Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
108th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     108-429

======================================================================



 
             COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2004

                                _______
                                

 March 1, 2004.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Boehlert, from the Committee on Science, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                            together with an

                            ADDITIONAL VIEW

                        [To accompany H.R. 3752]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Science, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 3752) to promote the development of the emerging 
commercial human spaceflight industry, to extend the liability 
indemnification regime for the commercial space transportation 
industry, to authorize appropriations for the Office of the 
Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
   I. Purpose of the Bill.............................................2
  II. Background and Need for the Legislation.........................2
 III. Summary of Hearings.............................................3
  IV. Committee Actions...............................................6
   V. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill.........................6
  VI. Section-By-Section Analysis (By Title and Section)..............6
 VII. Committee Views................................................10
VIII. Cost Estimate..................................................14
  IX. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate......................15
   X. Compliance With Public Law 104-4 (Unfunded Mandates)...........18
  XI. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations...............18
 XII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives..........18
XIII. Constitutional Authority Statement.............................18
 XIV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement...........................18
  XV. Congressional Accountability Act...............................19
 XVI. Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law.........19
XVII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, As Reported..........19
XVIII.Committee Recommendations......................................27

 XIX. Exchange of Committee Correspondence...........................27
  XX. Additional View................................................29
 XXI. Proceedings of Full Committee Markup...........................31

                         I. Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of the bill is to put in place a clear and 
balanced regulatory regime that promotes the development of the 
emerging commercial human space flight industry, while 
protecting the public health and safety. The bill amends the 
Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA), title 49, United States 
Code, chapter 701.

              II. Background and Need for the Legislation

    The commercial human space flight industry is in its 
infancy. The industry's progress is measured by the work of a 
few, small entrepreneurial companies. These entrepreneurs hope 
in the near future to regularly and safely provide round trips 
into space for paying customers. The launch vehicles that will 
be used to carry human passengers into space may also have 
other commercial applications, such as the transportation of 
cargo, commercial remote sensing, microgravity research, and 
atmospheric research.
    The regulatory regime that will govern the commercial human 
space flight industry is, as yet, undetermined. Absent a clear 
and balanced regulatory regime for commercial human 
spaceflight, the industry cannot effectively plan for its 
future, nor can it compete with international providers of 
similar services. Moreover, the industry may have difficulty 
attracting financing from would-be investors. In addition, 
there is a need to protect the health and safety of the public.
    Currently, any individual or private entity wishing to 
conduct a commercial space launch or reentry in the United 
States or operate a launch or reentry site in the United States 
must obtain a license from the Federal Aviation Administration 
(FAA) to do so. Furthermore, citizens of the United States must 
obtain authorization from the FAA to conduct commercial space 
launches or reentries or to operate launch or reentry sites 
anywhere in the world. The Department of Transportation derives 
its authority over commercial space transportation from the 
CSLA and has delegated that authority to the FAA's Office of 
the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation 
(AST). AST has the dual mandate of regulating and promoting the 
commercial space transportation industry in the United States.
    When the CSLA was enacted, only expendable launch vehicles 
(ELVs) and certain types of ballistic missiles were available 
for private sector use. These vehicles typically are used to 
lift satellites and other types of cargo into space. Since 
enactment of the CSLA, commercial enterprises have pursued the 
development of reusable launch vehicles (RLVs). A reusable 
launch vehicle is one that is designed to return to Earth from 
space substantially intact. Congress amended the CSLA in 1998 
to add licensing authority for reentry vehicles, including 
RLVs. However, there currently is no express jurisdiction 
granted under the law for the regulation of commercial human 
spaceflight. Moreover, the existing licensing process does not 
distinguish between experimental and operational RLVs.
    In 1988, Congress amended the CSLA to indemnify the 
commercial space launch industry against successful claims by 
uninvolved third parties. The United States currently agrees to 
pay third party claims in amounts up to roughly $2.2 billion 
above the amount of insurance that a licensee carries. (Under 
the CSLA, the amount is adjusted annually for inflation.) The 
CSLA requires that private launch companies purchase sufficient 
liability insurance to cover potential losses. This amount is 
determined by the FAA on a case-by-case basis depending on its 
calculation of the ``maximum probable loss'' from potential 
claims by a third party. Maximum probable loss calculations are 
capped at $500 million for coverage against suits by private 
entities. By setting insurance requirements based on maximum 
probable loss, the Government is essentially making a risk 
estimate that its potential liability will be covered by the 
insurance purchased.
    Since its enactment, the CSLA's indemnification regime has 
been subject to an expiration date. Congress already has 
extended the expiration date on several occasions. At present, 
FAA-licensed launch operators are offered indemnification under 
the statutorily prescribed procedures through December 31, 
2004.
    A number of applicants have approached AST seeking launch 
licenses for RLVs capable of carrying human beings into space, 
creating a need for regulatory and legal clarity in this area. 
For example, current law does not identify the entity within 
the federal government responsible for regulating commercial 
human space flight. Moreover, current law does not state 
whether the offer of liability indemnification that the federal 
government extends to the commercial space transportation 
industry also extends to commercial human space flight 
licensees, their crews, and paying passengers (or ``space 
flight participants'').
    H.R. 3752 is necessary to achieve several goals that will 
promote the development of the emerging commercial human space 
flight industry. First, the bill explicitly locates all 
commercial space flight authority, including authority to 
regulate commercial human spaceflight, in AST. Second, the bill 
makes it easier for the industry to test new types of reusable 
suborbital rockets by allowing AST to issue experimental 
permits that can be granted more quickly and with fewer 
requirements than licenses. Third, the bill requires AST to 
issue regulations for crews relating to training and medical 
condition, but limits requirements for space flight 
participants to being informed of the risks of their 
participation and providing written, informed consent. Fourth, 
the bill requires both crew and space flight participants to 
execute mutual waivers of liability with licensees (or 
experimental permit holders) and the federal government. Fifth, 
the bill extends the existing liability indemnification regime 
for the entire commercial space transportation industry 
(including licensed, non-experimental commercial human space 
launches, but excluding launches performed pursuant to a 
permit) for a period of three years. Finally, the bill mandates 
that a study be conducted on how best to gradually eliminate 
the liability indemnification regime for the commercial space 
transportation industry by 2008 or as soon as possible 
thereafter.

                        III. Summary of Hearings

    The House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics held two 
hearings regarding commercial human space flight during the 
first session of the 108th Congress.
    On July 24, 2003, the House Subcommittee on Space and 
Aeronautics held a joint hearing with the Senate Science, 
Technology, and Space Subcommittee entitled, ``Commercial Human 
Spaceflight.'' The purpose of this hearing was to examine the 
industry and the barriers that exist to investing in 
entrepreneurial space ventures. The hearing focused on the 
market potential of the industry, regulation, private sector 
vehicle technology development, and capital investment in the 
industry.
    The hearing witnesses included: Mr. Phil McAlister, 
Director of the Space and Telecommunications Industry Analysis 
Division at the Futron Corporation; Mr. Dennis Tito, founder 
and CEO of Wilshire Associates, Inc.; Mr. Elon Musk, founder 
and President of SpaceX Inc.; Mr. Jeff Greason, co-founder of 
XCOR Inc.; and Jon Kutler, Chairman, CEO, and Founder of 
Quarterdeck Investment Partners, LLC.
    Mr. McAlister offered a positive assessment of the market 
potential for space travel, citing a survey of affluent 
Americans conducted by Futron. ``Futron's forecast for 
suborbital space travel projects that by 2021, over 15,000 
passengers could be flying annually, representing revenues in 
excess of $700 million,'' McAlister said.
    Mr. Tito, the first space tourist in history, said that his 
opinion of the commercial space industry has changed after 
``talking to thousands of people who want to fly into space.'' 
He testified that he would ``quite possibly'' invest in a 
reusable launch vehicle company, but added that excessive 
government regulation could make investment undesirable. Mr. 
Tito explained that a repeated demonstration of successful 
flights would establish a record of safety and, in turn, would 
encourage investment.
    Mr. Musk suggested that the government ``adopt a nurturing 
and supportive approach to new launch vehicle developments'' 
and ``recognize the early and experimental nature of the 
industry.'' Mr. Musk and Mr. Greason both testified that their 
companies expected to fly paying passengers to space within 
three to five years, but that regulatory uncertainty and 
excessive regulation complicated their business plans.
    Mr. Kutler provided suggestions on how the government could 
best promote research and development in the space industry.
    There was an apparent consensus among the witnesses that, 
at least at the earliest stages of the commercial human space 
flight industry's development, potential customers would have 
to waive all claims of liability against the companies taking 
them into space. The witnesses requested that Congress 
indemnify companies against the consequences of launch 
accidents in the same manner that the federal 
governmentcurrently indemnifies launches by the traditional commercial 
space transportation industry.
    On November 5, 2003, the House Subcommittee on Space and 
Aeronautics held a second hearing on commercial human space 
flight focusing on H.R. 3245, the Commercial Space Act of 2003. 
Among other things, H.R. 3245 provided that commercial human 
space flight would be regulated by AST. The bill also extended 
government indemnification to commercial human space flight 
providers for certain liabilities incurred from launch mishaps.
    The hearing witnesses included: Henry Hertzfeld, Senior 
Research Staff Scientist, Space Policy Institute Center for 
International Science and Technology Policy, George Washington 
University; Raymond Duffy, Jr., Senior Vice President, Willis 
InSpace Insurance Underwriters; Pamela Meredith, Counsel, 
Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger, LLP, as well as Adjunct 
Professor of satellite communications and space law, American 
University, Washington College of Law; Gary Hudson, Chief 
Executive Officer, HMX Inc.; and Michael S. Kelly, Technical 
Manager, Northrop-Grumman/Xon Tech.
    Each hearing witness agreed that the commercial human 
spaceflight industry should be regulated, but witnesses 
differed in opinion on the manner of that regulation. Ms. 
Meredith stated that AST should regulate the industry. Mr. 
Kelly agreed that AST was the proper authority to regulate the 
industry, but stated, ``the extent of that regulation, however, 
should not reach beyond AST's charter of protecting the lives 
and property of uninvolved parties.'' Mr. Hudson disagreed 
stating, ``AST is not up to the challenge of this 
development.'' Hudson called for the ``disestablishment of AST, 
and the elimination of the need for U.S. persons to seek 
`launch licenses.' ''
    Dr. Hertzfeld called for the creation of a new, independent 
regulatory agency for commercial space activities and noted 
that there is often a conflict of interest created by the FAA's 
statutory mandate under the CSLA to both promote and regulate 
the commercial space transportation industry. ``I believe the 
time has come to separate these activities,'' Hertzfeld said. 
``Promotion of U.S. industry has traditionally been the 
province of the U.S. Department of Commerce. If the DOT/FAA is 
to regulate space without conflict, the promotional activities 
should be transferred elsewhere.''
    Witness testimony also focused on federal government 
indemnification of the commercial human space flight industry 
against certain losses. Given that the federal government 
currently offers indemnification for traditional commercial 
space launches carrying cargo, Ms. Meredith saw no need to draw 
a distinction between manned and unmanned flights. ``There 
appears to be no reason to treat a human space flight 
differently than unmanned flight as far as indemnification of 
the licensee and its contractors, subcontractors, and customers 
and the customers' contractors and subcontractors are 
concerned,'' Ms. Meredith said. Mr. Kelly likewise agreed that 
indemnification should be extended to the commercial human 
space flight industry on the basis that a licensing process 
mitigates the level of risk incurred by the federal government.
    Mr. Hudson and Dr. Hertzfeld both advocated the elimination 
of the liability indemnification regime going forward for the 
entire commercial space transportation industry. Mr. Duffy 
expressed concern that indemnification of the commercial human 
spaceflight industry could undermine the insurance market for 
the larger commercial space transportation industry. With 
respect to the indemnification of space flight participants, 
Mr. Duffy stated, ``It would not be appropriate for the 
government to extend any protection to these people. If someone 
is willing to participate in commercial human space flights at 
this stage of its development then the risk should be dealt 
with solely between the passenger and the launch provider.''

