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

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Introduced in House (07/08/2013)


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.

Sec. 101. Sense of Congress.

Sec. 102. Fiscal year 2014.

Sec. 103. Fiscal year 2015.

Sec. 104. Fiscal year 2016.

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.

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.

Sec. 231. Integrated space communications network and infrastructure.

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.

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.

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.

Sec. 501. Sense of Congress.

Sec. 502. Space technology program.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).