There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (04/28/1986)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, 1987 - Title I: NASA Authorization - Authorizes appropriations for FY 1987 to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for specified activities relating to: (1) research and development; (2) space flight, control and data communications; (3) construction of facilities; and (4) research and program management.

Permits appropriations for research and development and for space flight, control and data communications, to be used: (1) for any items of a capital nature (other than acquisition of land) which may be required at locations other than NASA installations for the performance of research and development contracts; and (2) for grants to nonprofit institutions of higher education, or to nonprofit organizations whose primary purpose is the conduct of scientific research, for purchase or construction of additional research facilities. Requires the Administrator of NASA (the Administrator) to notify specified congressional officers and committees whenever the cost of a facility exceeds a specified amount. Permits funds appropriated for research construction of facilities to remain available without fiscal year limitation.

Permits appropriations for research and program management to be used for scientific consultations or extraordinary expenses upon the approval of the Administrator.

Limits to not more than $100,000 per project (including collateral equipment) the amount that may be used for construction of new facilities and additions to existing facilities, and for repair, rehabilitation, or modification of facilities, from funds appropriated for research and development, for space flight, control and data communications, and for research and program management. Limits to not more than $500,000 per project (including collateral equipment) the amount that may be used for any of the foregoing for unforeseen programmatic needs, from funds appropriated for research and development and for space flight, control and data communications.

Permits the funds for construction of any of specified facilities: (1) in the discretion of the Administrator, to be varied upward ten percent; or (2) following a report by the Administrator to specified congressional committees, to be varied upward 25 percent to meet unusual cost variations.

Permits one-half of one percent of the funds appropriated for research and development or for space flight, control and data communications, to be transferred to the appropriation for construction of facilities. Authorizes the expenditure of such transferred funds, together with a specified amount of the funds appropriated for construction of facilities, to construct, expand, or modify laboratories and other installations. Requires the Administrator, 30 days before expending such funds, to notify specified congressional officers and committees of the nature, cost, and necessity of such construction.

Prohibits, until 30 days pass after congressional receipt of a full explanation by the Administrator, the use of funds appropriated pursuant to this Act for any program: (1) deleted by the Congress; (2) in excess of the amount actually authorized for the particular program under provisions for research and development, space flight, control and data communications, and research and program management; or (3) which has not been presented to either of the specified congressional committees.

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

Directs the Administrator, by July 28, 1986, to submit to specified congressional committees a comprehensive plan for recovery of the Space Transportation System following the loss of the space shuttle orbiter Challenger and the return to manned space flight. Requires such plan to include a specific request for authorization to proceed.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that: (1) there is an urgent national need for a replacement space shuttle orbiter which should be constructed immediately with additional funds; (2) the Administrator should explore the availability of and accept private funding for such construction, if it is in the national interest to do so; and (3) NASA should carry out a balanced space program, with particular emphasis on space science and applications.

Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 to authorize the Administrator to accept gifts or donations for the construction of a space shuttle orbiter to be named "Challenger II." Terminates such authority five years after enactment of this Act. Provides that all such gifts and donations which are not needed for such construction shall be used in tribute to the crew of the space shuttle Challenger and in furtherance of the exploration of space.

Requests the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union to officially designate seven of the ten moons recently discovered near the planet Uranus in the names of the crew members of the space shuttle Challenger.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that NASA should move expeditiously to conduct a competition for alternative production for space shuttle solid rocket boosters. Directs the Administrator to report to specified congressional committees on NASA's progress in this matter every 90 days for one year after enactment of this Act. Provides that such requirements shall not be construed to direct the Administrator to select and qualify a second source of production for solid rocket boosters if the results of the competition would not produce significant savings for NASA.

Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 to establish the National Aeronautics and Space Council in the Executive Office of the President. Directs the Council to advise the President on cooperation among Federal departments and agencies and designation of their specific responsibilities in the aeronautics and space field. Directs the Council to establish a User's Advisory Group composed of non-Federal representatives of industries and other persons involved in space activities.

Title II: Office of Commercial Space Transportation - Amends the Commercial Space Launch Act to authorize appropriations for FY 1987 to the Secretary of Transportation to carry out such Act (which provides for licensing and liability insurance requirements for commercial space launches).