                         IV. Committee Actions

    On February 3, 2004, Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee 
Chairman Dana Rohrabacher introduced H.R. 3752, the Commercial 
Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.
    On February 4, 2004, the Committee on Science met to 
consider H.R. 3752. Ranking Member Gordon moved that the 
Committee favorably report the bill, H.R. 3752, to the House 
with the recommendation that the bill do pass and that staff be 
instructed to prepare the legislative report and that the 
Chairman take all necessary steps to bring the bill before the 
House for consideration. With a quorum being present, the 
Committee favorably reported the bill without amendment, by 
voice vote.

               V. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill

     Assigns all commercial space flight regulatory 
authority, including authority over commercial human space 
flight, to AST.
     Allows AST to issue experimental permits for 
reusable suborbital rockets that can be granted more quickly 
and with fewer requirements than licenses.
     Requires that experimental permits allow an 
unlimited number of experimental flights for a particular 
vehicle design.
     Requires AST to issue regulations for crew 
relating to training and medical condition.
     Requires AST to issue regulations for space flight 
participants, but limits requirements to space flight 
participants being informed of the risks of their participation 
and providing written, informed consent.
     Requires both crew and paying passengers to 
execute mutual waivers of liability with licensees (or 
experimental permit holders) and the federal government.
     Extends the existing liability indemnification 
regime for the entire commercial space transportation industry 
(including licensed, non-experimental commercial human space 
launches) for a period of three years, but excludes launches 
performed pursuant to an experimental permit.
     Requires a study on how best to gradually 
eliminate the liability indemnification regime for the 
commercial space transportation industry by 2008 or as soon as 
possible thereafter.
     Authorizes to AST such sums as may be necessary 
for fiscal years 2005, 2006, and 2007.

                    VI. Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    ``Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004''.

Section 2. Findings

    Congress finds that the goal of opening space to the 
American people and to their private commercial enterprises is 
a worthy goal and that the creation of a clear legal and 
regulatory regime for commercial human space flight advances 
that goal.

Section 3. Amendments

    Section 3(a) of the Act amends Section 70101 of the CSLA to 
refer to human space flight as an area in which entrepreneurs 
are offering services and to eliminate references solely to 
satellite launches.
    Section 3(b) of the Act amends Section 70102 of the CSLA by 
including definitions for ``crew,'' ``permit,'' ``space flight 
participant,'' ``suborbital rocket,'' and ``suborbital 
trajectory.''
    Section 3(b) also amends Section 70102 of the CLSA by 
amending the definitions of the following terms:
          (a) The definition of ``launch'' is amended to 
        contemplate placing ``any payload, crew or space flight 
        participant'' in a suborbital or orbital trajectory, or 
        into outer space;
          (b) The definitions of ``launch services'' and 
        ``reentry services'' are amended to include activities 
        involving the preparation of a ``launch vehicle, 
        payload, crew (including crew training), or space 
        flight participant'' for a launch or a reentry;
          (c) The definition of ``launch vehicle'' is amended 
        to include vehicles that place ``human beings'' in 
        outer space;
          (d) The definitions of ``reenter'' and ``reentry'' 
        are amended to include the return (or attempt to 
        return) of ``payload, crew, or space flight 
        participants'' from orbit or from outer space to Earth; 
        and
          (e) The definition of ``third party'' is amended to 
        exclude crew and space flight participants.
    Section 3(c) of the Act amends--
    (1) Section 70103(a) of the CSLA to require the Secretary 
of Transportation to carry out its duties under title 49, 
United States Code, chapter 701 through the Associate 
Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation.
    (2) Section 70103(b)(1) of the CSLA to require the 
Secretary to encourage, facilitate, and promote commercial 
space launches and reentries by the private sector, ``including 
those involving space flight participants.''
    (3) Section 70104(a) of the CSLA to account for permits--a 
new legal instrument created by this Act. Section 70104(a) 
lists the kinds of activities that require a license. The 
amendment makes clear that a permit can also suffice to 
undertake those activities, (except for operating a launch or 
reentry site).
    (4) Section 70104(b) of the CSLA to make clear that permit 
holders as well as licensees must comply with payload 
requirements.
    (5) Section 70105 of the CSLA to change the section heading 
to make it consistent with the new subsections on permits.
    (6) Section 70105(a) of the CSLA to be consistent with the 
new subsections on licenses and to make clear that establishing 
procedures for safety approvals of personnel, ``including 
crews'' is part of the licensing process.
    (7) Section 70105 of the CSLA to create a new subsection 
(b), entitled ``Experimental Permits'' with the following 
subsections:
    Subsection (1) provides that the Secretary must issue a 
permit not later than 90 days after receiving an application if 
the Secretary decides in writing that the applicant complies 
with the CSLA and related regulations. The Secretary must 
inform an applicant of any pending issue to be resolved no 
later than 60 days after receiving an application. The 
Secretary must transmit a written notice to the House and the 
Senate when a permit is not issued within an established 
deadline.
    Subsection (2) provides that the Secretary may establish 
procedures for safety approvals for operation under 
experimental permits.
    Subsection (3) encourages the Secretary to use the 
authority granted under subsection (c)(2)(C) of the CSLA to the 
greatest extent practicable to waive requirements of law when 
issuing permits.
    Subsection (4) provides that the permits may be issued 
solely for reusable suborbital rockets launched or reentered 
for the purposes of research and development, showing 
compliance with requirements as part of the process of 
obtaining a launch license, or for crew training prior to 
obtaining a license.
    Subsection (5) provides that permits must authorize an 
unlimited number of launches and reentries for a particular 
suborbital rocket design and that permits must specify the 
modifications that may be made to the suborbital rocket without 
changing its design to an extent that would invalidate the 
permit.
    Subsection (6) provides that permits are not transferable.
    Subsection (7) provides that a permit ceases to be valid 
after a license has been issued for the launch or reentry of 
that rocket design.
    Subsection (8) provides that no person may operate a 
reusable suborbital rocket under a permit for carrying any 
property or human being for compensation or hire.
    Subsection (9) provides that for the purposes of sections 
70106 through 70110, section 70112, and sections 70115 through 
70117, and section 70121 of the CSLA, permits are to be treated 
as licenses, permit holders as licensees, a vehicle operating 
under a permit as licensed, and the issuance of a permit as 
licensing. Subsection (9) reiterates that permits are not 
transferable.
    (8) Section 70105(c)(1) of the CSLA to ensure that all 
applicable laws are considered requirements of permits as well 
as to licenses.
    (9) Section 70105(c)(2)(B) of the CSLA to correct a 
typographical error.
    (10) Section 70105(c)(2)(C) of the CSLA to ensure that for 
permits, as well as for licenses, the Secretary has the 
authority to waive certain laws.
    (11) Section 70105(c)(2)(D) of the CSLA to ensure that 
permits, as well as licenses, must meet certain deadlines.
    (12) Section 70105(c)(3) of the CSLA to ensure that in 
issuing permits, as well as in issuing licenses, the Secretary 
may waive requirements. The amendment also states that the 
waiver authority shall not be construed to allow a launch or 
reentry of a vehicle without a license or a permit if a human 
being will be on board.
    (13) Section 70105(c) of the CSLA to include the following 
new subsections:
    Subsection (4) provides that the holder of a license or a 
permit may launch or reenter ``crew'' only if the crew has 
received training and has satisfied medical or other standards 
specified in the license or permit, and if the licensee or 
permitee has complied with all other requirements of the laws 
of the United States that apply to crew.
    Subsection (5) provides that the holder of a license or a 
permit may launch or reenter a ``space flight participant'' 
only if the space flight participant has been informed in 
writing about the risks of the launch or reentry (including the 
safety record of the vehicle), has provided written informed 
consent for participation, and the licensee or permitee has 
complied with all other requirements of the laws of the United 
States that apply to launching or reentering space flight 
participants.
    (14) Section 70105(d) of the CSLA to ensure that the 
Secretary establishes expedited procedures for permits as well 
as licenses.
    (15) Section 70106(a) of the CSLA to provide that a 
licensee or permitee must allow the Secretary to monitor a site 
used for crew training. This section of the Act also makes a 
technical correction to the CSLA.
    (16) Section 70110(a)(1) of the CSLA to make a technical 
correction.
    (17) Section 70112(b)(1) of the CSLA by requiring crew and 
space flight participants to execute a reciprocal waiver of 
claims with a licensee or permitee under which each party will 
agree to be responsible for damages, injuries or deaths 
(including to space flight participants) resulting from a 
licensed or permitted activity.
    (18) Section 70112(b)(2) of the CSLA by requiring crew and 
space flight participants to execute a reciprocal waiver of 
claims with the federal government under which each party will 
agree to be responsible for damages, injuries or deaths 
(including to space flight participants) resulting from a 
licensed or permitted activity.
    (19) Section 70113(a) of the CSLA to expressly exclude 
space flight participants from eligibility for indemnification 
by the federal government against third party claims.
    (20) Section 70113(f) of the CSLA to extending the existing 
liability indemnification regime three years. Launches 
performed pursuant to a permit are excluded from 
indemnification.
    (21) Section 70115(b)(1)(D)(i) of the CSLA to provide that 
the Secretary may enter a crew training site in order to 
conduct investigations and inquiries.
    (22) Section 70119 of the CSLA to authorize such sums as 
may be necessary for fiscal years 2005, 2006, and 2007 to carry 
out the CSLA.
    (23) Section 70120 of the CSLA to insert the following 
additional subsections:
    Subsection (c) requires the Secretary of Transportation to 
publish proposed regulations to carry out this Act, including 
regulations relating to crew, space flight participants and 
experimental permits, within 12 months, and to issue final 
regulations within 18 months;
    Subsection (d)(1) provides that licenses and permits for 
launches with human beings on board may be issued by the 
Secretary prior to the issuance of new regulations;
    Subsection (d)(2) provides that the Secretary shall issue 
guidelines or advisory circulars as soon as practicable with 
respect to the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004; 
and
    Subsection (d)(3) provides that no licenses for launches 
with human beings on board or permits may be issued starting 
three years after the date of enactment of the Commercial Space 
Launch Amendments Act unless final regulations under the Act 
have been issued.

Section 4. Study on gradual elimination of commercial space 
        transportation liability risk sharing regime

    Section 4 requires the Secretary of Transportation to 
contract for a study by the National Academy of Public 
Administration on how best to gradually eliminate the liability 
risk sharing regime in the United States for commercial space 
transportation by 2008 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Section 5. Technical amendment

    Section 5 makes a technical amendment that repeals a 
provision in the Commercial Space Act of 1998. The provision 
concerned a deadline for the issuance of regulations and their 
effect on the language of the organic statute.

                          VII. Committee Views


Regulation of the commercial human spaceflight industry

    During the course of its formal hearings and informal 
discussions on commercial human spaceflight, the Committee has 
heard consistent and repeated complaints from the commercial 
space transportation industry regarding the manner and methods 
by which AST regulates commercial space transportation. 
Specifically, the industry has expressed serious concerns about 
overly burdensome and unnecessary regulations and rulemakings, 
a prolonged and painstaking licensing process that places 
excessive financial burdens on applicants, and a lack of 
regulatory flexibility to allow for the rapid development of 
new and innovative launch vehicle designs.
    The Committee is concerned that the growth of the 
commercial human space flight industry in the United States may 
be stifled by excessive government regulation. In order to 
craft a regulatory framework that promotes the growth of the 
industry, while protecting the safety and health of the public, 
the Committee directs the Secretary of Transportation to 
undertake a bottom-up review of the existing launch licensing 
regulations in place for the entire commercial space industry. 
The review should be guided by the goals of eliminating 
redundant or superfluous regulations, streamlining the 
licensing process, encouraging innovation, and protecting the 
public health and safety. These goals likewise should guide AST 
as it promulgates new regulations for crew, space flight 
participants, and experimental permits. The Committee expects 
to receive a copy of the review within one year of enactment.

