Text: H.R.3038 — 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 (08/02/2013)


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. 3038 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3038

 To streamline the process of commercial space launch licensing and to 
  establish demonstration projects involving the use of experimental 
  aircraft in direct and indirect support of commercial space launch 
                              activities.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             August 2, 2013

 Mr. McCarthy of California (for himself and Mr. Posey) introduced the 
following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, 
                             and Technology

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To streamline the process of commercial space launch licensing and to 
  establish demonstration projects involving the use of experimental 
  aircraft in direct and indirect support of commercial space launch 
                              activities.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Suborbital and Orbital Advancement 
and Regulatory Streamlining Act'' or the ``SOARS Act''.

SEC. 2. COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH LICENSING.

    Chapter 509 of title 51, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) by amending section 50902(6)(A) to read as follows:
                    ``(A) activities involved in the preparation of a 
                launch vehicle or element thereof, payload, crew 
                (including crew training), or space flight participant 
                (including space flight participant training) for 
                launch; and'';
            (2) by amending section 50904(d) to read as follows:
    ``(d) Single License or Permit.--The Secretary of Transportation--
            ``(1) shall ensure that only 1 license or permit is 
        required from the Department of Transportation to conduct 
        activities involving crew or space flight participants, 
        including launch and reentry;
            ``(2) may authorize by license or permit flight of a launch 
        or reentry vehicle, or element thereof, in support of a launch 
        or reentry, even when the vehicle or element is not being 
        launched or reentered; and
            ``(3) shall ensure that all Department of Transportation 
        regulations relevant to the licensed or permitted activity are 
        satisfied under a single license or permit.''; and
            (3) in section 50906--
                    (A) in subsection (e), by striking ``suborbital 
                rocket design'' and inserting ``suborbital rocket or 
                rocket design''; and
                    (B) by amending subsection (g) to read as follows:
    ``(g) A permit may be issued, and a permit that has already been 
issued shall remain valid for the uses described in subsection (d), for 
a particular reusable suborbital rocket or rocket design after a 
license has been issued for the launch or reentry of a rocket of that 
design.''.

SEC. 3. DEMONSTRATION PROJECT.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary of Transportation shall establish 
and implement, under the Office of Commercial Space Transportation, a 
demonstration project under chapter 509 of title 51, United States 
Code, to evaluate the benefits of using experimental aircraft for both 
the direct and indirect support of commercial space launch and reentry 
activities.
    (b) Duration and Scope.--
            (1) Duration.--Beginning not later than 90 days after the 
        date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation 
        shall conduct the demonstration project for a period of not 
        less than 3 years.
            (2) Scope.--
                    (A) In general.--The Secretary of Transportation 
                shall enroll not less than 8 commercial businesses 
                involved in direct and indirect support of commercial 
                space launch activities, with at least 1 business 
                designated for each Department of Transportation-
                licensed commercial space launch facility.
                    (B) Types of activities.--Such commercial space 
                launch support activities may include revenue-producing 
                activities and the use of former military aircraft or 
                vehicles designated as experimental by the Department 
                of Transportation.
                    (C) Redeployment.--After a period of 6 months from 
                the beginning of the demonstration program, the 
                Secretary of Transportation shall determine if there 
                are any Department of Transportation-licensed launch 
                facilities that do not have a commercial company 
                participating with them in the demonstration project 
                and shall redeploy that demonstration allocation to any 
                other licensed launch facilities that are interested in 
                expanding their participation to a second (or more) 
                demonstration project company.
            (3) Liability coverage.--During the period of the 
        demonstration program, liability of participating commercial 
        businesses for damages resulting from participation in the 
        demonstration program shall be limited to actual losses 
        incurred.
            (4) Payment.--There will be no fees charged by the 
        Department of Transportation to either licensed launch 
        facilities or commercial businesses participating in this 
        demonstration project.
            (5) Waiver authority.--The Secretary of Transportation may 
        waive such requirements or limitations of chapter 509 of title 
        51, United States Code, as may be necessary to carry out the 
        demonstration project.
            (6) Study and report to congress.--
                    (A) Interim evaluation and report.--No sooner than 
                1 year and not later than 2 years after the date of 
                enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation 
                shall submit to Congress a report that contains an 
                interim evaluation of the positive and negative impact 
                of the demonstration project on the United States 
                commercial space transportation industry, any planned 
                changes to the demonstration project, and an initial 
                assessment of whether the duration of the demonstration 
                project should be extended.
                    (B) Further evaluation and report.--Not later than 
                6 months after the date of completion of the 
                demonstration project or 2 years after the most recent 
                prior report, the Secretary of Transportation shall 
                submit to Congress a report that contains the 
                following:
                            (i) An updated evaluation of the impact of 
                        the demonstration project on the United States 
                        commercial space transportation industry.
                            (ii) An analysis of the benefits and costs 
                        of continuing, restarting, expanding, or making 
                        permanent the demonstration project, including 
                        any proposed changes to the project.
                            (iii) The Secretary's recommendation 
                        regarding continuing, restarting, expanding, or 
                        making permanent the demonstration project, 
                        based on the analysis under clause (ii).
                            (iv) Options for Congress to provide any 
                        additional legislative or regulatory authority 
                        which may be required to implement clause 
                        (iii).
            (7) Temporary extensions.--If, at any time after the first 
        two years of the demonstration project, the Secretary's most 
        recent report to Congress has stated that the demonstration 
        project is succeeding in advancing the purposes of chapter 509 
        of title 51, United States Code, and that the duration of the 
        demonstration project should be extended, then the Secretary is 
        authorized to extend the project for a period of up to two 
        years per extension, without restriction, effective 30 days 
        after written notification to the Congress of the extension.
    (c) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Demonstration project.--The term ``demonstration 
        project'' means the demonstration project conducted under this 
        section.
            (2) Indirect support of commercial space launch 
        activities.--The term ``indirect support of commercial space 
        launch activities'' shall include pilot, crew, and passenger 
        evaluation, preparation, and training, payload testing and 
        preparation, and any other activities deemed necessary by the 
        commercial space launch company participating in the 
        demonstration project to prepare for, or execute, a commercial 
        suborbital or orbital launch.
                                 <all>