environmental Compliance and 
        Restoration, $609,400,000,000, of which $142,300,000 shall be 
        for Exploration Construction of Facilities.
            (9) For Inspector General, $37,000,000.

SEC. 103. FISCAL YEAR 2015.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to NASA for fiscal year 
2015, $18,462,000,000, as follows:
            (1) For Exploration, $4,436,200,000, of which--
                    (A) $1,750,000,000 shall be for the Space Launch 
                System, $1,235,000,000 shall be for the Orion 
                multipurpose crew vehicle, and $408,400,000 shall be 
                for Exploration Ground Systems;
                    (B) $342,800,000 shall be for Exploration Research 
                and Development; and
                    (C) $700,000,000 shall be for Commercial 
                Spaceflight.
            (2) For Space Operations, $4,042,400,000, of which--
                    (A) $3,197,300,000 shall be for the ISS program, of 
                which $244,300,000 shall be for ISS research; and
                    (B) $845,100,000 shall be for Space and Flight 
                Support.
            (3) For Science, $5,293,100,000, of which--
                    (A) $1,854,600,000 shall be for Earth Sciences;
                    (B) $1,500,000,000 shall be for Planetary Science;
                    (C) $660,000,000 shall be for Astrophysics;
                    (D) $645,400,000 shall be for the James Webb Space 
                Telescope; and
                    (E) $633,100,000 shall be for Heliophysics.
            (4) For Aeronautics, $581,000,000.
            (5) For Space Technology, $645,000,000.
            (6) For Education, $136,100,000.
            (7) For Safety, Security, and Workforce Support Programs, 
        $2,850,300,000.
            (8) For Construction and Environmental Compliance and 
        Restoration, $440,900,000.
            (9) For Inspector General, $37,000,000.

SEC. 104. FISCAL YEAR 2016.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to NASA for fiscal year 
2016, $18,868,000,000, as follows:
            (1) For Exploration, $4,534,200,000, of which--
                    (A) $1,800,000,000 shall be for the Space Launch 
                System; $1,260,000,000 shall be for the Orion 
                multipurpose crew vehicle; and $414,200,000 shall be 
                for Exploration Ground Systems;
                    (B) $360,000,000 shall be for Exploration Research 
                and Development; and
                    (C) $700,000,000 shall be for Commercial 
                Spaceflight.
            (2) For Space Operations, $4,133,300,000, of which--
                    (A) $3,319,500,000 shall be for the ISS program, of 
                which $272,200,000 shall be for ISS research; and
                    (B) $813,800,000 shall be for Space and Flight 
                Support.
            (3) For Science, $5,305,600,000 of which--
                    (A) $1,848,800,000 shall be for Earth Sciences;
                    (B) $1,500,000,000 shall be for Planetary Science;
                    (C) $700,000,000 shall be for Astrophysics;
                    (D) $620,000,000 shall be for the James Webb Space 
                Telescope; and
                    (E) $636,800,000 shall be for Heliophysics.
            (4) For Aeronautics, $593,800,000.
            (5) For Space Technology, $720,000,000.
            (6) For Education, $136,100,000.
            (7) For Safety, Security, and Workforce Support Programs, 
        $2,937,000,000.
            (8) For Construction and Environmental Compliance and 
        Restoration, $471,000,000.
            (9) For Inspector General, $37,000,000.

               TITLE II--HUMAN EXPLORATION AND OPERATIONS

                        Subtitle A--Exploration

SEC. 201. GOAL.

    The goal of NASA's Exploration program shall be to successfully 
conduct a crewed mission to the surface of Mars to begin the human 
exploration of that planet as part of a broader national goal of human 
and robotic exploration of the solar system. NASA's exploration 
activities and investments shall be organized towards the achievement 
of that goal. Potential exploration and utilization of the Moon, cis-
lunar space, near-Earth asteroids, Lagrangian points, and Martian moons 
may be pursued as interim destinations to the extent that they make 
significant contributions to the achievement of that goal.

SEC. 202. ROADMAP.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator shall establish a roadmap to 
guide NASA's planning for the achievement of the goal established in 
section 201.
    (b) Requirements.--
            (1) In general.--The roadmap shall include information on 
        the phasing of planned intermediate destinations, Mars mission 
        risk areas and potential risk mitigation approaches, technology 
        requirements and phasing of required technology development 
        activities, the management strategy to be followed, related ISS 
        activities, any planned international collaborative activities, 
        potential commercial contributions, and other activities 
        relevant to the achievement of the goal established in section 
        201.
            (2) Initial roadmap requirement.--The first roadmap 
        transmitted under subsection (c)(1) shall also include an 
        explicit analysis of--
                    (A) the technical requirements for pursuing a 
                roadmap to Mars that includes a human and robotic 
                return to the lunar surface;
                    (B) the extent to which inclusion of that 
                intermediate destination would assist in the 
                achievement of the goal established in section 201; and
                    (C) the scope of international participation that 
                might be anticipated and the potential benefits from 
                such participation if such an intermediate destination 
                were to be selected.
            (3) Participation.--The development of the roadmap shall, 
        to the maximum extent practicable, involve the participation of 
        the ISS partnership in its preparation.
    (c) Transmittal.--
            (1) Initial roadmap deadline.--The first roadmap shall be 
        transmitted to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology 
        of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, 
        Science, and Transportation of the Senate concurrently with its 
        submission to the Office of Management and Budget and prior to 
        when the budget for fiscal year 2015 is transmitted to Congress 
        under section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code.
            (2) Annual update.--The roadmap shall be updated annually 
        and transmitted to the Committee on Science, Space, and 
        Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
        Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate with the 
        budget for that fiscal year transmitted to Congress under 
        section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code.

SEC. 203. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION.

    It is the sense of Congress that the President should invite the 
United States partners in the ISS program and other nations, as 
appropriate, to participate in an international initiative under the 
leadership of the United States to achieve the goal of successfully 
conducting a crewed mission to the surface of Mars.

SEC. 204. EXPLORATION SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT.

    (a) In General.--Given the critical importance of a heavy-lift 
launch vehicle and crewed spacecraft to enable the achievement of the 
goal established in section 201, as well as to the accomplishment of 
intermediate exploration milestones and the provision of a backup 
capability to transfer crew and cargo to the ISS, the Administrator 
shall make the expeditious development, test, and achievement of 
operational readiness of the Space Launch System and the Orion 
multipurpose crew vehicle the highest priority of the Exploration 
program. In order to promote safety and reduce programmatic risk, the 
Administrator shall budget for and undertake a robust ground test and 
uncrewed and crewed flight test and demonstration program for the Space 
Launch System and the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle and shall budget 
for an operational flight rate sufficient to maintain safety and 
operational readiness.
    (b) Government Accountability Office Review.--Not later than 270 
days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General 
shall transmit to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of 
the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation of the Senate a report on NASA's acquisition of 
ground systems in support of the Space Launch System. The report shall 
assess the extent to which NASA's exploration systems development of 
ground systems is focused on the direct support of the Space Launch 
System and shall identify any ground support projects or activities 
that NASA is undertaking that do not solely or primarily support the 
Space Launch System.
    (c) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
President's annual budget requests for the Space Launch System and 
Orion multipurpose crew vehicle development, test, and operational 
phases should strive to accurately reflect the resource requirements of 
each of those phases, consistent with subsection (a).

SEC. 205. SPACE RADIATION.

    (a) Strategy and Plan.--
            (1) In general.--The Administrator shall develop a space 
        radiation mitigation and management strategy and implementation 
        plan to enable the achievement of the goal established in 
        section 201 that includes key research and monitoring 
        requirements, milestones, a timetable, and an estimate of 
        facility and budgetary requirements.
            (2) Coordination.--The strategy shall include a mechanism 
        for coordinating NASA research, technology, facilities, 
        engineering, operations, and other functions required to 
        support the strategy and plan.
            (3) Transmittal.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the 
        strategy and plan to the Committee on Science, Space, and 
        Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
        Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
    (b) Space Radiation Research Facilities.--The Administrator, in 
consultation with the heads of other appropriate Federal agencies, 
shall assess the national capabilities for carrying out critical 
ground-based research on space radiation biology and shall identify any 
issues that could affect the ability to carry out that research.