Experimental permits

    The bill allows AST to issue experimental permits for 
reusable suborbital rockets. The Committee believes that 
permits are necessary to enable the development of new and 
innovative launch vehicle designs and to allow for crew 
training on experimental vehicles. The Committee instructs AST 
to model its regulatory approach to permits after the 
regulations promulgated by the FAA's Aircraft Certification and 
Regulations Office (AVR) when issuing experimental certificates 
for aircraft, where applicable. At a minimum, permits should be 
granted more quickly and with fewer requirements than licenses. 
The Committee expects AST to carefully review the methodology 
and assumptions currently applied when calculating expected 
casualty rates, to assess the appropriateness of such 
calculations with respect to the issuance of permits, and to 
explore possible alternative methods of calculating expected 
casualty rates. The Committee directs AST to conduct a similar 
review with respect to calculating expected casualty rates in 
the context of licensing.
    The bill provides that permits must allow an unlimited 
number of experimental flights for a particular vehicle design. 
The Committee instructs AST to work closely with applicants on 
a case-by-case basis to determine what modifications may be 
made to a suborbital rocket without changing the vehicle design 
to an extent that would invalidate a permit. AST's decisions in 
this regard should be driven by the dual goals of promoting the 
industry and protecting the safety and health of the public.
    The bill provides that a permit may not be issued for, and 
a permit that has already been issued shall cease to be valid 
for, a particular design for a reusable suborbital rocket after 
a license has been issued for the launch or reentry of a rocket 
of that design. The Committee clarifies that in the event an 
experimental permit has beenissued to an applicant for a 
particular rocket design, once the applicant applies for and receives a 
license for a launch vehicle of that design, the holder of the license 
may not apply for a permit for that vehicle and may no longer rely upon 
any permit to launch the vehicle for any purpose.
    The bill urges the Secretary of Transportation to use the 
authority granted under Section 70105(c)(2)(C) of the CSLA, as 
amended by the bill, to the greatest extent practicable to 
waive requirements of law when issuing permits. The Committee 
instructs the Secretary to carefully review any existing laws 
that place significant technical and financial burdens on 
applicants and that may inhibit that development of the 
commercial human space flight industry, including environmental 
laws, and to actively use its authority to waive legal 
requirements where necessary and appropriate when issuing 
permits and licenses.
    The bill provides that for the purposes of sections 70106 
through 70110, section 70112, sections 70115 through 70117, and 
section 70121 of the CSLA, permits are to be treated as 
licenses, permit holders as licensees, a vehicle operating 
under a permit as licensed, and the issuance of a permit as 
licensing. For example, Section 70106 of the CSLA, which 
concerns the monitoring activities of the Secretary of 
Transportation at launch and reentry sites, should be read to 
apply to both licensees and permit holders.

The regulation of ``hybrid'' vehicles

    The CSLA uses the terms ``suborbital rocket'' and 
``suborbital trajectory,'' but does not define those terms. The 
absence of definitions creates confusion as to the appropriate 
regulatory regime for licensing ``hybrid'' vehicles. Hybrid 
vehicles are vehicles that have some of the characteristics of 
aircraft and some of the characteristics of launch vehicles. 
The bill provides definitions for ``suborbital rocket'' and 
``suborbital trajectory'' that clarify the parameters of AST's 
regulatory jurisdiction with respect to hybrid vehicles. Use of 
these definitions should facilitate a clear identification of 
the line of business within the FAA with primary responsibility 
for licensing a particular vehicle. The Committee recognizes 
that the certain hybrid vehicles with certain flight plans may 
be subject to dual regulation by AST and another office within 
the FAA.

Extension of the liability indemnification regime

    The bill extends the existing liability indemnification 
regime in place for the entire commercial space transportation 
industry (including licensed commercial human space launches, 
but excluding launches performed pursuant to an experimental 
permit) for a period of three years. The three-year extension 
of the liability indemnification regime marks the latest in a 
series of extensions. Originally set to expire five years after 
its creation, the liability indemnification regime was meant to 
provide industry and its insurers with some level of financial 
comfort in the case of a launch mishap, to keep the price of 
insurance at an affordable level, and to keep the United States 
space transportation industry on an even playing field with 
foreign competitors. To date, the indemnification provisions of 
the CSLA have not been exercised. Nonetheless, the federal 
government continues to bear a financial risk. The Committee 
believes that, with the maturation of the commercial space 
transportation industry, the liability indemnification regime 
should be eliminated or phased out of existence over time 
without damaging the industry. To that end, the bill requires a 
study by the National Academy of Public Administration on how 
best to gradually eliminate the liability risk sharing regime 
by 2008 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Lack of indemnification for space flight participants

    The bill excludes space flight participants from 
eligibility for federal government indemnification against 
third party claims. The Committee believes that space flight 
participants wishing to ride on board a launch vehicle have 
chosen to undertake a risky venture of their own accord. As 
such, they do not do not merit the financial security provided 
by the promise of indemnification. Moreover, space flight 
participants are not subject to any substantive government 
regulation. The Committee believes that space flight 
participants can purchase their own insurance or that licensees 
or transferees may purchase insurance plans that expressly 
cover claims against space flight participants. Successful 
third-party claims against space flight participants would not, 
however, be eligible for indemnification by the federal 
government.

Indemnification and insurance for experimental permits

    The Committee believes that launches undertaken pursuant to 
an experimental permit should be excluded from indemnification 
because they will be more lightly regulated than licensed 
launches and, as such, the risk to the federal government will 
be greater. The permit applicant still will be required to 
purchase insurance (or demonstrate adequate financial 
responsibility) to cover the maximum probable loss.
    One of the Committee's goals for creating the permit regime 
is to enable the rapid maturation of new suborbital RLVs via 
repeated incremental flight tests without intervening 
regulatory approvals. Accordingly, the permit regime is to be 
administered on a per-vehicle design basis, rather than a per-
flight basis. The Committee acknowledges that, as a general 
matter, the current third-party liability insurance market for 
space launch is structured on a per-flight basis. If the 
insurance industry does not quickly adjust to provide more 
affordable or multi-flight coverage, the usefulness of the 
experimental permit regime may be undermined. The Committee 
recognizes that AST has the authority to set the amount of 
insurance required to be purchased by an applicant at the 
lesser of maximum probable loss (MPL) or the maximum amount 
obtainable at reasonable cost. Given the newness of the permit 
regime, the Committee recommends that AST carefully observe the 
insurance market's response to the permit regime when it 
determines the level of insurance obtainable at a reasonable 
cost.

Definition of ``crew''

    The definition of crew is meant to focus on the individuals 
directly involved in the process of launching, reentering, or 
operating a vehicle. The definition of ``crew''includes those 
employees of a licensee, transferee, or permit holder (or employees of 
contractors or subcontractors) who perform activities that directly 
relate to launch, reentry, and operation. It is the Committee's intent 
that the definition of ``crew'' not be interpreted overly broadly (for 
instance, the definition should not be read to encompass individuals 
with peripheral roles, such as sales agents or insurance providers), 
but more broadly than being confined to pilots or remote operators of a 
launch vehicle.

Crew regulations

    The Committee believes that crew regulations should be 
justified by a legitimate and compelling need to protect the 
health and safety of the public. Given the wide range of 
possible launch vehicle designs and potential flight plans, the 
Committee expects AST to work closely with applicants on a 
case-by-case basis to establish crew training standards. With 
respect to medical qualifications, the Committee instructs AST 
to model its requirements, where applicable, after medical 
requirements for aircraft pilots.
    The Committee believes that crew must be informed by a 
licensee, transferee, or permitee in writing about the risks of 
launch or reentry of a launch vehicle, including the safety 
record of the launch or reentry vehicle type. This information 
should be provided to crew in the same manner that it is 
provided to space flight participants.

Space flight participant regulations

    The Committee believes that, at a minimum, AST should 
require a licensee or transferee to provide space flight 
participants and crew with the safety record of the launch or 
reentry vehicle type upon which they will be launched. In this 
regard, the Committee instructs AST to compile the safety 
records of launch or reentry vehicle types based on available 
flight data. The Committee expects that safety records provided 
to potential space flight participants will include all launch 
or reentry vehicles of a particular type, including both 
government and private sector vehicles, and not simply the 
vehicles of a particular licensee. Space flight participants 
also should be provided with copies of permit and launch 
license applications for the launch vehicle.

Reciprocal liability waivers for space flight participants and crew

    The bill requires crew and space flight participants to 
execute reciprocal waivers of claims with a licensee, 
transferee or permitee pursuant to which each party agrees to 
be responsible for damages, injuries or deaths (including to 
space flight participants) resulting from a licensed or 
permitted activity. The bill also requires that crew and space 
flight participants enter into the same manner of reciprocal 
waiver arrangement with the federal government. The Committee 
believes that all parties to the reciprocal waiver agreements 
will benefit inasmuch as potential liabilities are eliminated 
in the case of a launch mishap. However, the Committee believes 
that claims of gross negligence against a licensee, transferee 
or permittee by space flight participants or crew are not 
waived.

Waiver authority

    The bill states that the Secretary of Transportation's 
waiver authority when issuing licenses or permits shall not be 
construed to allow the launch or reentry of a vehicle without a 
license or a permit if a human being will be on board. The 
Secretary has the discretion to waive individual requirements 
that otherwise would be prerequisites to receiving a license or 
permit for a manned vehicle.

Treatment of pending license applications

    The Committee recognizes that AST currently is considering 
a number of launch license applications for RLVs capable of 
carrying human beings. The Committee believes that the 
processing of these applications should continue as 
expeditiously as possible. The Committee affirms that licenses 
may be issued prior to the release of any new regulations, 
guidelines, and advisory circulars relating to crew, space 
flight participants, or experimental permits.

                          VIII. Cost Estimate

    A cost estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 has timely submitted to the 
Committee on Science prior to the filing of this report and is 
included in Section X of this report pursuant to House Rule 
XIII, clause 3(c)(3).
    H.R. 3752 does not contain new budget authority, credit 
authority, or changes in revenues or tax expenditures. Assuming 
that the sums authorized under the bill are appropriated, H.R. 
3752 does authorize additional discretionary spending, as 
described in the Congressional Budget Office report on the 
bill, which is contained in Section X of this report.

             IX. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, March 1, 2004.
Hon. Sherwood L. Boehlert,
Chairman, Committee on Science,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3752, the 
Commercial Space Launch amendments Act of 2004.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Kathleen 
Gramp.
            Sincerely,
                                      Elizabeth M. Robinson
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3752--Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004

    Summary: H.R. 3752 would expand and extend the Department 
of Transportation's (DOT's) licensing and indemnification 
authorities for commercial space transportation activities. 
Current law provides licencing criteria for commercial 
activities involving expendable and reusable launch vehicles 
(RLVs) and specifies the terms under which the government will 
indemnify licensees from damage claims by third parties. H.R. 
3752 would amend current law to expressly authorize the 
licensing of manned RLVs, clarify how the indemnification 
authorities would apply to crew and passengers, and establish a 
new permitting system for experimental, manned suborbital space 
vehicles. The bill also would provide a three-year extension of 
DOT's indemnification authority, which expires on December 31, 
2004. Finally, the bill would authorize the appropriation of 
amounts necessary for the activities of DOT's Office of the 
Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation 
(AST) for fiscal year 2005 through 2007.
    CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $38 
million over the 2005-2009 period, assuming appropriation of 
the necessary amounts. Expanding and extending DOT's 
indemnification authority could result in additional 
discretionary spending over the next five years, but CBO 
expects that any such costs would be negligible. CBO estimates 
that enacting H.R. 3752 would have no effect on direct spending 
or revenues.
    H.R. 3752 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no 
costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 3752 would impose private-sector mandates as defined 
in UMRA on the commercial space flight industry by imposing 
additional requirements on licensees and participants 
(passengers) that engage in manned space flights. Based on 
information from government and industry sources, CBO estimates 
that the direct cost of those mandates would fall below the 
annual threshold established by UMRA for private-sector 
mandates ($120 million in 2004, adjusted annually for 
inflation).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 3752 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 400 
(transportation).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

AST spending under current law:
    Budget authority......................................       12        0        0        0        0        0
    Estimated outlays.....................................       12        1        0        0        0        0
Proposed changes:
    Estimated authorization level.........................        0       12       13       13        0        0
    Estimated outlays.....................................        0       11       13       13        1        0
AST spending under H.R. 3752:
    Estimated authorization level \1\.....................       12       12       13       13        0        0
    Estimated outlays.....................................       12       12       13       13        1        0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2004 level is the amount appropriated for that year.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
necessary amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year and 
that outlays will follow the historical patterns for AST 
programs. CBO's estimate of AST's expenses over the 2005-2007 
period is based on the $12 million appropriated for the agency 
for fiscal year 2004, including adjustments for anticipated 
inflation. CBO estimates that extending and expanding DOT's 
indemnification authority through 2007 would have no 
significant budgetary impact over the next five years largely 
because operators of commercial space vehicles must have 
significant private insurance coverage in order to be licensed. 
Finally, CBO estimates that authorizing DOT to issue 
experimental permits would have no significant budgetary impact 
because the activities covered by such permits would not be 
eligible for indemnification.

