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[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


114th Congress ]					[ REPORT
 1st Session   ]                  SENATE                [ 114-88
_______________________________________________________________________

 .                                                    Calendar No. 159

                       U.S. COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH 
                             COMPETITIVENESS ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 1297

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                 July 22, 2015.--Ordered to be printed
                 
                 
                                 ___________
                                 
                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
                             WASHINGTON :                          
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                    one hundred fourteenth congress
                             first session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
 ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
 MARCO RUBIO, Florida                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
 KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
 TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
 DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
 JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  ED MARKEY, Massachusetts
 DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey
 RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TOM UDALL, New Mexico
 DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  JOE MANCHIN, West Virginia
 CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY PETERS, Michigan
 STEVE DAINES, Montana
                    David Schwietert, Staff Director
                   Nick Rossi, Deputy Staff Director
                    Rebecca Seidel, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director
                 Clint Odom, Democratic General Counsel
                                                       Calendar No. 159
114th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     114-88

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


            U.S. COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH COMPETITIVENESS ACT

                                _______
                                

                 July 22, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1297]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1297) to update the Commercial 
Space Launch Act by amending title 51, United States Code, to 
promote competitiveness of the U.S. commercial space sector, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment (in the nature of a 
substitute) and recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 1297, the U.S. Commercial Space Launch 
Competitiveness Act of 2015, as reported, is to update the 
Commercial Space Launch Act by amending title 51, United States 
Code, to promote competitiveness of the U.S. commercial space 
sector, and for other purposes.

                          Background and Needs

    On January 25, 1984, President Reagan stated in his State 
of the Union address that the market for space transportation 
could surpass our capacity to develop it, and that companies 
interested in putting payloads into space must have access to 
private sector launch services. President Reagan issued 
Executive Order 12465, which designated the Department of 
Transportation (DOT) to take the lead on encouraging and 
facilitating commercial space activities by the private sector. 
Soon thereafter, Congress passed the Commercial Space Launch 
Act of 1984 (CSLA) (P.L. 98-575). The CSLA has been amended 
several times, most notably in 1988 and 2004, with the creation 
of an indemnification risk sharing regime and a learning period 
allowing the industry time to mature before additional 
regulations could be imposed. In addition to laying out the 
licensure process to ensure the safety of launches, the CSLA 
provides authority to the Secretary of Transportation 
(Secretary) to indemnify a launch provider from third-party 
claims, subject to additional appropriations and after the 
provider's insurance is exhausted, should an accident occur.
    S. 1297 would provide necessary updates to the CSLA that 
reflect the needs of a growing U.S. commercial human space 
flight industry that is continuing to develop and mature. The 
bill would encourage the competitiveness of the U.S. commercial 
space industry in the global commercial space marketplace.
    The U.S. commercial human space flight industry continues 
to work toward a future of providing safe trips to and from 
space for paying customers on a regular basis. In many cases, 
launch vehicles that could transport humans could have other 
commercial applications, such as the transportation of cargo, 
commercial remote sensing, microgravity research, and 
atmospheric research. The industry has made much progress over 
the last decade, from flight tests to regular cargo resupply 
missions to the International Space Station (ISS).
    The Office of Commercial Space Transportation was first 
established by the CSLA as part of the Office of the Secretary 
of Transportation. In 1995, the office was transferred to the 
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), laying the groundwork 
for a regulatory regime for FAA-licensed commercial space 
launches. Now known by the acronym ``AST,'' derived from the 
Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, 
the purpose of the office is to regulate the U.S. commercial 
space transportation industry, ensure compliance with 
applicable international obligations of the United States, and 
to protect the public health, safety, safety of property, and 
national security and foreign policy interests of the United 
States. In doing so, AST issues licenses and permits for 
commercial launch and reentry activities, as well as the 
operation of launch and reentry sites within the United States 
or as carried out by U.S. citizens. By contrast, the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is not a regulatory 
agency; so, while NASA has funded some development of 
commercial space vehicles, the FAA (as designated by the 
Secretary) is the regulatory authority for licensure of 
commercial space launch activities.
    As activity in the commercial launch industry has increased 
in recent years, the FAA has started to consider the potential 
for an expansion of its licensing and regulatory activities 
regarding commercial space flights. Under current law, however, 
the FAA is constrained from proposing or implementing new 
regulations governing commercial space flight that would affect 
the operations of the crew transportation capabilities 
currently under development. The moratorium on such regulations 
during the industry's ``learning period'' was first enacted 
under section 2(c) of the CSLA Amendments of 2004 (118 Stat. 
3977), and in 2012 was extended through September 30, 2015 (51 
U.S.C. 50905(c)), with the rationale that FAA regulatory 
burdens on the relatively new and rapidly evolving commercial 
space launch industry could slow innovation, particularly when 
it remains to be clear which areas the FAA should regulate. 
Congress has indicated it wants the FAA to be in discussions 
with industry regarding safety, and excepted from this 
regulatory moratorium are potential new regulations on vehicle 
design or operation that stem from design issues that have 
contributed to a serious or fatal accident. Additionally, space 
flight participants participate under an informed consent risk 
regime. Current restrictions on FAA regulation authority apply 
only to those regulations intended to protect the safety of 
crew and spaceflight participants, and this legislation would 
add government astronauts. There are no such restrictions on 
regulations protecting the safety of the uninvolved public.
    The current commercial space launch indemnification for 
third-party losses resulting from launch-related activities 
dates back to 1988. Congress has extended the indemnification 
authority seven times since the original enactment. To date, 
this indemnification risk sharing regime has never been 
activated. The current extension expires on December 31, 2016 
(51 U.S.C. 50915(f)). Other countries with launch activities 
provide similar launch indemnity programs. However, according 
to the Government Accountability Office testimony before the 
Subcommittee on Space of the Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology of the House of Representative on February 4, 2014, 
as of July 2012, the United States provided less third party 
liability coverage than China, France, or Russia, the primary 
countries that have conducted commercial space launches in the 
last 5 years. These countries each had an indemnification 
regime in which the government states that it would assume an 
even greater share of the risk compared to that of the United 
States because each country had a two-tiered system with no 
limit on the amount of government indemnification.
    Under the current risk mitigation regime, the operator is 
responsible for damage to: (1) third parties, which Congress 
has defined as persons not involved in the launch or reentry; 
and (2) damage to Government property. Operators must maintain 
minimum levels of financial responsibility by insurance or 
otherwise in an amount that would cover the maximum probable 
loss (MPL) from third-party claims as calculated by the FAA. 
The FAA's regulations define the MPL (the first tier of risk) 
to mean the greatest dollar amount of loss for bodily injury or 
property damage that is reasonably expected to result from a 
licensed or permitted activity. An operator's responsibility 
for the risk of the MPL is limited to no more than $500 million 
for potential third party liability and no more than $100 
million for damage to government property. Indemnified damages 
above the MPL would be covered only by additional 
appropriations. The Government's liability for third party 
claims above the MPL amount is capped at $1.5 billion in 1989 
dollars, adjusted for inflation. Claims above this threshold 
revert back to the licensee.