SEC. 206. PARTICIPATORY EXPLORATION.

    The Administrator shall identify opportunities to--
            (1) leverage technologies in NASA's Exploration program to 
        deliver a rich, multimedia experience to the public; and
            (2) facilitate participation by the public, the private 
        sector, nongovernmental organizations, and international 
        partners in outreach efforts related to the Exploration 
        program.

SEC. 207. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION.

    It is the sense of Congress that the Administrator should strive to 
make use of the synergies between science and human exploration in ways 
that maximize the benefits to both sets of activities.

SEC. 208. PLANETARY PROTECTION FOR HUMAN EXPLORATION MISSIONS.

    (a) Study.--The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement with 
the National Academies for a study to explore the planetary protection 
ramifications of future missions by astronauts to the lunar polar 
regions, near-Earth asteroids, the moons of Mars, and the surface of 
Mars.
    (b) Scope.--The study shall--
            (1) collate and summarize what has been done to date with 
        respect to planetary protection measures to be applied to human 
        missions to the lunar polar regions, near-Earth asteroids, the 
        moons of Mars, and the surface of Mars;
            (2) identify and document planetary protection concerns 
        associated with human missions to the lunar polar regions, 
        near-Earth asteroids, the moons of Mars, and the surface of 
        Mars;
            (3) develop a methodology, if possible, for defining and 
        classifying the degree of concern associated with each likely 
        destination;
            (4) assess likely methodologies for addressing planetary 
        protection concerns; and
            (5) identify areas for future research to reduce current 
        uncertainties.
    (c) Completion Date.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall provide the results of 
the study to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the 
House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate.

                Subtitle B--International Space Station

SEC. 211. OBJECTIVES AND POLICY.

    The United States ISS program shall have two primary objectives: 
supporting achievement of the goal established in section 201 and 
pursuing a research program that advances knowledge and provides 
benefits to society. It shall continue to be the policy of the United 
States to, in consultation with its international partners in the ISS 
program, support full and complete utilization of the ISS through at 
least 2020.

SEC. 212. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING OPERATION AND UTILIZATION OF THE 
              ISS BEYOND 2020.

    It is the sense of Congress that the operation and utilization of 
the ISS beyond 2020 should be considered if the Administrator 
determines that the ISS is functioning as a productive research 
facility in the years prior to 2020 or that operation and utilization 
of the ISS past 2020 is essential for the achievement of the goal 
established in section 201, and the Administrator's determination is 
validated by an independent external review.

SEC. 213. PROHIBITION ON PRECLUDING ISS OPERATIONS BEYOND 2020.

    The Administrator shall take no steps that would preclude continued 
United States operation and utilization of the ISS after 2020.

SEC. 214. CRITERIA FOR EXTENDING ISS OPERATIONS BEYOND 2020.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator shall--
            (1) establish specific criteria for determining how long 
        the ISS can and should continue operations; and
            (2) identify the actions needed to deorbit the ISS once a 
        decision is made to deorbit the laboratory.
    (b) Report.--The Administrator shall transmit a report to the 
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate documenting such criteria and deorbit 
actions not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this 
Act.

SEC. 215. ISS CARGO RESUPPLY SERVICES LESSONS LEARNED.

    Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, 
the Administrator shall transmit a report to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate that--
            (1) identifies the lessons learned to date from the 
        Commercial Resupply Services contract;
            (2) indicates whether changes are needed to the manner in 
        which NASA procures and manages similar services upon the 
        expiration of the existing Commercial Resupply Services 
        contract; and
            (3) identifies any lessons learned from the Commercial 
        Resupply Services contract that should be applied to the 
        procurement and management of commercially provided crew 
        transfer services to and from the ISS.

SEC. 216. CREW TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM THE ISS.

    (a) Objective.--The objective of NASA's Commercial Crew Program 
shall be to assist the development of at least one crew transportation 
system to carry NASA astronauts safely, reliably, and affordably to and 
from the ISS and to serve as an emergency crew rescue vehicle as soon 
as practicable within the funding levels authorized in this Act.
    (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that once 
developed and certified to meet NASA's safety and reliability 
requirements, United States commercially provided crew transportation 
systems offer the potential of serving as the primary means of 
transporting American astronauts and international partner astronauts 
to and from the ISS and serving as ISS emergency crew rescue vehicles. 
At the same time, the budgetary assumptions used by NASA in its 
planning for the Commercial Crew Program have consistently assumed 
significantly higher funding levels than have historically been 
authorized and appropriated by Congress. It is the sense of Congress 
that credibility in the Administration's budgetary estimates for the 
Commercial Crew Program can be enhanced by an independently developed 
cost estimate. It is further the sense of Congress that this lack of 
budgetary realism in the planning process creates unnecessary 
inefficiencies and increased programmatic risk, and NASA should thus 
adjust its planning process to realistically reflect the levels of 
funding authorized in this Act. NASA's plans indicate that it will not 
be able to begin contracted-for crew transportation resupply 
operational flights until fiscal year 2018 even under its optimistic 
funding assumptions, which means that NASA is not likely to have a 
requirement for more than a total of 8 commercially provided crew 
rotation flights prior to the expiration of the current Congressional 
commitment to continued operation of the ISS in 2020. Thus, it is also 
the sense of Congress that the highest priority of the Commercial Crew 
Program should be assisting the development of a safe, reliable, and 
affordable crew transportation system for transporting NASA astronauts 
to and from the ISS as soon as practicable within the funding levels 
authorized in this Act rather than making a specific date for the 
initiation of operational service drive the program planning.
    (c) Independent Cost Estimate.--
            (1) Requirement.--Not later than 30 days after the Federal 
        Acquisition Regulation-based contract described in subsection 
        (d)(2) is awarded, the Administrator shall arrange for the 
        initiation of an Independent Cost Estimate for--
                    (A) all activities associated with the development, 
                test, demonstration, and certification of commercial 
                crew transportation systems; and
                    (B) transportation and rescue services required by 
                NASA for ISS operations through calendar year 2020 or 
                later if NASA requirements so dictate.
            (2) Transmittal.--Not later than one year after initiation 
        of the Independent Cost Estimate under paragraph (1), the 
        Administrator shall transmit the results of the Independent 
        Cost Estimate to the Committee on Science, Space, and 
        Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
        Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
    (d) Acquisition Approach.--
            (1) Restriction.--The Administrator shall not exercise any 
        optional milestones beyond the base period of the Space Act 
        Agreements established under the Commercial Crew Integrated 
        Capability initiative.
            (2) Source selection.--To cover all development, test, 
        demonstration, and certification activities not included in the 
        base period of the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Space 
        Act Agreements, the Administrator shall conduct a Federal 
        Acquisition Regulation-based competitive source selection for a 
        cost plus incentive fee contract for all activities related to 
        the development, test, demonstration, and certification of one 
        or more commercially provided crew transportation systems to 
        transport NASA astronauts to and from the ISS and serve as an 
        emergency crew rescue vehicle as soon as practicable under the 
        authorized funding and while ensuring that all safety 
        requirements are met. The number of systems selected shall be 
        consistent with the funding levels authorized in this Act. The 
        Administrator shall identify a methodology by which NASA will 
        ensure that the Government is not charged for contractor costs 
        incurred during development, testing, demonstration, and 
        certification activities by an awardee of the Federal 
        Acquisition Regulation-based contract for operational 
        commercial crew transportation services.
            (3) Cost minimization.--The Administrator shall strive 
        through the competitive selection process to minimize the life 
        cycle cost to NASA through the planned period of commercially 
        provided crew transportation services.
    (e) Safety.--Consistent with the findings and recommendations of 
the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, the Administrator shall seek 
to ensure that minimization of the probability of loss of crew shall be 
an important selection criterion in the competitive selection described 
in subsection (d).
    (f) Determination of Cost-Effectiveness of Services.--NASA, prior 
to contracting for commercial crew transportation services, shall 
identify the manner by which it will establish whether such 
transportation services provide an equally or more cost-effective 
alternative to current services.
    (g) Operational Services Contract.--
            (1) In general.--The Administrator may not enter into a 
        contract for commercially provided crew transportation services 
        developed and certified as described in subsection (b) in which 
        the price per seat or total amount charged per year shall be 
        greater than the amount charged per seat or on an annual basis 
        for Soyuz crew transfer services agreed to on April 22, 2013.
            (2) Report.--Not later than 60 days before entering into a 
        contract for commercial crew transportation services, the 
        Administrator shall provide a report to the Committee on 
        Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives 
        and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of 
        the Senate identifying the methodology and criteria by which 
        the Administrator determined that the price per seat or total 
        annual amount charged per year of procured commercial 
        transportation services is not greater than the amount charged 
        per seat for Soyuz crew transfer services agreed to on April 
        22, 2013. The Administrator shall also certify, using the 
        methodology identified pursuant to subsection (d)(2), that the 
        service transportation costs contracted for do not include 
        contractor costs incurred during development, testing, 
        demonstration, and certification activities. If the 
        Administrator determines that NASA is unable to enter into a 
        contract under the terms specified in paragraph (1), the 
        Administrator shall report that determination to the Committee 
        on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate, and shall also report what 
        alternative contract arrangement the Administrator will seek to 
        enter into at least 60 days before entering into such an 
        alternative contract.