Extension of indemnification authority

    DOT's existing indemnification authority is subject to 
certain limitations. DOT may indemnify licensees against third-
party claims only if the licensee has entered into cross-
waivers of liability with its contractors, subcontractors, 
customers, and the federal government, and if the licensee has 
obtained private insurance to cover the first tier of risk. The 
amount of private insurance for each launch is supposed to 
cover the maximum probable loss, but not more than $500 million 
or the maximum amount available on the world market, whichever 
is lower. DOT's indemnification authority covers the second-
tier of risk up to a ceiling of $1.5 billion (in 1989 dollars), 
but such payments can only be made if funds are appropriated in 
advance or made available through subsequent legislation.
    DOT's guidelines suggest that the government would not 
license a launch system if the estimated maximum probable loss 
is greater than the maximum amount of insurance because that 
would suggest the launch carries excessive risk. If damage 
claims resulting from a commercial launch exceeded the amount 
of private insurance, however, DOT would need to seek a 
Congressional appropriation to cover the cost.
    So far, this system of insurance coverage has worked for 
licensees using expendable launch vehicles. According to DOT, 
the cost of damages associated with incidents involving 
expendable launch services have been small and the cost of 
damages have been covered by private insurance. Hence, CBO 
estimates that the cost of extending the indemnification 
coverage for expendable launch vehicles would not be 
significant.
    Unmanned RLV's have been eligible for similar insurance 
coverage and indemnification since 1999, but this industry has 
not developed and no launches have yet occurred. (The only RLV 
that has ever flown is the X-15, which was developed by the 
federal government and flew from 1959-1968). As a result, there 
are no data on the risks and costs of indemnifying commercial 
unmanned RLV systems. Nonetheless, CBO expects that DOT would 
only issue licenses for unmanned RLVs if the agency estimates 
that such systems would not pose excessive risks.

Expansion of indemnification provisions

    Expressly allowing DOT to license manned RLVs would make 
those services eligible for indemnification, subject to certain 
conditions. The bill excludes crew and ``space flight 
participants'' from the definition of third parties, making 
claims filed by them (or on their behalf) ineligible for 
indemnification. It also would require crew and passengers to 
agree not to sue and to be responsible for any losses the party 
sustains. In addition, the bill wouldnot identify third-party 
claims brought against passengers. Any claims filed by families of any 
affected crew or passengers would be indemnified. Because most flights 
are unlikely to carry more than two people (at least in the near term), 
this provision would not significantly expand the pool of potential 
third-party claimants.
    For this estimate, CBO assumes that DOT would only issue 
licenses for manned RLVs if the agency estimates that the 
services or systems would not pose excessive risk. We assume 
that DOT would incorporate the potential for claims from 
families of crew or space flight participants when calculating 
the risk and insurance requirements for manned flights.
    We also expect that the number of manned flight--and hence 
the potential frequency of federal spending for claims--is 
likely to be very small over the next few years. Interest in 
commercial manned flight has been spurred by the January 1, 
2005, deadline for the privately sponsored ``X-prize,'' which 
will award $10 million to the first contestant that 
successfully conducts two piloted flights to an altitude of at 
least 100 kilometers (60 miles) within a two-week period. DOT 
currently is reviewing applications for manned flights, some of 
which are expected to compete for the prize. Nonetheless, 
manned RLVs remain an embryonic technology, which is likely to 
limit the number of licensed flights for the foreseeable 
future.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 3752 contains no intergovernmental mandates are defined in 
UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 3752 would 
impose private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA on the 
commercial space flight industry by imposing additional 
requirements on licensees and participants that engage in 
manned space flights. Based on information from government and 
industry sources, CBO estimates that the direct cost of those 
mandates would fall below the annual threshold established by 
UMRA for private-sector mandates ($120 million in 2004, 
adjusted annually for inflation).
    Under current law, persons must obtain licenses from the 
federal government to engage in commercial space flights. The 
bill would require the Secretary of Transportation to establish 
training requirements and medical standards for the crew of 
manned spaced flight vehicles. Currently, license holders for 
commercial space transportation without passengers must comply 
with such requirements as they are outlined by the DOT's Office 
of the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space 
Transportation. This bill would extend current regulations for 
commercial space vehicles to manned space vehicles.
    The Secretary also would establish regulations requiring 
license holders to provide their passengers with a disclosure 
about the risks of launch and reentry including a discussion of 
the safety record of the particular vehicle. In addition, 
passengers would have to provide written consent certifying 
that they have been notified of the risks of flight. Currently, 
licensees are required to provide similar information about 
flight risks for insurance purposes in the form of a reciprocal 
waiver of claims between the company and its employees and 
crew. The bill's required disclosure of risks of commercial 
space transportation, therefore, would not result in new costs 
for license holders. According to industry experts, this 
requirement may lower costs to the industry by providing one 
uniform standard for disclosure of risks.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Kathleen Gramp. Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Greg Waring. Impact on 
the Private Sector: Selena Caldera.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                  X. Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    H.R. 3752 contains no unfunded mandates.

          XI. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    The Committee on Science's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

       XII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of House rule XIII, the stated goal 
of H.R. 3752 is to put in place a clear, balanced regulatory 
regime that promotes the development of the emerging commercial 
human space flight industry, while protecting the public health 
and safety.

                XIII. Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 3752.

               XIV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement

    H.R. 3752 does not establish or authorize the establishment 
of any advisory committee.

                  XV. Congressional Accountability Act

    The Committee finds that H.R. 3752 does not relate to the 
terms and conditions of employment or access to public services 
or accommodations within the meaning of section 102(b)(3) of 
the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 104-1).

      XVI. Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any state, local, or 
tribal law.

      XVII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 49, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBTITLE IX--COMMERCIAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 701--COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH ACTIVITIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec.
70101.  Findings and purposes.
     * * * * * * *
70105.  [License applications] Applications and requirements.
     * * * * * * *

Sec. 70101. Findings and purposes

  (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
          (1)  * * *
          * * * * * * *
          (3) new and innovative equipment and services are 
        being sought, produced, and offered by entrepreneurs in 
        telecommunications, information services, microgravity 
        research, human space flight, and remote sensing 
        technologies;
          (4) the private sector in the United States has the 
        capability of developing and providing private 
        [satellite] launching, reentry, and associated services 
        that would complement the launching, reentry, and 
        associated [services now available from] capabilities 
        of the United States Government;
          * * * * * * *

Sec. 70102. Definitions

  In this chapter--
          (1)  * * *
          * * * * * * *
          (2) ``crew'' means any employee of a licensee or 
        transferee, or of a contractor or subcontractor of a 
        licensee or transferee, who performs activities in the 
        course of that employment directly relating to the 
        launch, reentry, or other operation of or in a launch 
        vehicle or reentry vehicle that carries human beings.
          [(2)] (3) ``executive agency'' has the same meaning 
        given that term in section 105 of title 5.
          [(3)] (4) ``launch'' means to place or try to place a 
        launch vehicle or reentry vehicle and any payload, 
        crew, or space flight participant from Earth--
                  (A)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(4)] (5) ``launch property'' means an item built 
        for, or used in, the launch preparation or launch of a 
        launch vehicle.
          [(5)] (6) ``launch services'' means--
                  (A) activities involved in the preparation of 
                a launch vehicle [and payload], payload, crew 
                (including crew training), or space flight 
                participant for launch; and
                  (B) the conduct of a launch.
          [(6)] (7) ``launch site'' means the location on Earth 
        from which a launch takes place (as defined in a 
        license the Secretary issues or transfers under this 
        chapter) and necessary facilities at that location.
          [(7)] (8) ``launch vehicle'' means--
                  (A) a vehicle built to operate in, or place a 
                payload or human beings in, outer space; and
                  (B) a suborbital rocket.
          [(8)] (9) ``obtrusive space advertising'' means 
        advertising in outer space that is capable of being 
        recognized by a human being on the surface of the Earth 
        without the aid of a telescope or other technological 
        device.
          [(9)] (10) ``payload'' means an object that a person 
        undertakes to place in outer space by means of a launch 
        vehicle or reentry vehicle, including components of the 
        vehicle specifically designed or adapted for that 
        object.
          (11) ``permit'' means an experimental permit issued 
        under section 70105.
          [(10)] (12) ``person'' means an individual and an 
        entity organized or existing under the laws of a State 
        or country.
          [(11)] (13) ``reenter'' and ``reentry'' mean to 
        return or attempt to return, purposefully, a reentry 
        vehicle and its payload, crew, or space flight 
        participants, if any, from Earth orbit or from outer 
        space to Earth.
          [(12)] (14) ``reentry services'' means--
                  (A) activities involved in the preparation of 
                a reentry vehicle [and its payload] and 
                payload, crew (including crew training), or 
                space flight participant, if any, for reentry; 
                and
                  (B) the conduct of a reentry.
          [(13)] (15) ``reentry site'' means the location on 
        Earth to which a reentry vehicle is intended to return 
        (as defined in a license the Secretary issues or 
        transfers under this chapter).
          [(14)] (16) ``reentry vehicle'' means a vehicle 
        designed to return from Earth orbit or outer space to 
        Earth, or a reusable launch vehicle designed to return 
        from Earth orbit or outer space to Earth, substantially 
        intact.
          (17) ``space flight participant'' means an 
        individual, who is not crew, carried within a launch 
        vehicle or reentry vehicle.
          [(15)] (18) ``State'' means a State of the United 
        States, the District of Columbia, and a territory or 
        possession of the United States.
          (19) ``suborbital rocket'' means a rocket-propelled 
        vehicle intended for flight on a suborbital trajectory 
        whose thrust is greater than its lift for the majority 
        of the powered portion of its flight.
          (20) ``suborbital trajectory'' means the intentional 
        flight path of a launch vehicle, reentry vehicle, or 
        any portion thereof, whose vacuum instantaneous impact 
        point does not leave the surface of the Earth.
          [(16)] (21) ``third party'' means a person except--
                  (A)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (D) the customer's contractors or 
                subcontractors involved in launch services or 
                reentry services[.]; or
                  (E) crew or space flight participants.
          [(17)] (22) ``United States'' means the States of the 
        United States, the District of Columbia, and the 
        territories and possessions of the United States.

Sec. 70103. General authority

  (a) General.--The Secretary of Transportation, through the 
Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, 
shall carry out this chapter.
  (b) Facilitating Commercial Launches and Reentries.--In 
carrying out this chapter, the Secretary shall--
          (1) encourage, facilitate, and promote commercial 
        space launches and reentries by the private sector, 
        including those involving space flight participants; 
        and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 70104. Restrictions on launches, operations, and reentries

  (a) [License Requirement.--A license issued or transferred 
under this chapter] Requirement.--A license issued or 
transferred under this chapter, or a permit, is required for 
the following:
          (1)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (4) for a citizen of the United States (as defined in 
        section 70102(1)(C) of this title) to launch a launch 
        vehicle or to operate a launch site or reentry site, or 
        to reenter a reentry vehicle, in the territory of a 
        foreign country if there is an agreement between the 
        United States Government and the government of the 
        foreign country providing that the United States 
        Government has jurisdiction over the launch or 
        operation or reentry.
Notwithstanding this subsection, a permit shall not authorize a 
person to operate a launch site or reentry site.
  (b) Compliance With Payload Requirements.--The holder of a 
license or permit under this chapter may launch or reenter a 
payload only if the payload complies with all requirements of 
the laws of the United States related to launching or 
reentering a payload.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 70105. [License applications] Applications and requirements

  (a) [Applications.--] Licenses.--(1) A person may apply to 
the Secretary of Transportation for a license or transfer of a 
license under this chapter in the form and way the Secretary 
prescribes. Consistent with the public health and safety, 
safety of property, and national security and foreign policy 
interests of the United States, the Secretary, not later than 
180 days after accepting an application in accordance with 
criteria established pursuant to [subsection (b)(2)(D)] 
subsection (c)(2)(D), shall issue or transfer a license if the 
Secretary decides in writing that the applicant complies, and 
will continue to comply, with this chapter and regulations 
prescribed under this chapter. The Secretary shall inform the 
applicant of any pending issue and action required to resolve 
the issue if the Secretary has not made a decision not later 
than 120 days after accepting an application in accordance with 
criteria established pursuant to [subsection (b)(2)(D)] 
subsection (c)(2)(D). The Secretary shall transmit to the 
Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
Senate a written notice not later than 30 days after any 
occurrence when a license is not issued within the deadline 
established by this subsection.
  (2) In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary may 
establish procedures for safety approvals of launch vehicles, 
reentry vehicles, safety systems, processes, services, or 
personnel, including crews, that may be used in conducting 
licensed commercial space launch or reentry activities.
  (b) Experimental Permits.--(1) A person may apply to the 
Secretary of Transportation for an experimental permit under 
this subsection in the form and manner the Secretary 
prescribes. Consistent with the public health and safety, 
safety of property, and national security and foreign policy 
interests of the United States, the Secretary, not later than 
90 days after receiving an application pursuant to this 
subsection, shall issue a permit if the Secretary decides in 
writing that the applicant complies, and will continue to 
comply, with this chapter and regulations prescribed under this 
chapter. The Secretary shall inform the applicant of any 
pending issue and action required to resolve the issue if the 
Secretary has not made a decision not later than 60 days after 
receiving an application. The Secretary shall transmit to the 
Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
Senate a written notice not later than 15 days after any 
occurrence when a permit is not issued within the deadline 
established by this subsection.
  (2) In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary may 
establish procedures for safety approvals of launch vehicles, 
reentry vehicles, safety systems, processes, services, or 
personnel, including crews, that may be used in conducting 
commercial space launch or reentry activities pursuant to a 
permit.
  (3) In order to encourage the development of a commercial 
space flight industry, the Secretary, to the greatest extent 
practicable, shall when issuing permits use the authority 
granted under subsection (c)(2)(C).
  (4) The Secretary may issue a permit only for reusable 
suborbital rockets that will be launched or reentered solely 
for--
          (A) research and development to test new design 
        concepts, new equipment, or new operating techniques;
          (B) showing compliance with requirements as part of 
        the process for obtaining a license under this chapter; 
        or
          (C) crew training prior to obtaining a license for a 
        launch or reentry using the design of the rocket for 
        which the permit would be issued.
  (5) Permits issued under this subsection shall--
          (A) authorize an unlimited number of launches and 
        reentries for a particular suborbital rocket design for 
        the uses described in paragraph (4); and
          (B) specify the modifications that may be made to the 
        suborbital rocket without changing the design to an 
        extent that would invalidate the permit.
  (6) Permits shall not be transferable.
  (7) A permit may not be issued for, and a permit that has 
already been issued shall cease to be valid for, a particular 
design for a reusable suborbital rocket after a license has 
been issued for the launch or reentry of a rocket of that 
design.
  (8) No person may operate a reusable suborbital rocket under 
a permit for carrying any property or human being for 
compensation or hire.
  (9) For the purposes of sections 70106, 70107, 70108, 70109, 
70110, 70112, 70115, 70116, 70117, and 70121 of this chapter--
          (A) a permit shall be considered a license;
          (B) the holder of a permit shall be considered a 
        licensee;
          (C) a vehicle operating under a permit shall be 
        considered to be licensed; and
          (D) the issuance of a permit shall be considered 
        licensing.
This paragraph shall not be construed to allow the transfer of 
a permit.
  [(b)] (c) Requirements.--(1) Except as provided in this 
subsection, all requirements of the laws of the United States 
applicable to the launch of a launch vehicle or the operation 
of a launch site or a reentry site, or the reentry of a reentry 
vehicle, are requirements for a license or permit under this 
chapter.
  (2) The Secretary may prescribe--
          (A) any term necessary to ensure compliance with this 
        chapter, including on-site verification that a launch, 
        operation, or reentry complies with representations 
        stated in the application;
          (B) [an additional requirement] any additional 
        requirement necessary to protect the public health and 
        safety, safety of property, national security 
        interests, and foreign policy interests of the United 
        States;
          (C) by regulation that a requirement of a law of the 
        United States not be a requirement for a license or 
        permit if the Secretary, after consulting with the head 
        of the appropriate executive agency, decides that the 
        requirement is not necessary to protect the public 
        health and safety, safety of property, and national 
        security and foreign policy interests of the United 
        States; and
          (D) regulations establishing criteria for accepting 
        or rejecting an application for a license or permit 
        under this chapter within 60 days after receipt of such 
        application.
  (3) The Secretary may waive a requirement[, including the 
requirement to obtain a license,] for an individual applicant 
if the Secretary decides that the waiver is in the public 
interest and will not jeopardize the public health and safety, 
safety of property, and national security and foreign policy 
interests of the United States. Nothing in this paragraph shall 
be construed to allow the launch or reentry of a launch vehicle 
or a reentry vehicle without a license or permit if a human 
being will be on board.
  (4) The holder of a license or a permit under this chapter 
may launch or reenter crew only if--
          (A) the crew has received training and has satisfied 
        medical or other standards specified in the license or 
        permit in accordance with regulations promulgated by 
        the Secretary; and
          (B) the holder of the license or permit and crew have 
        complied with all requirements of the laws of the 
        United States that apply to crew.
  (5) The holder of a license or a permit under this chapter 
may launch or reenter a space flight participant only if--
          (A) in accordance with regulations promulgated by the 
        Secretary, the holder of the license or permit has 
        informed the space flight participant in writing about 
        the risks of the launch or reentry, including the 
        safety record of the launch or reentry vehicle type, 
        and the space flight participant has provided written 
        informed consent to participation in the launch or 
        reentry; and
          (B) the holder of the license or permit and space 
        flight participant have complied with all requirements 
        of the laws of the United States related to launching 
        or reentering a space flight participant.
  [(c)] (d) Procedures and Timetables.--The Secretary shall 
establish procedures and timetables that expedite review of a 
license or permit application and reduce the regulatory burden 
for an applicant.

Sec. 70106. Monitoring activities

  (a) General Requirements.--A licensee under this chapter must 
allow the Secretary of Transportation to place an officer or 
employee of the United States Government or another individual 
as an observer at a launch site or reentry site the licensee 
uses, at a production facility or assembly site a contractor of 
the licensee uses to produce or assemble a launch vehicle or 
reentry vehicle, at a site used for crew training, or at a site 
at which a payload is integrated with a launch vehicle or 
reentry vehicle. The observer will monitor the activity of the 
licensee or contractor at the time and to the extent the 
Secretary considers reasonable to ensure compliance with the 
license or to carry out the duties of the Secretary under 
[section 70104(c)] sections 70104(c) and 70105(c)(4) of this 
title. A licensee must cooperate with an observer carrying out 
this subsection.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 70110. Administrative hearings and judicial review

  (a) Administrative Hearings.--The Secretary of Transportation 
shall provide an opportunity for a hearing on the record to--
          (1) an applicant under this chapter, for a decision 
        of the Secretary under section [70105(a)] 70105 of this 
        title to issue or transfer a license with terms or deny 
        the issuance or transfer of a license;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 70112. Liability insurance and financial responsibility 
                    requirements

  (a)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (b) Reciprocal Waiver of Claims.--(1) A launch or reentry 
license issued or transferred under this chapter shall contain 
a provision requiring the licensee or transferee to make a 
reciprocal waiver of claims with its contractors, 
subcontractors, crew, space flight participants, and customers, 
and contractors and subcontractors of the customers, involved 
in launch services or reentry services under which each party 
to the waiver agrees to be responsible for property damage or 
loss it sustains, or for personal injury to, death of, or 
property damage or loss sustained by its own employees 
resulting from an activity carried out under the applicable 
license.
  (2) The Secretary of Transportation shall make, for the 
Government, executive agencies of the Government involved in 
launch services or reentry services, and contractors and 
subcontractors involved in launch services or reentry services, 
a reciprocal waiver of claims with the licensee or transferee, 
contractors, subcontractors, crew, space flight participants, 
and customers of the licensee or transferee, and contractors 
and subcontractors of the customers, involved in launch 
services or reentry services under which each party to the 
waiver agrees to be responsible for property damage or loss it 
sustains, or for personal injury to, death of, or property 
damage or loss sustained by its own employees resulting from an 
activity carried out under the applicable license. The waiver 
applies only to the extent that claims are more than the amount 
of insurance or demonstration of financial responsibility 
required under subsection (a)(1)(B) of this section. After 
consulting with the Administrator and the Secretary of the Air 
Force, the Secretary of Transportation may waive, for the 
Government and a department, agency, and instrumentality of the 
Government, the right to recover damages for damage or loss to 
Government property to the extent insurance is not available 
because of a policy exclusion the Secretary of Transportation 
decides is usual for the type of insurance involved.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 70113. Paying claims exceeding liability insurance and financial 
                    responsibility requirements

  (a) General Requirements.--(1) To the extent provided in 
advance in an appropriation law or to the extent additional 
legislative authority is enacted providing for paying claims in 
a compensation plan submitted under subsection (d) of this 
section, the Secretary of Transportation shall provide for the 
payment by the United States Government of a successful claim 
(including reasonable litigation or settlement expenses) of a 
third party against a licensee or transferee under this 
chapter, a contractor, subcontractor, or customer of the 
licensee or transferee, or a contractor or subcontractor of a 
customer,, but not against a space flight participant, 
resulting from an activity carried out under the license issued 
or transferred under this chapter for death, bodily injury, or 
property damage or loss resulting from an activity carried out 
under the license. However, claims may be paid under this 
section only to the extent the total amount of successful 
claims related to one launch or reentry--
          (A)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f) Application.--This section applies to a license issued or 
transferred under this chapter for which the Secretary receives 
a complete and valid application not later than [December 31, 
2004.] December 31, 2007. This section does not apply to 
permits.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 70115. Enforcement and penalty

  (a)  * * *
  (b) General Authority.--(1) In carrying out this chapter, the 
Secretary of Transportation may--
          (A)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (D) under lawful process--
                  (i) enter at a reasonable time a launch site, 
                reentry site, production facility, assembly 
                site of a launch vehicle or reentry vehicle, 
                crew training site, or site at which a payload 
                is integrated with a launch vehicle or reentry 
                vehicle to inspect an object to which this 
                chapter applies or a record or report the 
                Secretary requires be made or kept under this 
                chapter; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 70119. Office of Commercial Space Transportation

  There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of 
Transportation for the activities of the Office of the 
Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation--
          [(1) $12,607,000 for fiscal year 2001; and
          [(2) $16,478,000 for fiscal year 2002.]
          (1) such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 
        2005;
          (2) such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 
        2006; and
          (3) such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 
        2007.

Sec. 70120. Regulations

  (a)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Amendments.--Not later than 12 months after the date of 
enactment of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 
2004, the Secretary shall publish proposed regulations to carry 
out that Act, including regulations relating to crew, space 
flight participants, and permits for launch or reentry of 
reusable suborbital rockets. Not later than 18 months after 
such date of enactment, the Secretary shall issue final 
regulations.
  (d) Effective Date.--(1) Licenses for the launch or reentry 
of launch vehicles or reentry vehicles with human beings on 
board and permits may be issued by the Secretary prior to the 
issuance of the regulations described in subsection (c).
  (2) As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of the 
Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, the Secretary 
shall issue guidelines or advisory circulars to guide the 
implementation of that Act until regulations are issued.
  (3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), no licenses for 
the launch or reentry of launch vehicles or reentry vehicles 
with human beings on board or permits may be issued starting 
three years after the date of enactment of the Commercial Space 
Launch Amendments Act of 2004 unless the final regulations 
described in subsection (c) have been issued.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


             SECION 102 OF THE COMMERCIAL SPACE ACT OF 1998

SEC. 102. COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH AMENDMENTS.

  (a)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection 
(a)(6)(B) shall take effect upon the effective date of final 
regulations issued pursuant to section 70105(b)(2)(D) of title 
49, United States Code, as added by subsection (a)(6)(H).]