SEC. 217. COMMERCIAL CREW TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT INDEPENDENT 
              REVIEW.

    (a) In General.--The congressionally established Aerospace Safety 
Advisory Panel (ASAP) shall conduct a review to determine whether NASA 
has--
            (1) adequate assurance that the requirements, standards, 
        and processes for commercial transportation systems developed 
        with NASA funding are held to the same safety standards as 
        Government human spaceflight missions; and
            (2) developed a procedure to provide independent assurance 
        of flight safety and flight readiness before the authorization 
        of United States Government personnel to participate as crew 
        onboard any commercial space transportation system.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel shall transmit to the 
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate a report describing--
            (1) the Panel's assessment of NASA's certification 
        strategy, specifications, and guidance;
            (2) the Panel's view of the mandatory safety requirements 
        that must be met; and
            (3) the steps NASA and the commercial space industry need 
        to take to ensure that commercial crew transportation and 
        rescue vehicles have requirements, standards, and processes 
        equivalent to those of NASA.
    (c) Prohibition Against Financial Commitment Prior to ASAP 
Report.--The Administrator may not enter into any financially binding 
contract with a commercial space transportation services provider for 
crew transportation services until 30 days after the Committees' 
receipt of the report under subsection (b).
    (d) Certification.--The Administrator may not enter into any 
financially binding contract with a commercial space transportation 
services provider for crew transportation services until--
            (1) the Administrator has transmitted to the Committee on 
        Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives 
        and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of 
        the Senate a certification that--
                    (A) the provider with which a contract is planned 
                has demonstrated the safety and reliability of its 
                systems for crew transportation and crew rescue to be 
                equivalent to NASA-promulgated safety and reliability 
                policies, procedures, and standards for human 
                spaceflight; and
                    (B) successful flight experience accrued has 
                provided NASA with sufficient safety-related and 
                reliability-related data and information to make an 
                informed assessment about the flight readiness; and
            (2) all indemnification and liability issues associated 
        with the use of such systems by the United States Government 
        have been addressed, and the Administrator has transmitted to 
        the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate a report describing the 
        indemnification and liability provisions that are planned to be 
        included in such contracts.

SEC. 218. INTEGRATED PLAN TO EFFECT MAXIMUM UTILIZATION OF THE ISS.

    (a) Purpose.--NASA shall seek to maximize the productivity and use 
of the ISS with respect to scientific and technological research and 
development, advancement of space exploration, and international 
collaboration.
    (b) Plan.--NASA shall develop an up-to-date, comprehensive, and 
integrated plan to achieve the purpose stated in subsection (a) that 
includes--
            (1) a list of planned activities, including any activities 
        in support of the goal established in section 201, that the 
        Administrator believes require extension of the ISS beyond 2020 
        to carry out, along with the rationale for carrying out those 
        activities;
            (2) funding requirements;
            (3) research or technology objectives to be achieved, 
        including those established to enable the achievement of the 
        goal established in section 201;
            (4) success criteria; and
            (5) the details of--
                    (A) the specific objectives for using the ISS 
                through 2020;
                    (B) priorities attributed to these objectives;
                    (C) resources required to achieve these objectives 
                on an annual basis;
                    (D) how NASA will achieve those objectives and how 
                Congress can measure NASA's progress on those 
                objectives;
                    (E) key assumptions driving the plan; and
                    (F) what NASA will do with the unused capacity and 
                capabilities of the ISS if potential users of the 
                National Laboratory decide not to make significant use 
                of it.
    (c) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Administrator shall provide to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and 
concurrently to the Office of Management and Budget, the plan developed 
under subsection (b).

SEC. 219. CENTRIFUGE.

    If a commitment is made to extend ISS operation and utilization 
past 2020, the Administrator shall take all necessary steps to provide 
for the inclusion on the ISS of a variable gravity centrifuge of 
sufficient size and capability to support both plant and animal 
research, along with necessary support facilities, as soon as 
practicable.

SEC. 220. MANAGEMENT OF THE ISS NATIONAL LABORATORY.

    (a) Assessment.--The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement 
with the National Academies for an independent assessment of the status 
of and performance under the cooperative agreement with the Center for 
the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) for the management of the 
portion of the ISS that operates as a United States National 
Laboratory.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report 
containing the independent assessment conducted pursuant to subsection 
(a). The report shall address--
            (1) the extent to which CASIS is helping to ensure that the 
        ISS's unique capabilities are available to the broadest 
        possible cross section of United States scientific, 
        technological, and industrial communities;
            (2) the status of CASIS's development and management of a 
        varied research and development portfolio based on United 
        States national needs;
            (3) progress in establishing a marketplace to facilitate 
        matching research pathways with qualified funding sources;
            (4) efforts to stimulate interest in using the National 
        Laboratory for research and technology demonstrations and as a 
        platform for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics 
        (STEM) education; and
            (5) the status of NASA's efforts to transition 
        responsibilities to CASIS for managing the National Laboratory 
        research portfolio, including planning and coordinating ground 
        and on-orbit research activities.

SEC. 221. BARRIERS IMPEDING ENHANCED UTILIZATION OF THE ISS'S NATIONAL 
              LABORATORY BY COMMERCIAL COMPANIES.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) enhanced utilization of the ISS's National Laboratory 
        requires a full understanding of the barriers impeding such 
        utilization and actions needed to be taken to remove or 
        mitigate them to the maximum extent practicable; and
            (2) doing so will allow NASA to encourage commercial 
        companies to invest in microgravity research using National 
        Laboratory research facilities.
    (b) Assessment.--The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement 
with the National Academies for an assessment to--
            (1) identify barriers impeding enhanced utilization of the 
        ISS's National Laboratory;
            (2) recommend ways to encourage commercial companies to 
        make greater use of the ISS's National Laboratory, including 
        corporate investment in microgravity research; and
            (3) identify any legislative changes that may be required.
    (c) Transmittal.--Not later than one year after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit to the 
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate the results of the assessment described in 
subsection (b).

                      Subtitle C--Other Operations

SEC. 231. INTEGRATED SPACE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK AND INFRASTRUCTURE.