                    XVIII. Committee Recommendations

    On February 4, 2004, a quorum being present, the Committee 
on Science favorably reported the Commercial Space Launch 
Amendments Act of 2004, by a voice vote, and recommended its 
enactment.

               XIX. Exchange of Committee Correspondence

                          House of Representatives,
            Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
                                     Washington, DC, March 1, 2004.
Hon. Sherwood L. Boehlert,
Chairman, Committee on Science,
Rayburn Building, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: I am writing to you concerning the 
jurisdictional interest of the Transportation and 
Infrastructure Committee in matters being considered in H.R. 
3752, the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.
    Our Committee recognizes the importance of H.R. 3752 and 
the need for the legislation to move expeditiously. Therefore, 
while we have a valid claim to jurisdiction over certain 
provisions of the bill, I will agree not to request a 
sequential referral. This, of course, is conditional on our 
mutual understanding that nothing in this legislation or my 
decision to forego a sequential referral waives, reduces or 
otherwise affects the jurisdiction of the Transportation and 
Infrastructure Committee, and that a copy of this letter and of 
your response acknowledging our valid jurisdictional interest 
will be included in the Committee report.
    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure also 
asks that you support our request to be conferees on the 
provision over which we have jurisdiction during any House-
Senate conference.
    Thank you for your cooperation in this matter,
            Sincerely,
                                                 Don Young,
                                                          Chairman.
                                ------                                

                          House of Representatives,
                                      Committee on Science,
                                     Washington, DC, March 1, 2004.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: I appreciate your decision to forgo a 
sequential referral of H.R. 3752, the Commercial Space Launch 
Amendments Act of 2004, despite your valid claim of 
jurisdiction over certain provisions. I recognize that by 
forgoing a referral in this instance, your Committee does not 
waive any rights involving provisions within your Committee's 
jurisdiction.
    I also will support your request to be conferees on any 
provisions over which you have jurisdiction during any House-
Senate conference. Per your request, I will include copies of 
this exchange of letters in the legislative reports for H.R. 
3752.
    I will continue to work with you to define the respective 
jurisdiction of our Committees over this bill.
    Thank you for your consideration regarding this matter.
            Sincerely,
                                      Sherwood L. Boehlert,
                                                          Chairman.

                          XX. ADDITIONAL VIEW

    H.R. 3752 represents a constructive set of amendments to 
the existing statutes on commercial space transportation, and I 
support its enactment into law. A clear regulatory framework is 
needed for the emerging commercial human space flight industry, 
and this legislation provides one. My concern instead is 
focused on the Legislative Report accompanying the bill, which 
I do not believe represents a consensus of the Committee on 
several important issues.
    First, the report states that ``The bill urges the 
Secretary of Transportation to use the authority granted under 
Section 70105(c)(2)(C) of the CSLA, as amended by the bill, to 
the greatest extent practicable to waive requirements of law 
when issuing permits. The Committee instructs the Secretary to 
carefully review any existing laws that place significant 
technical and financial burdens on applicants and that may 
inhibit that development of the commercial human space flight 
industry, including environmental laws, and to actively use its 
authority to waive legal requirements where necessary and 
appropriate when issuing permits and licenses.'' Existing law 
permits the Secretary to waive some requirements for an 
individual applicant ``if the Secretary decides that the waiver 
is in the public interest and will not jeopardize the public 
health and safety, safety of property, and national security 
and foreign policy interests of the United States''. One of the 
provisions of H.R. 3752 does indeed state that the Secretary, 
to the greatest extent practicable, shall when issuing permits 
use the above mentioned authority, but I am concerned that the 
accompanying report language not overstate the Committee's 
position. While we all want to encourage the growth of this new 
industry, I believe the Secretary should err on the side of 
restraint when contemplating waivers to environmental and other 
laws intended to protect the public good. The interests of the 
industry should not be the determining factor in the 
Secretary's decision.
    Second, the report states that the Committee believes that 
the liability indemnification regime should be eliminated or 
phased out. In fact, the Committee has received ample 
testimony, most recently in November of last year, that the 
existing liability indemnification regime has worked well and 
meets a legitimate need, and that its elimination over the 
foreseeable future would be damaging to the U.S. commercial 
space transportation industry vis a vis its international 
competitors. The Committee directed a review of the liability 
indemnification regime as part of space transportation 
legislation enacted in 2000, and that study came to similar 
conclusions. It is ironic that the bill's requirement for yet 
another study--this time on how to eliminate the liability risk 
sharing regime by 2008 or as soon as possible thereafter--may 
well hinder the growth of the very commercial human space 
flight industry that the bill is trying to foster, since it 
signals an intention to eliminate the liability indemnification 
regime just as some of the emerging companies may be beginning 
commercial operations. At a minimum, the directive for a new 
study runs counter to the findings of the 2000 study and other 
evidence.

                                                       Bart Gordon.


XXI. PROCEEDINGS OF THE FULL COMMITTEE MARKUP ON H.R. 3752, COMMERCIAL 
                  SPACE LAUNCH AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2004

                              ----------                              


                      WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2004

                  House of Representatives,
                                      Committee on Science,
                                                    Washington, DC.

    The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:08 a.m., in Room 
2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Sherwood L. 
Boehlert [Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    Chairman Boehlert. Good morning. The Committee on Science 
will be in order. We will begin with a few brief administrative 
matters involving the Subcommittee assignments. I ask unanimous 
consent to change the ratio of the Subcommittee on Energy from 
ten Republican Members and eight Democrat Members to eleven 
Republican Members and nine Democrats. Without objection, so 
ordered.
    I ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from Texas, the 
Honorable Ralph Hall, be elected to the Subcommittee on Energy 
and to the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. Without 
objection, so ordered.
    Let me just say this is--you will notice some adjustments 
in the chairs up here, in the line up. First of all, it is a 
pleasure for me to welcome Mr. Hall to our side of the aisle. 
We have come to expect wonderful things from Mr. Hall. And one 
of the things that I admire most about him, in addition to his 
wit, is his good judgment. So Mr. Hall, welcome.
    And I also want to welcome my dear friend and colleague of 
many years, Bart Gordon, to the position as Ranking Member as 
leader of the Democrats. He is not leader of the opposition; he 
is leader of our partners in this effort. And I want to 
particularly note that he has been a most active Member of this 
committee from the beginning, from his first time here in 1985 
as a freshman Member. He is a thoughtful, deliberative guy. He 
is a guy who pays attention to the issues and one from whom I 
will expect great things in the future. I would point out that 
he also has a minor Committee assignment. He is a Member of 
Energy and Commerce, but this is where he devotes his--so much 
time and attention to very productive results. So Mr. Gordon, 
welcome. Mr. Hall, welcome. We are glad to have everyone here.
    And now the Chair is pleased to recognize the Ranking 
Member from Tennessee, Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, I should just say amen. I don't 
think I can beat your kind remarks. Thank you very much. I am 
excited about having the opportunity to serve as the Ranking 
Member. And I am pleased that our friend, Mr. Hall, is going to 
stay and be the referee. He has set a very good example for us, 
as you said, in working in a bipartisan manner. We want to 
continue that example.
    I think today is fitting that we have a full agenda, and so 
I want to be very brief and--so that we can move forward, but I 
do want to thank you for allowing Congressman Udall and 
Congressman Miller to have two bills today. And I hope that you 
will help us bring these to the Floor as promptly as you have 
brought them to this committee.
    Thank you very much.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, and to the Ranking Member and to 
the other Members, I thank you very much. I am honored to be 
back on the Committee.
    I want to thank Mr. Gordon for his good judgment and for 
his kindness in keeping the team in place that we had set in 
place. They are good people and good folks to work with. I want 
to thank all of them from either side of the docket who have 
welcomed me here. Actually, when I decided--made the decision 
to switch parties, I didn't call anyone. I didn't call the 
President or anyone. I didn't tell anyone, including my wife, 
which was a mistake. I announced that I was making the switch 
and put it on the wire and then called and spoke to the 
Speaker. All I expected from him was that my seniority would be 
honored, and he said it would be. You have done that. And to 
both sides, I am the same guy I was when I came over here. I am 
probably the Speaker's problem now. So we will just have to 
wait and see how things go, but I am honored to be back with a 
group of men and women that I admire, respect, and look forward 
to working with.
    Thank you, and I yield back my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you so much.
    As those who have observed the deliberations of this 
committee would have testified to, it really doesn't matter 
where you sit in this committee, because we have some very 
important work and partisanship doesn't rear its ugly head very 
often here. On occasion it does, and we are all familiar with 
that. But when all is said and done, we work as a team, this 
Science Committee, and I am very proud of that. And so no 
matter where they are sitting, everybody is part of the team, 
and I thank them for their cooperation and support and vision 
as we look to the future.
    Pursuant to notice, the Committee on Science meets today to 
consider the following measures: H.R. 3551, the Surface 
Transportation Research Act of 2004; H.R. 3752, the Commercial 
Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004; H.R. 912, Charles ``Pete'' 
Conrad Astronomy Awards Act; H.R. 1292, Remote Sensing 
Applications Act of 2003; H.R. 3389, To amend the Stevenson-
Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to permit Malcolm 
Baldrige National Quality Awards to be made to nonprofit 
organizations; and H.Con.Res. 189, Celebrating the 50th 
anniversary of the International Geophysical Year and 
supporting an International Geophysical Year-2 in 2007-08. I 
ask unanimous consent for the authority to recess the 
Subcommittee at any point, and without objection, it is 
ordered.
    We will now proceed with opening statements. I want to 
welcome everyone here for this important markup. We want to get 
done by 11:00 a.m., so we will need to be brief. I am not 
planning to make any statements this morning other than this 
one, so I will discuss each of the bills right now. But first 
let me say that all of the bills, as usual, reflect long hours 
of bipartisan work on important issues. The smooth markup that 
we expect today is the result of countless hours of staff work 
on both sides of the aisle working out the kinks.
    The first that we will take up is the Transportation 
Research and Development Act offered by Dr. Ehlers and the 
negotiated amendments to it. The bill ensures that we will be 
devoting more resources to transportation R&D and that those 
resources will be better targeted. The bill authorizes an 
organized R&D effort that will focus on questions related to 
safety, environment, demographics, and getting the most out of 
the infrastructure that is already in place. It is an eminently 
sensible approach, and we will work hard to see that it becomes 
part of the overall highway bill. I know many Members have 
contributed ideas to the bill and to the amendments, including, 
in addition to the ones I have to offer, two freshmen Members 
on our side of the aisle, Mr. Neugebauer and Ms. Burgess--Dr. 
Burgess. I thank them for their contributions.
    The second measure on the roster is Mr. Rohrabacher's bill 
to amend the Commercial Space Launch Act. I want to thank 
Chairman Rohrabacher for bringing this important matter to our 
attention. We need to create a balanced and predictable 
regulatory regime that can help jump-start a commercial human 
space flight industry while protecting the public. I think that 
this bill does just that. I know some have concerns about the 
provision in the bill extending indemnification for just 3 
years. I don't want to have a long debate in this now, but the 
argument for indemnification has always been that we need to 
help out an infant industry. Well, no industry can remain 
infant forever. Indemnification has already been extended many 
times. Infancy has lasted long enough. In industry's interest, 
we need to send the signal now that the insurance regime out to 
be changing in the future. It certainly would not be fair or 
wise to catch industry off guard.
    The third bill is also offered by Chairman Rohrabacher. It 
would set up awards for amateur astronomers who discover near-
Earth asteroids. It is one of those ideas that is so obviously 
good that it is amazing that it hasn't happened already.
    The fourth bill is Mr. Udall's remote sensing bill. This is 
also a sensible bill that we passed in the last Congress. We 
ought to be doing more to ensure that the remote sensing data 
we have is actually being used. Mr. Weldon will be offering a 
helpful amendment on that to single out one use of the data: 
locating forest fires. I support that amendment.
    The fifth bill would expand the Baldrige Quality Awards to 
include nonprofits. I helped craft the legislation creating the 
Baldrige Award years ago. Little did I appreciate then what a 
major success the award would be. I congratulate Mr. Miller on 
his bill to expand the award.
    The sixth bill by Mr. Udall would call for another 
International Geophysical Year, 50 years after the first one 
was so successful in bringing the world together to conduct 
pioneering research in Antarctica, research several of us got 
to see firsthand last year. This is another idea that deserves 
this committee's support.
    I congratulate all of my colleagues on their hard work on 
these bills, and I look forward to their prompt passage here 
and on the House Floor.
    Let me once again restate the deep appreciation all of us 
have, on both sides, for the outstanding work of the very 
capable and hardworking professional staff. These are people 
who are here long after we have gone home, long after we have 
checked out of the airport to return to our Districts, working 
day and night and weekends to provide us with the support we 
need to do the good work we are doing.
    Chairman Boehlert. I now recognize Mr. Gordon for five 
minutes to present his opening remarks.
    [The prepared statement of Chairman Boehlert follows:]
            Prepared Statement of Chairman Sherwood Boehlert
    I want to welcome everyone here for this important markup. We want 
to get done by 11 a.m., so we all need to be brief. I'm not planning to 
make any statements this morning other than this one, so I will discuss 
each of the bills right now.
    But first let me say that all the bills, as usual, reflect long 
hours of bipartisan work on important issues. The smooth markup that we 
expect today is a result of countless hours of staff work on both sides 
of the aisle working out the kinks.
    The first bill we will take up is the transportation research and 
development (R&D) bill offered by Mr. Ehlers and the negotiated 
amendments to it. This bill ensures that we will be devoting more 
resources to transportation R&D and that those resources will be better 
targeted. The bill authorizes an organized R&D effort that will focus 
on questions related to safety, environment, demographics, and getting 
the most out of the infrastructure that is already in place. It's an 
eminently sensible approach, and we will work hard to see that it 
becomes part of the overall highway bill.
    I know many Members have contributed ideas to the bill and to the 
amendments, including (in addition to me), two freshmen Members on our 
side of the aisle, Mr. Neugebauer and Mr. Burgess. I thank them for 
their contributions.
    The second measure on the roster is Mr. Rohrabacher's bill to amend 
the Commercial Space Launch Act.
    I want to thank Chairman Rohrabacher for bringing this important 
matter to our attention. We need to create a balanced and predictable 
regulatory regime that can help jump-start a commercial human space 
flight industry while protecting the public. I think this bill does 
just that.
    I know some have concerns about the provision in the bill extending 
indemnification for just three years. I don't want to have a long 
debate on this now, but the argument for indemnification has always 
been that we need to help out an infant industry. Well, no industry can 
remain an infant forever. Indemnification has already been extended 
many times. Infancy has lasted long enough. In industry's interest, we 
need to send the signal now that the insurance regime ought to be 
changing in the future. It certainly would not be fair or wise to catch 
industry off guard.
    The third bill is also offered by Mr. Rohrabacher. It would set up 
awards for amateur astronomers who discover near-Earth asteroids. It's 
one of those ideas that is so obviously good that it's amazing that it 
isn't happening already.
    The fourth bill is Mr. Udall's remote sensing bill. This is also a 
sensible bill that we passed in the last Congress. We ought to be doing 
more to ensure that the remote sensing data we have is actually being 
used. Mr. Weldon will be offering a helpful amendment on that bill to 
single out one use of the data--locating forest fires. I support that 
amendment.
    The fifth bill would expand the Baldrige Quality Award to include 
non-profits. I helped craft the legislation creating the Baldrige Award 
years ago; little did I understand then what a major success the Award 
would be. I congratulate Mr. Miller on his bill to expand the Award.
    The sixth bill, by Mr. Udall, would call for another International 
Geophysical Year, 50 years after the first one was so successful in 
bringing the world together to conduct pioneering research in 
Antarctica--research several of us got to see firsthand last year. This 
is another idea that deserves this committee's support.
    I congratulate all my colleagues on their hard work on these bills, 
and I look forward to their prompt passage here--and on the House 
Floor.
    Mr. Gordon.