    (a) Plan.--The Administrator shall prepare an updated plan for 
NASA's near-Earth, space, and deep space communications network and 
infrastructure. The plan shall--
            (1) identify steps to sustain the existing network and 
        infrastructure;
            (2) assess the capabilities, including any upgrades, needed 
        to support NASA's programs;
            (3) identify priorities for how resources should be used to 
        implement the plan; and
            (4) assess the impact on missions if resources are not 
        secured at the level needed.
    (b) Transmittal.--Not later than 270 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the plan to the 
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate.

                           TITLE III--SCIENCE

                       Subtitle A--Space Science

SEC. 301. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING A BALANCED SPACE SCIENCE PROGRAM.

    It is the sense of Congress that a balanced and adequately funded 
set of activities consistent with the priorities identified in the 
National Academies' decadal surveys constitutes a robust and productive 
space science program that will advance knowledge and serve as a 
catalyst for innovation, with such activities consisting of--
            (1) research and analysis grants programs;
            (2) technology development;
            (3) small, medium, and large space missions; and
            (4) suborbital research activities.

SEC. 302. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING INTEGRATED TESTING OF JAMES WEBB 
              SPACE TELESCOPE.

    It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will 
        revolutionize our understanding of star and planet formation 
        and how galaxies evolved, and advance the search for the 
        origins of our universe;
            (2) the JWST will enable American scientists to maintain 
        their leadership in astrophysics and other disciplines;
            (3) the JWST program is making steady progress towards a 
        launch in 2018;
            (4) the on-time and on-budget delivery of JWST is a high 
        congressional priority; and
            (5) maintaining this progress will require the 
        Administrator to ensure that integrated testing is 
        appropriately timed and sufficiently comprehensive to enable 
        potential issues to be identified and addressed early enough to 
        be handled within JWST's development schedule.

SEC. 303. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING WFIRST MISSION.

    It is the sense of Congress that the Administrator, to the extent 
practicable, should make progress on the technologies and capabilities 
needed to position NASA to meet the objectives of the Wide-Field 
Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission, as outlined in the 2010 
National Academies' astronomy and astrophysics decadal survey, in a way 
that maximizes the scientific productivity of meeting those objectives 
for the resources invested. It is further the sense of Congress that 
the WFIRST mission has the potential to enable scientific discoveries 
that will transform our understanding of the universe.

SEC. 304. ASTROBIOLOGY SCIENCE STRATEGY.

    (a) Finding.--Both the National Academies' astronomy and 
astrophysics decadal survey of 2010 and the planetary science decadal 
survey of 2011 discuss scientific objectives related to astrobiology. 
However, a comprehensive, independent science strategy for astrobiology 
has not been carried out.
    (b) Science Strategy.--Building on the work of the Astrobiology 
Roadmap process, the Administrator shall enter into an arrangement with 
the National Academies for a comprehensive assessment of the state of 
science in astrobiology and development of a strategy for astrobiology 
science research and activities. The strategy shall take into account 
the National Academies' planetary science and astronomy and 
astrophysics decadal surveys as well as other relevant National 
Academies studies on NASA's astrobiology program.
    (c) Transmittal.--Not later than 20 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the results of 
the study to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the 
House of Representatives and to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 305. ASSESSMENT OF MARS ARCHITECTURE.

    (a) Assessment.--The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement 
with the National Academies to assess--
            (1) NASA's revised post-2016 Mars exploration architecture 
        and its responsiveness to the strategies, priorities, and 
        guidelines put forward by National Academies' planetary science 
        decadal surveys and other relevant National Academies Mars-
        related reports;
            (2) the long-term goals of NASA's Mars Exploration Program 
        and such program's ability to optimize the science return, 
        given the current fiscal posture of the program;
            (3) the Mars architecture's relationship to Mars-related 
        activities to be undertaken by agencies and organizations 
        outside of the United States; and
            (4) the extent to which the Mars architecture represents a 
        reasonably balanced mission portfolio.
    (b) Transmittal.--Not later than 18 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the results of 
the assessment to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of 
the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 306. RADIOISOTOPE THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that conducting 
deep space exploration requires radioisotope thermoelectric generators, 
and establishing continuity in the production of the material needed to 
power these generators is paramount to the success of these future deep 
space missions. It is further the sense of Congress that Federal 
agencies supporting NASA in the production of such material should do 
so in a cost effective manner so as not to impose excessive 
reimbursement requirements on NASA.
    (b) Analysis of Requirements and Risks.--The Administrator, in 
consultation with other Federal agencies, shall conduct an analysis of 
NASA requirements for radioisotope power system material. The analysis 
shall--
            (1) detail NASA's current projected mission requirements, 
        and associated timeframes, for radioisotope power system 
        material;
            (2) identify the assumptions used to determine NASA's 
        requirements for the material, including--
                    (A) the planned use of Advanced Stirling 
                Radioisotope Generator technology;
                    (B) the status of and timeline for completing 
                development and demonstration of the Advanced Stirling 
                Radioisotope Generator technology, including the 
                development of flight readiness requirements; and
                    (C) the risks, implications, and contingencies for 
                NASA mission plans of any delays or unanticipated 
                technical challenges related to the anticipated use of 
                Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator technology;
            (3) assess the risk to NASA programs of any potential 
        delays in achieving the schedule and milestones for planned 
        domestic production of radioisotope power system material;
            (4) describe the process for meeting any additional NASA 
        requirements for the material;
            (5) provide an estimate of the incremental costs required 
        to increase the amount of material produced each year, if such 
        an increase is needed to support additional NASA requirements 
        for the material;
            (6) provide details on--
                    (A) what costs NASA will incur that are associated 
                with the radioisotope power systems used by NASA and 
                other Government entities; and
                    (B) how NASA will ensure that its reimbursements to 
                DOE are equitable and justified;
            (7) identify what steps, if any, NASA will take with DOE to 
        preserve the infrastructure and workforce necessary for 
        production of radioisotope power systems; and
            (8) identify the extent to which NASA's strategy is 
        responsive to the recommendations and findings from the 
        National Research Council's 2009 report titled ``Radioisotope 
        Power Systems: An Imperative for Maintaining U.S. Leadership in 
        Space Exploration''.
    (c) Transmittal.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the results of 
the analysis to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the 
House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 307. UNIVERSITY CLASS SCIENCE MISSIONS.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that principal 
investigator-led small orbital science missions, including CubeSat 
class, University Explorer (UNEX) class, Small Explorer (SMEX) class, 
and Venture class, offer valuable opportunities to advance science at 
low cost, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and 
enable participants in the program to acquire skills in systems 
engineering and systems integration that are critical to maintaining 
the Nation's leadership in space and to enhancing the United States' 
innovation and competitiveness agendas.
    (b) Review of Principal Investigator-Led Small Orbital Science 
Missions.--The Administrator shall conduct a review of the science 
missions described in subsection (a). The review shall include--
            (1) the status, capability, and availability of existing 
        small orbital science mission programs and the extent to which 
        each program enables the participation of university scientists 
        and students;
            (2) the opportunities such mission programs provide for 
        scientific research;
            (3) the opportunities such mission programs provide for 
        training and education, including scientific and engineering 
        workforce development, including for the NASA scientific and 
        engineering workforce; and
            (4) the extent to which commercial applications such as 
        hosted payloads, free flyers, and data buys could provide 
        measurable benefits for such mission programs, while preserving 
        the principle of independent peer review as the basis for 
        mission selection.
    (c) Report.--Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the 
review required under subsection (b) and on recommendations to enhance 
principal investigator-led small orbital science missions conducted by 
NASA in accordance with the results of the review under subsection (b).