    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to report to the 
Committee that the Democratic Caucus of the Science Committee 
has elected the Honorable Nick Lampson of Texas as the Ranking 
Democrat on the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. Mr. 
Lampson has been a Member of the Committee and the Subcommittee 
since his election to Congress in 1996. He represents the 
Johnson--we will try again here. Okay. He represents the 
Johnson Space Center in Houston, and he has been out front in 
his vision for human space flight. Accordingly, I ask unanimous 
consent that the seniority order for the Democratic membership 
of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics be changed to 
reflect the action of our Caucus, placing Mr. Lampson first in 
the Democratic seniority.
    Chairman Boehlert. Without objection.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent for 
another request, and that is I am pleased to report to the 
Committee that the Democratic Caucus of the Science Committee 
has elected the Honorable John Larson of Connecticut as ranking 
Democrat on the Subcommittee on Energy. John has been a Member 
of the Committee since 1998, also serves as the Ranking Member 
on the House Administration Committee, and was a leader in 
developing many of the R&D provisions of the energy bill. 
Accordingly, I ask unanimous consent that the Honorable John 
Larson be elected to the Subcommittee on Energy and that rank 
in seniority is first on the Democratic membership.
    Chairman Boehlert. Without objection.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, respecting your interest in 
getting out by 11:00, I will reserve any remarks on the bills 
as they come forth.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much. Without objection, 
all Members may place opening statements in the records at this 
point--in the record at this point.
    Chairman Boehlert. We will now consider the bill H.R. 3752, 
the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004. I now 
recognize Mr. Gordon for five minutes to present his opening 
remarks.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, I will reserve my remarks to 
after Mr. Rohrabacher introduces his bill.
    Chairman Boehlert. All right. Traditionally, the Chair has 
opening remarks, and I am passing on my opening remarks, so 
that is why we go to you next. We want to be fair.
    Now the very distinguished Chairman of the Subcommittee on 
Space and Aeronautics, Mr. Rohrabacher, is recognized for such 
time as he may consume.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And I 
want to thank Mr. Gordon. And I want to thank you for all of 
your efforts in helping to ensure that this bill came before us 
today and that we are doing the job that we need to ensure that 
the regulatory barriers within the Federal Government do not 
hinder the growth of the emerging commercial human space flight 
industry. The Commercial Space Flight Launch Amendment Acts of 
2004 represents a long and thorough process beginning last July 
with a joint House Senate hearing, a Subcommittee hearing last 
fall, and a policy roundtable with experts in the commercial 
space transportation industry last year. I want to commend your 
staff, Mr. Chairman, as well as the Subcommittee staff on the 
great job that they have done on this. This has been--people 
have had to work together and work--iron out some problems, and 
we sure--I appreciate the hard work that has been done and the 
good work that has been done by our staff.
    The bill before us today, H.R. 3752, calls for a 
streamlined and careful regulation for nurturing this new 
commercial human space flight industry while ensuring public 
safety. H.R. 3752 eliminate confusion as to who regulates 
usable suborbital rockets by directing that a regulatory regime 
for licensing commercial human space flight activities be 
established under the jurisdiction of the Office of the 
Associate Administrator of Commercial Space Transportation. In 
other words, we are giving the responsibility to the FAA in the 
Department of Transportation.
    The bill makes it easier to launch new types of reusable, 
suborbital rockets by directing the Secretary of Transportation 
to create experimental flight permits. Experimental flight 
permits are separate and distinct from existing commercial 
launch licenses. H.R. 3752 also extends existing commercial 
space transportation indemnification regime by three years, 
through December 31, 2007 and calls for a study in determining 
how best to gradually eliminate indemnification for the 
commercial space transportation industry by 2008.
    Again, Mr. Chairman, I thank you, and I thank our staffs 
for doing a good job on this. And we had cooperation from 
everyone involved, both sides of the aisle, and industry, so I 
present that now. And thank you very much.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Rohrabacher follows:]
         Prepared Statement of Representative Dana Rohrabacher
    I want to thank the Chairman for his tremendous efforts in ensuring 
that regulatory barriers not hinder the growth of the emerging 
commercial human space flight industry. The Commercial Space Launch 
Amendments Act of 2004 represents a long and thorough process beginning 
last July with a joint House-Senate hearing, a Space Subcommittee 
hearing last fall and a policy roundtable with experts in the 
commercial space transportation industry late last year.
    The bill before us today, H.R. 3752, calls for streamlined and 
careful regulations for nurturing this new commercial human space 
flight industry while ensuring public safety. H.R. 3752 eliminates 
confusion as to who regulates reusable suborbital rockets by directing 
that a regulatory regime for licensing commercial human space flight 
activities be established under the jurisdiction of the Office of the 
Associate Administrator of Commercial Space Transportation.
    The bill makes it easier to launch new types of reusable suborbital 
rockets by directing the Secretary of Transportation to create 
experimental flight permits. Experimental flight permits are separate 
and distinct from existing commercial launch licenses.
    H.R. 3752 also extends the existing commercial space transportation 
indemnification regime by three years, through December 31, 2007, and 
calls for a study in determining how best to gradually eliminate the 
indemnification regime for the commercial space transportation industry 
by 2008.
    Again, I would like to thank Chairman Boehlert, industry, and the 
FAA for helping us develop this bill.

    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, my good friend Dana Rohrabacher 
has been a long, tireless champion of encouraging the private 
sector activities in space. And let me just say that I am very 
pleased that his bill is before us today, and I am also pleased 
that he has the wisdom to take some of our suggestions to make 
it a better bill. I know in heart of hearts that he is a 
fearless barnstormer. But now that he has three triplets on the 
way, he might be a little more sensitive to discussing some of 
the issues concerning reasonable safety regulations here. And I 
am not going to introduce an amendment today, but as his wife 
becomes more concerned, we are going to talk about this before 
it comes to the full Floor.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Gordon follows:]
            Prepared Statement of Representative Bart Gordon
    Mr. Chairman, I'd like to speak in support of H.R. 3752.
    My good friend Dana Rohrabacher has long been interested in 
encouraging private sector activities in space. And he's been a 
tireless champion of companies who are trying to build rockets that 
could carry private citizens into space. It's an exciting prospect, and 
one that is supported on both sides of the aisle.
    In that regard, I would note that our new Space Subcommittee 
Ranking Member, Rep. Nick Lampson, introduced space tourism legislation 
in the last Congress that, among other provisions, also recognized the 
importance of establishing a clear regulatory environment for the 
emerging commercial human space flight industry.
    Returning to the legislation before us today, I recognize that in 
his heart of hearts, Dana is a fearless barnstormer, but I'm encouraged 
that he has moderated those instincts somewhat in the revised 
commercial space bill that we are marking up. And he has worked hard to 
craft a responsible piece of legislation that will help facilitate the 
emergence of a commercial human space flight industry. I think this 
bill represents an improvement over the legislation considered by the 
Space Subcommittee last fall.
    Of course, I continue to believe that this latest version will 
benefit from further discussion. In particular, I think we need to 
reconsider the bill's stance with respect to the existing liability 
risk-sharing regime--a regime that by almost all accounts has worked 
well. I also think that we need to take a closer look at the provisions 
regarding DOT's role--or lack thereof--in monitoring the health and 
safety of the crew and passengers of these new vehicles. While I don't 
want to impede the ability of the companies to carry out the 
experimental flights needed to develop their vehicles, revenue-
generating passenger operations that are licensed by the government may 
well warrant the establishment of some minimum crew and passenger 
safety requirements. And finally, I believe that we want to make sure 
that we do nothing in legislation that would prevent redress against 
gross negligence when warranted.
    Mr. Chairman, in the interests of moving the process forward and 
acknowledging the good work that has been done to date, I do not plan 
to offer amendments on these issues today. Instead, I would hope that 
we could work together constructively to improve the bill further 
before it reaches the Floor of the House.