                       Subtitle B--Earth Science

SEC. 311. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that, as recognized in the National 
Academy of Sciences' report, ``America's Future in Space'', ``the 
United States, as a global leader, bears a special responsibility to 
share its expertise and the knowledge and understanding it develops on 
how best to care for the planet''. It is the further sense of Congress 
that the Earth's climate and systems create vulnerabilities against 
which the United States, in cooperation with other countries, must 
develop resilience. A commitment to a comprehensive space-based Earth 
observing system is necessary to provide the data to understand Earth's 
changing climate and to predict the impacts at the regional level. It 
also the sense of Congress that NASA's capabilities and skills play a 
critical role in carrying out Earth science observations and conducting 
basic and applied research in coordination with other relevant Federal 
agencies. It is the further sense of Congress that NASA is being asked 
to undertake important Earth science activities in an environment of 
increasingly constrained fiscal resources, and that any transfer of 
additional responsibilities to NASA, such as climate instrument 
development and measurements that are currently part of the NOAA 
portfolio, should be accompanied by the provision of additional 
resources to allow NASA to carry out the increased responsibilities 
without adversely impacting its implementation of its existing Earth 
science programs and priorities.

SEC. 312. COMPREHENSIVE EARTH OBSERVATION SYSTEMS AND RESEARCH PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--The Administrator shall continue to carry out a 
balanced Earth science program that includes Earth science research, 
Earth systematic missions, competitive Venture class missions, other 
missions and data analysis, mission operations, technology development, 
and applied sciences, consistent with the recommendations and 
priorities established in the National Academies' Earth Science Decadal 
Survey.
    (b) Collaboration.--The Administrator shall collaborate with other 
Federal agencies, including NOAA, non-Government entities, and 
international partners, as appropriate, in carrying out NASA's Earth 
science program.

SEC. 313. STUDY ON SUSTAINED, LONG-TERM MEASUREMENTS.

    (a) Study.--The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement with 
the National Academies for a study to develop a framework for--
            (1) analyzing the needs for continuity of environmental and 
        climate measurements of the Earth from space;
            (2) establishing methodologies and metrics for determining 
        whether measurements should be collected for extended periods 
        and for prioritizing those measurements;
            (3) determining a prioritized list of measurements if 
        appropriate;
            (4) assessing the feasibility of achieving continuity or 
        near-continuity of measurements; and
            (5) considering issues related to the balance among cost, 
        risk, and performance regarding the sustainment of 
        measurements.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 20 months after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the results of the study 
to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 314. ASSESSMENT.

    The Administrator shall carry out a scientific assessment of NASA's 
Earth science global datasets for the purpose of identifying those 
datasets that are useful for understanding regional changes and 
variability, and for informing the societal benefit areas identified in 
the National Global Change Research Plan 2012-2021. The Administrator 
shall complete and transmit the assessment to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than 
180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 315. CONTINUITY OF MODERATE RESOLUTION LAND IMAGING REMOTE SENSING 
              DATA.

    (a) Policy.--Congress reaffirms the finding in section 2(1) of the 
Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992 (15 U.S.C. 5601(1)) which stated 
that ``The continuous collection and utilization of land remote sensing 
data from space are of major benefit in studying and understanding 
human impacts on the global environment, in managing the Earth's 
natural resources, in carrying out national security functions, and in 
planning and conducting many other activities of scientific, economic, 
and social importance.''.
    (b) Continuous Land Remote Sensing Data Collection.--The Director 
of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall take steps in 
consultation with other relevant Federal agencies to ensure, to the 
maximum extent practicable, the continuous collection of space-based, 
medium-resolution observations of the Earth's land cover and to ensure 
that the data are made available in such ways as to facilitate the 
widest possible use.

SEC. 316. VENTURE CLASS MISSIONS.

    It is the sense of Congress that NASA's Venture class missions 
provide opportunities for innovation in the Earth sciences program, 
offer low-cost approaches for high-quality competitive science 
investigations, enable frequent flight opportunities to engage the 
Earth science and applications community, and serve as a training 
ground for students and young scientists. It is further the sense of 
Congress that NASA should seek to increase the number of Venture class 
projects to the extent practicable as part of a balanced Earth science 
program.

                         TITLE IV--AERONAUTICS

SEC. 401. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) aeronautics research continues to be an important core 
        element of NASA's mission and should be supported;
            (2) technologies developed by NASA help to secure the 
        leadership role of the United States in global aviation, 
        enhance the competitiveness of the United States in the world 
        economy, and improve the quality of life of all our citizens;
            (3) NASA's aeronautics research should be guided by, and 
        consistent with, the National Aeronautics Research and 
        Development Policy;
            (4) strategic planning conducted with stakeholder input 
        enhances both the focus and relevancy of NASA's aeronautics 
        research; and
            (5) carrying aeronautics research to a level of maturity 
        that allows NASA's research results to be transitioned to the 
        users, whether private or public sector, is critical to their 
        eventual adoption.

SEC. 402. AERONAUTICS RESEARCH GOALS.

    The Administrator shall ensure that NASA maintains a strong 
aeronautics research portfolio ranging from fundamental research 
through integrated systems research with specific research goals, 
including the following:
            (1) Airspace capacity.--NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission 
        Directorate shall--
                    (A) address research needs of the Next Generation 
                Air Transportation System (NextGen), including the 
                ability of the National Airspace System to handle up to 
                3 times the current travel demand by 2025 and safely 
                integrate the operations of autonomous vehicles; and
                    (B) identify critical gaps in technology which must 
                be bridged to enable the Federal Aviation 
                Administration to implement NextGen so that safety and 
                productivity improvements can be achieved as soon as 
                possible.
            (2) Environmental sustainability.--Such Directorate shall 
        consider and pursue concepts to reduce noise, emissions, and 
        fuel consumption while maintaining high safety standards, and 
        conduct research related to the impact of alternative fuels on 
        the safety, reliability, and maintainability of current and new 
        air vehicles.
            (3) Aviation safety.--Such Directorate shall proactively 
        address safety challenges associated with current and new air 
        vehicles and with operations in the Nation's current and future 
        air transportation system.
            (4) Integrated systems research.--Such Directorate shall 
        mature the most promising technologies to the point at which 
        they can be demonstrated in a relevant environment and shall 
        integrate individual components and technologies as appropriate 
        to ensure that they perform in an integrated manner as well as 
        they do when operated individually.

SEC. 403. STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR AERONAUTICS RESEARCH.

    In pursuing the research and development initiatives described in 
section 402, the Administrator shall ensure that recommendations from 
reviews by the National Academies on NASA's aeronautics research-
related activities are fully considered as NASA performs a top-down 
planning process supported by analyses, expert opinion, and community 
input, including input from other Federal Government agencies, 
industry, and academia. The Administrator shall continue to solicit 
input from the community on high priority research and development 
needs through periodic meetings of the National Research Council-
enabled Aeronautics Research and Technology Roundtable.

SEC. 404. RESEARCH PROGRAM TO DETERMINE PERCEIVED IMPACT OF SONIC 
              BOOMS.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) the ability to fly commercial aircraft over land at 
        supersonic speeds without adverse impacts on the environment or 
        on local communities would open new global markets and enable 
        new transportation capabilities; and
            (2) a research program is needed to assess the impact in a 
        relevant environment of commercial supersonic flight operations 
        and provide the basis for establishing appropriate sonic boom 
        standards for such flight operations.
    (b) Flight Demonstrations.--The Administrator shall continue NASA's 
cooperative research program with industry and work with industry 
partners to design, build, and fly a demonstrator to collect data on 
the perceived impact of sonic booms that could enable the promulgation 
of appropriate standards for overland commercial supersonic flight 
operations.
    (c) Coordination.--The Administrator shall ensure that sonic boom 
research is coordinated as appropriate with the Administrator of the 
Federal Aviation Administration.

SEC. 405. RESEARCH PROGRAM TO FACILITATE GREATER USE OF COMPOSITE 
              MATERIALS IN AIRCRAFT.

    The Administrator shall continue NASA's cooperative research 
program with industry to identify and demonstrate more effective and 
safe ways of developing, manufacturing, and maintaining composite 
materials for use in airframes, subsystems, and propulsion components.

SEC. 406. TRANSFORMATIVE AERONAUTICS RESEARCH.

    It is the sense of Congress that the Administrator, in looking 
strategically into the future and ensuring that NASA's Center personnel 
are at the leading edge of aeronautics research, should continue 
building on NASA's Innovative Concepts for Aviation project that 
supports the early-stage advancement of new processes, novel concepts, 
and innovative technologies that have the potential to meet national 
aeronautics needs. The Administrator shall continue to ensure that 
awards for the investigation of these concepts and technologies are 
open for competition among NASA civil servants at its Centers, separate 
from other awards open only to non-NASA sources, including the Jet 
Propulsion Laboratory.

SEC. 407. UNITED STATES LEADERSHIP IN AERONAUTICS RESEARCH.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) it is critical that the United States maintain its 
        leadership in civil aeronautics research;
            (2) other countries are making concerted efforts to reach 
        and then surpass the United States in civil aeronautics 
        research; and
            (3) it is critical that this challenge be met.
    (b) Study.--The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement with 
the National Academies for a study to benchmark the position of the 
United States in civil aeronautics research compared to the rest of the 
world. The study shall--
            (1) seek to define metrics by which relative leadership in 
        civil aeronautics research can be determined;
            (2) ascertain whether other countries are catching up or 
        have surpassed the United States in civil aeronautics research;
            (3) identify in what areas the United States is losing 
        ground; and
            (4) provide recommendations on what can be done to regain 
        or retain global leadership, including--
                    (A) defining the role NASA needs to play;
                    (B) identifying public-private partnerships that 
                could be formed; and
                    (C) estimating the impact on NASA's budget should 
                such recommendations be implemented.
    (c) Report.--Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Administrator shall provide the results of the study 
to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate.

                   TITLE V--SPACE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM

SEC. 501. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of Congress that space technology is critical to--
            (1) enabling a new class of NASA missions beyond low-Earth 
        orbit;
            (2) developing technologies and capabilities that will make 
        NASA's missions more affordable and more reliable; and
            (3) improving technological capabilities and promoting 
        innovation for NASA and the Nation.

SEC. 502. SPACE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment.--The Administrator shall establish a space 
technology program to enable research and development on advanced space 
technologies and systems that are independent of specific space mission 
flight projects. The program shall support--
            (1) early-stage concepts and innovation;
            (2) development of innovative technologies in areas such as 
        in-space chemical and electrical propulsion, power generation 
        and storage, liquid rocket propulsion, avionics, structures, 
        and materials that may enable new approaches to human and 
        robotic space missions;
            (3) flight demonstrations of technologies, including those 
        that have the potential to benefit multiple NASA mission 
        directorates, other Federal Government agencies, and the 
        commercial space industry;
            (4) NASA commitments to Small Business Innovation Research 
        (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs 
        and activities; and
            (5) research, development, and demonstration of enabling 
        technologies in support of future exploration missions.
    (b) Research and Development Program.--In conducting the space 
technology program established under this section, the Administrator 
shall--
            (1) to the maximum extent practicable, use a competitive 
        process to select projects to be supported as part of the 
        program;
            (2) make use of small satellites and NASA suborbital 
        platforms, to the extent practicable, to demonstrate space 
        technology concepts and developments; and
            (3) undertake partnerships with other Federal agencies, 
        universities, private industry, and other spacefaring nations, 
        as appropriate.
    (c) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Administrator shall provide to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report 
comparing NASA's space technology investments with the 16 high-priority 
technology areas identified by the National Academies in the National 
Research Council's report on NASA's Space Technology Roadmaps. The 
Administrator shall identify how NASA will address any gaps between the 
agency's investments and the recommended technology areas, including a 
projection of funding requirements.

                    TITLE VI--ACQUISITION MANAGEMENT

SEC. 601. PROJECT AND PROGRAM RESERVES.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
judicious use of program and project reserves provides NASA project and 
program managers with the flexibility needed to manage projects and 
programs to ensure that the impacts of contingencies can be mitigated.
    (b) Financial Discipline.--To ensure that the establishment, 
maintenance, and allotment of project and program reserves contribute 
to prudent management, not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee 
on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and 
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a 
report describing--
            (1) NASA's criteria for establishing the amount of reserves 
        held at the project and program levels;
            (2) how such criteria relate to the agency's policy of 
        budgeting at a 70-percent confidence level; and
            (3) NASA's criteria for waiving the policy of budgeting at 
        a 70-percent confidence level.

SEC. 602. COST ESTIMATION.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that realistic 
cost estimating is critically important to the ultimate success of 
major space development projects. NASA has devoted significant efforts 
over the past five years to improving its cost estimating capabilities, 
but it is important that NASA continue its efforts to develop and 
implement guidance in establishing realistic cost estimates.
    (b) Guidance and Criteria.--The Administrator shall provide to 
programs and projects--
            (1) guidance on whether and when an Independent Cost 
        Estimate and Independent Cost Assessment should be used; and
            (2) the criteria to be used to make such a determination.
    (c) Report.--Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report--
            (1) describing efforts to enhance internal cost estimation 
        and assessment expertise;
            (2) identifying criteria used by programs and projects in 
        determining whether and when to conduct an Independent Cost 
        Estimate or Independent Cost Assessment; and
            (3) listing the costs of each individual Independent Cost 
        Estimate or Independent Cost Assessment activity conducted in 
        fiscal year 2011, fiscal year 2012, and fiscal year 2013, the 
        purpose of the activity, and key findings and recommendations.

SEC. 603. INDEPENDENT REVIEWS.

    Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, 
the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Science, Space, 
and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report 
describing--
            (1) the internal entities independent of project and 
        program management that conduct reviews of projects and 
        programs at life cycle milestones; and
            (2) how NASA ensures the independence of such entities and 
        their members.

SEC. 604. AVOIDING ORGANIZATIONAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST IN MAJOR NASA 
              ACQUISITION PROGRAMS.

    (a) Revised Regulations Required.--Not later than 270 days after 
the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall revise the 
NASA Supplement to the Federal Acquisition Regulation to provide 
uniform guidance and tighten existing requirements for organizational 
conflicts of interest by contractors in major acquisition programs.
    (b) Elements.--The revised regulations required by subsection (a) 
shall, at a minimum--
            (1) address organizational conflicts of interest that could 
        potentially arise as a result of--
                    (A) lead system integrator contracts on major 
                acquisition programs and contracts that follow lead 
                system integrator contracts on such programs, 
                particularly contracts for production;
                    (B) the ownership of business units performing 
                systems engineering and technical assistance functions, 
                professional services, or management support services 
                in relation to major acquisition programs by 
                contractors who simultaneously own business units 
                competing to perform as either the prime contractor or 
                the supplier of a major subsystem or component for such 
                programs;
                    (C) the award of major subsystem contracts by a 
                prime contractor for a major acquisition program to 
                business units or other affiliates of the same parent 
                corporate entity, and particularly the award of 
                subcontracts for software integration or the 
                development of a proprietary software system 
                architecture; or
                    (D) the performance by, or assistance of, 
                contractors in technical evaluations on major 
                acquisition programs;
            (2) ensure that NASA receives advice on systems 
        architecture and systems engineering matters with respect to 
        major acquisition programs from objective sources independent 
        of the prime contractor;
            (3) require that a contract for the performance of systems 
        engineering and technical assistance functions for a major 
        acquisition program contains a provision prohibiting the 
        contractor or any affiliate of the contractor from 
        participating as a prime contractor or a major subcontractor in 
        the development of a system under the program; and
            (4) establish such limited exceptions to the requirement in 
        paragraphs (2) and (3) as may be necessary to ensure that NASA 
        has continued access to advice on systems architecture and 
        systems engineering matters from highly qualified contractors 
        with domain experience and expertise, while ensuring that such 
        advice comes from sources that are objective and unbiased.