    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    Without objection, all Members may place opening statements 
in the record at this point.
    I ask unanimous consent that the bill is considered as 
read. Without objection, so ordered.
    Are there any amendments to the bill? Hearing none, the 
question is now on the bill H.R. 3752, Commercial Space Launch 
Amendments Act of 2004. All of those in favor, say aye. All of 
those opposed, say no. In the opinion of the Chair, the ayes 
have it. I will now recognize Mr. Gordon to offer a motion.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, I move the Committee favorably 
report H.R. 3752 to the House with the recommendation that the 
bill do pass. Furthermore, I move that the Senate be instructed 
to prepare--the staff be instructed to prepare the legislative 
report and make necessary technical and conforming changes and 
that the Chairman take such necessary actions to bring the bill 
before the House for consideration.
    Chairman Boehlert. The question is on the motion to report 
the bill favorably. Those in favor of the motion will signify 
by saying aye. Opposed, no. In the opinion of the Chair, the 
ayes have it, and the resolution is favorably reported.
    Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon 
the table. I move that Members have two subsequent calendar 
days in which to submit supplemental, minority, or additional 
views on the measure. I move pursuant to Clause 1 of Rule 22 of 
the Rules of the House of Representatives that the Committee 
authorize the Chairman to offer such motions as may be 
necessary in the House to adopt and pass H.R. 3752 and to go to 
conference with the Senate on H.R. 3752 or a similar Senate 
bill. Without objection, so ordered.
    This concludes our Committee markup, and I thank my 
colleagues for their enthusiastic participation. We are now 
adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 1:33 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
                                Appendix

                              ----------                              


      H.R. 3752, Section-By-Section Analysis, Summary of H.R. 3752






                      Section-by-Section Analysis
             Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004
    The Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 (``the Act'') is 
designed to promote the development of the emerging commercial human 
space flight industry by putting in place a clear, balanced regulatory 
regime. The bill is drafted as an amendment to the existing Commercial 
Space Launch Act (``CSLA''), title 49, United States Code, chapter 701.

Section 1. Short Title.

    The Act may be cited as the ``Commercial Space Launch Amendments 
Act of 2004.''

Section 2. Findings.

    Congress finds that the goal of opening space to the American 
people and to their private commercial enterprises is a worthy goal and 
that the creation of a clear legal and regulatory regime for commercial 
human space flight advances that goal.

Section 3. Amendments.

Section 3(a) of the Act amends Section 70101 of the CSLA to refer to 
human space flight as an area in which entrepreneurs are offering 
services and to eliminate references solely to satellite launches.

Section 3(b) of the Act amends Section 70102 of the CSLA by including 
definitions for ``crew,'' ``permit,'' ``space flight participant,'' 
``suborbital rocket,'' and ``suborbital trajectory.''

Section 3(b) also amends Section 70102 of the CLSA by amending the 
definitions of the following terms:

        (a) Lthe definition of ``launch'' is amended to contemplate 
        placing ``any payload, crew or space flight participant'' in a 
        suborbital or orbital trajectory, or into outer space;

        (b) Lthe definitions of ``launch services'' and ``re-entry 
        services'' are amended to include activities involving the 
        preparation of a ``launch vehicle, payload, crew (including 
        crew training), or space flight participant'' for a launch or a 
        re-entry;

        (c) Lthe definition of ``launch vehicle'' is amended to include 
        vehicles that place ``human beings'' in outer space;

        (d) Lthe definitions of ``re-enter'' and ``re-entry'' are 
        amended to include the return (or attempt to return) of 
        ``payload, crew, or space flight participants'' from orbit or 
        from outer space to Earth; and

        (e) Lthe definition of ``third party'' is amended to exclude 
        crew and space flight participants.

Section 3(c) of the Act amends--

    (1) Section 70103(a) of the CSLA to require the Secretary of 
Transportation to carry out its duties under title 49, United States 
Code, chapter 701 through the Associate Administrator for Commercial 
Space Transportation.

    (2) Section 70103(b)(1) of the CSLA to require the Secretary to 
encourage, facilitate, and promote commercial space launches and re-
entries by the private sector, ``including those involving space flight 
participants.''

    (3) Section 70104(a) of the CSLA to account for permits--a new 
legal instrument created by this Act. Section 70104 (a) lists the kinds 
of activities that require a license. The amendment makes clear that a 
permit can also suffice to undertake those activities (except for 
operating a launch or re-entry site).

    (4) Section 70104(b) of the CSLA to make clear that permit holders 
as well as licensees must comply with payload requirements.

    (5) Section 70105 of the CSLA to change the section heading to make 
it consistent with the new subsections on permits.

    (6) Section 70105(a) of the CSLA to be consistent with the new 
subsections on licenses and to make clear that establishing procedures 
for safety approvals of personnel, ``including crews'' is part of the 
licensing process.

    (7) Section 70105 of the CSLA to create a new subsection (b), 
entitled ``Experimental Permits'' with the following subsections:

        LSubsection (1) provides that the Secretary must issue a permit 
        not later than 90 days after receiving an application if the 
        Secretary decides in writing that the applicant complies with 
        the CSLA and related regulations. The Secretary must inform an 
        applicant of any pending issue to be resolved no later than 60 
        days after receiving an application. The Secretary must 
        transmit a written notice to the House and the Senate when a 
        permit is not issued within an established deadline.

        LSubsection (2) provides that the Secretary may establish 
        procedures for safety approvals for operation under 
        experimental permits.

        LSubsection (3) encourages the Secretary to use the authority 
        granted under subsection (c)(2)(C) of the CSLA to the greatest 
        extent practicable to waive requirements of law when issuing 
        permits.

        LSubsection (4) provides that the permits may be issued solely 
        for reusable suborbital rockets launched or re-entered for the 
        purposes of research and development, showing compliance with 
        requirements as part of the process of obtaining a launch 
        license, or for crew training prior to obtaining a license.

        LSubsection (5) provides that permits must authorize an 
        unlimited number of launches and re-entries for a particular 
        suborbital rocket design and that permits must specify the 
        modifications that may be made to the suborbital rocket without 
        changing its design to an extent that would invalidate the 
        permit.

        LSubsection (6) provides that permits are not transferable.

        LSubsection (7) provides that a permit ceases to be valid after 
        a license has been issued for the launch or re-entry of that 
        rocket design.

        LSubsection (8) provides that no person may operate a reusable 
        suborbital rocket under a permit for carrying any property or 
        human being for compensation or hire.

        LSubsection (9) provides that for the purposes of sections 
        70106 through 70110, section 70112, and sections 70115 through 
        70117, and section 70121 of the CSLA, permits are to be treated 
        as licenses, permit holders as licensees, a vehicle operating 
        under a permit as licensed, and the issuance of a permit as 
        licensing. Subsection (9) reiterates that permits are not 
        transferable.

    (8) Section 70105(c)(1) of the CSLA to ensure that all applicable 
laws are considered requirements of permits as well as to licenses.

    (9) Section 70105(c)(2)(B) of the CSLA to correct a typographical 
error.

    (10) Section 70105(c)(2)(C) of the CSLA to ensure that for permits, 
as well as for licenses, the Secretary has the authority to waive 
certain laws.

    (11) Section 70105(c)(2)(D) of the CSLA to ensure that permits, as 
well as licenses, must meet certain deadlines.

    (12) Section 70105(c)(3) of the CSLA to ensure that in issuing 
permits, as well as in issuing licenses, the Secretary may waive 
requirements. The amendment also states that the waiver authority shall 
not be construed to allow a launch or re-entry of a vehicle without a 
license or a permit if a human being will be on board.

    (13) Section 70105(c) of the CSLA to include the following new 
subsections:

        LSubsection (4) provides that the holder of a license or a 
        permit may launch or re-enter ``crew'' only if the crew has 
        received training and has satisfied medical or other standards 
        specified in the license or permit, and if the licensee or 
        permitee has complied with all other requirements of the laws 
        of the United States that apply to crew.

        LSubsection (5) provides that the holder of a license or a 
        permit may launch or re-enter a ``space flight participant'' 
        only if the space flight participant has been informed in 
        writing about the risks of the launch or re-entry (including 
        the safety record of the vehicle), has provided written 
        informed consent for participation, and the licensee or 
        permitee has complied with all other requirements of the laws 
        of the United States that apply to launching or re-entering 
        space flight participants.

    (14) Section 70105(d) of the CSLA to ensure that the Secretary 
establishes expedited procedures for permits as well as licenses.

    (15) Section 70106(a) of the CSLA to provide that a licensee or 
permitee must allow the Secretary to monitor a site used for crew 
training. This section of the Act also makes a technical correction to 
the CSLA.

    (16) Section 70110(a)(1) of the CSLA to make a technical 
correction.

    (17) Section 70112(b)(1) of the CSLA by requiring crew and space 
flight participants to execute a reciprocal waiver of claims with a 
licensee or permitee under which each party will agree to be 
responsible for damages, injuries or deaths (including to space flight 
participants) resulting from a licensed or permitted activity.

    (18) Section 70112(b)(2) of the CSLA by requiring crew and space 
flight participants to execute a reciprocal waiver of claims with the 
Federal Government under which each party will agree to be responsible 
for damages, injuries or deaths (including to space flight 
participants) resulting from a licensed or permitted activity.

    (19) Section 70113(a) of the CSLA to expressly exclude space flight 
participants from eligibility for indemnification by the Federal 
Government against third party claims.

    (20) Section 70113(f) of the CSLA to extending the existing 
liability indemnification regime three years. Launches performed 
pursuant to a permit are excluded from indemnification.

    (21) Section 70115(b)(1)(D)(i) of the CSLA to provide that the 
Secretary may enter a crew training site in order to conduct 
investigations and inquiries.

    (22) Section 70119 of the CSLA to authorize such sums as may be 
necessary for fiscal years 2005, 2006, and 2007 to carry out the CSLA.

    (23) Section 70120 of the CSLA to insert the following additional 
subsections:

        LSubsection (c) requires the Secretary of Transportation to 
        publish proposed regulations to carry out this Act, including 
        regulations relating to crew, space flight participants and 
        experimental permits, within 12 months, and to issue final 
        regulations within 18 months;

        LSubsection (d)(1) provides that licenses and permits for 
        launches with human beings on board may be issued by the 
        Secretary prior to the issuance of new regulations;

        LSubsection (d)(2) provides that the Secretary shall issues 
        guidelines or advisory circulars as soon as practicable with 
        respect to the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004; 
        and

        LSubsection (d)(3) provides that no licenses for launches with 
        human beings on board or permits may be issued starting three 
        years after the date of enactment of the Commercial Space 
        Launch Amendments Act unless final regulations under the Act 
        have been issued.

Section 4. Study on Gradual Elimination of Commercial Space 
Transportation Liability Risk Sharing Regime.

    Section 4 requires the Secretary of Transportation to contract for 
a study by the National Academy of Public Administration on how best to 
gradually eliminate the liability risk sharing regime in the United 
States for commercial space transportation by 2008 or as soon as 
possible thereafter.

Section 5. Technical Amendment.

    This section makes a technical amendment that repeals a provision 
in the Commercial Space Act of 1998. The provision concerned a deadline 
for the issuance of regulations and their effect on the language of the 
organic statute.
  Summary of H.R. 3752, Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004
    The Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 is designed to 
promote the development of the emerging commercial human space flight 
industry by putting in place a clear, balanced regulatory regime.
    The bill is drafted as an amendment to the existing Commercial 
Space Launch Act to minimize disruption and confusion.
    Key features of the bill include:

         LThe bill will eliminate any confusion about who 
        should regulate flights of suborbital rockets carrying human 
        beings by explicitly locating all commercial space flight 
        authority under AST;

         LThe bill will make it easier to launch new types of 
        reusable suborbital rockets by allowing AST to issue 
        experimental permits that can be granted more quickly and with 
        fewer requirements than licenses;

         LUnder the bill, permits will allow an unlimited 
        number of experimental flights, rather than requiring a license 
        for a single launch or small number of launches;

         LThe bill will require AST to issue regulations for 
        crews relating to training and medical condition;

         LThe bill will limit requirements for paying passenger 
        (or ``space flight participants'') to being informed of the 
        risks of their participation and providing written, informed 
        consent;

         LThe bill will require both crew and paying passengers 
        to execute mutual waivers of liability with licensees (or 
        experimental permit holders) and the Federal Government;

         LThe bill will extend the existing liability 
        indemnification regime for the entire commercial space 
        transportation industry (including licensed, non-experimental 
        commercial human space launches) for a period of three years, 
        but the bill will not grant indemnification for flights 
        conducted under experimental permits, which will be more 
        lightly regulated; and

         LThe bill will require a study on how best to 
        gradually eliminate the liability indemnification regime for 
        the commercial space transportation industry by 2008 or as soon 
        as possible thereafter.