SEC. 605. MANAGING TERMINATION LIABILITY.

    (a) Reservation of Funds.--The Administrator may not reserve funds 
or require the reservation of funds for potential termination liability 
with respect to a covered program. Funds that have been reserved before 
the date of enactment of this Act for potential termination liability 
shall be promptly used to make maximum progress in meeting the 
established goals and milestones of the covered program.
    (b) Termination for Convenience.--The Administrator may not 
initiate the termination for the convenience of the Government of a 
contract on a covered program unless--
            (1) the termination of such contract or program is 
        explicitly provided for by a law enacted after the date of 
        enactment of this Act; and
            (2) either--
                    (A) the Administrator has provided a supplemental 
                appropriation request under subsection (c) with respect 
                to associated termination liability costs; or
                    (B) sufficient funds are available to cover such 
                termination liability costs in the appropriations 
                account that is funding the prime contract being 
                terminated.
    (c) Supplemental Appropriation Request.--If sufficient 
appropriations are not available to cover termination liability costs 
in the appropriations account that is funding the prime contract being 
terminated, the Administrator shall provide to Congress a supplemental 
appropriation request to cover such termination liability costs. Such 
request shall be provided not later than 120 days in advance of the 
contract termination settlement for the covered program.
    (d) Intent of Congress.--It is the intent of Congress to provide 
such additional appropriations as may be necessary to provide for 
termination liability payments on contracts for covered programs.
    (e) Reporting.--Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment 
of this Act, and every 6 months thereafter for the duration of the 
prime contracts for the covered programs, the Administrator shall 
transmit to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the 
House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate a report that--
            (1) estimates termination liability costs for each of the 
        prime contracts on covered programs; and
            (2) explains the basis on which the estimates were 
        determined.

                      TITLE VII--OTHER PROVISIONS

SEC. 701. FACILITIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) NASA must reverse the deteriorating condition of its 
        facilities and infrastructure, as this condition is hampering 
        the effectiveness and efficiency of research performed by both 
        NASA and industry participants making use of NASA facilities, 
        thus reducing the competitiveness of the United States 
        aerospace industry;
            (2) NASA has a role in providing laboratory capabilities 
        that are not economically viable as commercial entities and 
        thus are not available elsewhere;
            (3) to ensure continued access to reliable and efficient 
        world-class facilities by researchers, NASA should seek to 
        establish strategic partnerships with other Federal agencies, 
        academic institutions, and industry, as appropriate; and
            (4) decisions on whether to dispose of, maintain, or 
        modernize existing facilities must be made in the context of 
        meeting future NASA and other Federal agencies' laboratory 
        needs.
    (b) Plan.--The Administrator shall develop a plan that has the goal 
of positioning NASA to have the facilities, laboratories, tools, and 
approaches necessary to address future NASA requirements. Such plan 
shall identify--
            (1) future NASA testing needs;
            (2) a strategy for identifying facilities that are 
        candidates for disposal, that is consistent with the national 
        strategic direction set forth in--
                    (A) the National Space Policy;
                    (B) the National Aeronautics Research, Development, 
                Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) Infrastructure Plan; and
                    (C) NASA Authorization Acts;
            (3) a strategy for the maintenance, repair, upgrading, and 
        modernization of NASA's laboratories, facilities, and 
        equipment;
            (4) criteria for prioritizing deferred maintenance tasks 
        and also for upgrading or modernizing laboratories, facilities, 
        and equipment;
            (5) an assessment of modifications needed to maximize usage 
        of facilities that offer unique and highly specialized benefits 
        to the aerospace industry and the American public; and
            (6) implementation steps, including a timeline, milestones, 
        and an estimate of resources required for carrying out the 
        plan.
    (c) Transmittal.--Not later than one year after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the plan to the 
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate.
    (d) Establishment of Capital Funds.--The Administrator shall 
establish a capital fund at each of NASA's field centers for the 
modernization of facilities and laboratories. The Administrator shall 
ensure to the maximum extent practicable that all financial savings 
achieved by closing outdated or surplus facilities at a NASA field 
center shall be made available to that center's capital fund for the 
purpose of modernizing the field center's facilities and laboratories 
and for upgrading the infrastructure at the field center.

SEC. 702. NASA EDUCATION PROGRAM.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) NASA's missions are an inspiration for Americans and in 
        particular for the next generation and that this inspiration 
        has a powerful effect in stimulating interest in science, 
        technology, education and mathematics (STEM) education and 
        careers;
            (2) NASA's Office of Education and mission directorates 
        have been effective in delivering NASA educational content 
        because of the strong engagement of NASA scientists and 
        engineers in NASA's education and outreach activities; and
            (3) NASA should be a central partner in contributing to the 
        goals of the National Science and Technology Council's Federal 
        Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) 
        Education 5-Year Strategic Plan.
    (b) Continuation of Education and Outreach Activities and 
Programs.--The Administrator shall continue to carry out education and 
outreach programs and activities through the Office of Education and 
the NASA mission directorates and shall continue to engage, to the 
maximum extent practicable, NASA and NASA-supported researchers and 
engineers in carrying out those programs and activities.

SEC. 703. INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE NATIONAL SPACE GRANT COLLEGE AND 
              FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, which was 
established in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
Authorization Act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. 2486 et seq.), has been an 
important program by which the Federal Government has partnered with 
State and local governments, universities, private industry, and other 
organizations to enhance the understanding and use of space and 
aeronautics activities and their benefits through education, fostering 
of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary space research and training, 
and supporting Federal funding for graduate fellowships in space-
related fields, among other purposes.
    (b) Review.--The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement with 
the National Academies for--
            (1) a review of the National Space Grant College and 
        Fellowship Program, including its structure and capabilities 
        for supporting science, technology, engineering, and 
        mathematics education and training consistent with the National 
        Science and Technology Council's Federal Science, Technology, 
        Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education 5-Year Strategic 
        Plan; and
            (2) recommendations on measures, if needed, to enhance the 
        Program's effectiveness and mechanisms by which any increases 
        in funding appropriated by Congress can be applied.
    (c) Transmittal.--Not later than 18 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the results of 
the review to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the 
House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 704. REVIEW OF PRACTICES TO DETECT AND PREVENT THE USE OF 
              COUNTERFEIT PARTS.

    Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, 
the Comptroller General shall transmit to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a review of 
NASA's processes and controls to detect and prevent the use of 
counterfeit parts in NASA mission projects, instruments, and other 
mission-related assets. The review shall examine--
            (1) the trends in known and identified counterfeit parts in 
        NASA's supply chain;
            (2) NASA's processes and controls to detect counterfeit 
        parts and prevent their incorporation into NASA mission 
        projects, instruments, and other mission-related assets;
            (3) key differences between how the Department of Defense 
        and NASA detect and prevent the use of counterfeit parts, and 
        lessons learned by the Department of Defense that could be 
        valuable to NASA; and
            (4) any gaps in NASA's controls and processes for detecting 
        counterfeit parts and preventing their incorporation into NASA 
        mission projects, instruments, and other mission-related 
        assets.

SEC. 705. REMOTE SATELLITE SERVICING DEMONSTRATIONS.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) NASA plays a key role in demonstrating the feasibility 
        of using robotic technologies for a spacecraft that could 
        access, repair, and refuel satellites in geosynchronous Earth 
        orbit;
            (2) demonstrating this feasibility would both assist NASA 
        in its future missions and provide the emerging commercial 
        satellite-servicing industry the confidence to robotically 
        refuel, repair, and maintain satellites in both near and 
        distant orbits; and
            (3) the capability to refuel, repair, and maintain 
        geosynchronous satellites robotically could add years of 
        functional life to satellites.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Administrator shall transmit a report to the Committee on 
Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate 
describing--
            (1) NASA's activities, tools, and techniques associated 
        with the ultimate goal of servicing satellites using robotic 
        spacecraft;
            (2) accomplishments to date in demonstrating various 
        servicing technologies;
            (3) major challenges encountered and mitigation measures 
        taken; and
            (4) demonstrations still needed for NASA and industry 
        acceptance of the technologies for operational missions, and 
        the timeframe for these demonstrations.

SEC. 706. ASTRONAUT OCCUPATIONAL HEALTHCARE.

    (a) Workshop.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Administrator shall convene a workshop attended by 
both current and former members of the astronaut corps, as well as 
other appropriate experts, to focus on the advantages and disadvantages 
of granting NASA the specific authority to monitor and treat current 
and former members of the astronaut corps for medical conditions which 
are deemed by NASA to be associated with human space flight conducted 
in furtherance of NASA requirements. The workshop shall also address 
the implications of allowing NASA to retain access to astronaut medical 
records.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 90 days after completion of the 
workshop, the Administrator shall provide a report summarizing the 
results of the workshop to the Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 707. USE OF OPERATIONAL COMMERCIAL SUBORBITAL VEHICLES FOR 
              RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND EDUCATION.

    (a) Report.--The Administrator shall prepare a report with respect 
to the use of operational commercial reusable suborbital flight 
vehicles for carrying out scientific and engineering investigations and 
educational activities. The report shall--
            (1) describe the purposes for which NASA intends to use 
        such vehicles;
            (2) describe the processes required to support such use;
            (3) describe NASA, space flight operator, and supporting 
        contractor responsibilities for developing standard payload 
        interfaces and conducting payload safety analyses, payload 
        integration and processing, payload operations, and safety 
        assurance for NASA-sponsored space flight participants, among 
        other functions required to fly NASA-sponsored payloads and 
        space flight participants on operational commercial orbital 
        vehicles;
            (4) identify NASA-provided hardware, software, or services 
        that may be provided to space flight operators on a cost-
        reimbursable basis, through agreements or contracts entered 
        into under section 20113(e) of title 51, United States Code; 
        and
            (5) describe the United States Government and space flight 
        operator responsibilities for liability and indemnification 
        with respect to commercial suborbital vehicle flights that 
        involve NASA-sponsored payloads or activities, NASA-supported 
        space flight participants, or other NASA-related contributions.
    (b) Capabilities and Risks.--The Administrator shall assess and 
characterize the potential capabilities and performance of commercial 
reusable suborbital vehicles for addressing scientific research, 
including research requiring access to low-gravity and microgravity 
environments, for carrying out technology demonstrations related to 
science, exploration, or space operations requirements, and for 
providing opportunities for educating and training space scientists and 
engineers, once those vehicles become operational. The assessment shall 
also characterize the risks of using potential commercial reusable 
suborbital flights to NASA-sponsored researchers and scientific 
investigations and flight hardware.
    (c) Transmittal.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the plan and assessment 
described in subsections (a) and (b) to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
    (d) Reports.--
            (1) Annual progress reports.--The Administrator shall 
        transmit a report annually to the Committee on Science, Space, 
        and Technology of the House of Representatives and the 
        Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
        Senate describing progress in carrying out the Commercial 
        Reusable Suborbital Research Program, including the number and 
        type of suborbital missions planned in each fiscal year.
            (2) Indemnification and liability.--The Administrator shall 
        not proceed with a request for proposals, award any contract, 
        commit any United States Government funds, or enter into any 
        other agreement for the provision of a commercial reusable 
        suborbital vehicle launch service for a NASA-sponsored 
        spaceflight participant until indemnification and liability 
        issues associated with the use of such systems by the United 
        States Government have been addressed and the Administrator has 
        provided to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of 
        the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, 
        Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report describing 
        the indemnification and liability provisions that are planned 
        to be included in such contracts and agreements.

SEC. 708. FUNDAMENTAL SPACE LIFE AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It the sense of Congress that fundamental, 
discovery-based space life and physical sciences research is critical 
for enabling space exploration, protecting humans in space, and 
providing societal benefits, and that the space environment facilitates 
the advancement of understanding of the life sciences and physical 
sciences. Space life and physical science research contributes to 
advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics research, 
and provides careers and training opportunities in academia, Federal 
laboratories, and commercial industry. Congress encourages the 
Administrator to augment discovery-based fundamental research and to 
request funding reflecting the importance of such research in keeping 
with the priorities established in the National Academies' decadal 
survey entitled ``Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and 
Physical Sciences Research for a New Era''.
    (b) Budget Request.--The Administrator shall include as part of the 
annual NASA fiscal year budget request a budget line for fundamental 
space life and physical sciences research, devoted to competitive, 
peer-reviewed grants, that is separate from the International Space 
Station Operations account.
    (c) Strategic Plan.--
            (1) Development.--The Administrator, in consultation with 
        academia, other Federal agencies, and other potential 
        stakeholders, shall develop a strategic plan for carrying out 
        competitive, peer-reviewed fundamental space life science and 
        physical sciences and related technology research, among other 
        activities, consistent with the priorities in the National 
        Academies' decadal survey described in subsection (a).
            (2) Transmittal.--Not later than 270 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the 
        strategic plan developed under paragraph (1) to the Committee 
        on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 709. RESTORING NASA'S COMMITMENT TO ENGINEERING RESEARCH.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
engineering excellence has long been a hallmark of NASA's ability to 
make significant advances in aeronautics and space exploration. 
However, as has been noted in recent National Academies reports, 
increasingly constrained funding and competing priorities have led to 
an erosion of NASA's commitment to basic engineering research, the 
research that provides the basis for the technology development that 
enables NASA's many challenging missions to succeed. If current trends 
continue, NASA's ability to attract and maintain the best and brightest 
engineering workforce at the NASA Centers as well as its ability to 
remain on the cutting edge of aeronautical and space technology will 
continue to erode and will threaten NASA's ability to be a world leader 
in aeronautics research and development and space exploration.
    (b) Plan.--The Administrator shall develop a plan for restoring a 
meaningful basic engineering research program at the NASA Centers, 
including, as appropriate, collaborations with industry, universities, 
and other relevant organizations. The plan shall identify the 
organizational approach to be followed, an initial set of basic 
research priorities, and a proposed budget.
    (c) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the plan to the Committee on 
Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 710. NEAR-EARTH OBJECTS DETECTION.

    (a) Study.--The Administrator, in collaboration with other relevant 
Federal agencies, shall carry out a technical and scientific assessment 
of the capabilities and resources required to expand NASA's Near-Earth 
Object Program, to include the detection, tracking, cataloguing, and 
characterizing of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects 30-50 meters 
in diameter.
    (b) Transmittal.--Not later than 270 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the results of 
the assessment to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of 
the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 711. RESEARCH ON NEAR-EARTH OBJECT TSUNAMI EFFECTS.

    (a) Report on Potential Tsunami Effects From Near-Earth Object 
Impact.--The Administrator, in collaboration with the Administrator of 
NOAA and other relevant Federal agencies, shall prepare a report 
identifying and describing existing research activities and further 
research objectives that would increase our understanding of the nature 
of the effects of potential tsunamis that could occur if a near-Earth 
object were to impact an ocean of Earth.
    (b) Transmittal.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit the report 
required prepared under subsection (a) to the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 712. REVIEW OF ORBITAL DEBRIS REMOVAL CONCEPTS.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the amount 
of orbital debris in low-Earth orbit poses risks for human activities 
and robotic spacecraft and that this debris may increase due to 
collisions between existing debris objects. Understanding options to 
address and remove orbital debris is important for ensuring safe and 
effective spacecraft operations in low-Earth orbit.
    (b) Review.--The Administrator, in collaboration with other 
relevant Federal agencies, shall solicit and review concepts and 
technological options for removing orbital debris from low-Earth orbit. 
The solicitation and review shall also address the requirements for and 
feasibility of developing and implementing each of the options.
    (c) Transmittal.--Not later than 270 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall provide a report to the 
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate on the solicitation and review required 
under subsection (b).
                                 <all>