                         Summary of Provisions

    S. 1297 would extend the existing liability indemnification 
regime for the commercial space transportation industry for a 
period of four years through 2020. The bill also would require 
the Secretary, in consultation with the commercial space sector 
and insurance providers, to evaluate the methodology used to 
calculate the MPL and, if necessary, develop a plan to update 
the methodology.
    S. 1297 also would extend the regulatory moratorium 
(existing industry ``learning period'') for a period of five 
years. The bill would provide statutory construction to clarify 
that the Secretary is authorized to discuss potential 
regulatory approaches with the commercial space sector during 
the learning period prior to issuance of any proposed rules 
when authorized. It is the intent of the Committee that the 
commercial space industry continue to develop voluntary 
consensus standards even before regulatory authority is vested 
to the Secretary and, as such, the bill would direct the 
Secretary to facilitate such voluntary consensus standards 
development as the commercial space sector continues to mature.
    The Committee recognizes that while Congress can, from time 
to time, extend the learning period, there may be objective 
metrics that would indicate a proper level of maturity for the 
commercial space industry to be fit for regulation. S. 1297 
would direct the Secretary, in consultation with the commercial 
space sector, to submit to the appropriate committees of 
Congress a report specifying such metrics for consideration.
    The Committee also recognizes that the FAA has not been 
clear about which areas the agency should regulate first if it 
had more authority. To prevent regulatory uncertainty, and to 
provide Congress with foresight as to what the FAA would do 
with more regulatory authority, the bill would direct the 
Secretary to report every two years to the appropriate 
committees of Congress the commercial space activities most 
appropriate for regulatory action, if any, and a proposed 
transition plan for such regulations. At least two such reports 
would be produced within the window of the extended learning 
period to inform Congress as to the appropriateness of any 
disposition of the learning period in the future.
    S. 1297 also would require the Secretary to submit a report 
to Congress for streamlining the licensing and permitting of 
hybrid rocket systems. Further, the bill would amend current 
law to ensure that an experimental permit for a suborbital 
rocket or suborbital rocket design would not be automatically 
invalidated when a license is issued for launch or reentry of 
that same design.
    In addition, the bill would direct the White House Office 
of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to recommend approaches 
for oversight of commercial non-governmental activities 
conducted in space. The bill also would require the Secretary, 
in concurrence with the Secretary of Defense, to report on the 
feasibility of processing and releasing space situational 
awareness data.
    Further, the bill would define government astronauts as a 
separate class of individuals that includes certain government 
employees or an international partner astronaut, who are 
carried within a launch vehicle or reentry vehicle. The bill 
also would require the Secretary to report to Congress on 
recommendations to streamline regulations for commercial launch 
and reentry operations. Finally, the bill would authorize NASA 
to extend the operation of the ISS through at least 2024.

                          Legislative History

    Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), the chairman of the Space, 
Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee of the Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate introduced 
S. 1297 on May 12, 2015. The bill's original co-sponsors 
included Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Senators Gary 
Peters (D-MI), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Cory Gardner (R-CO). The 
bill is also cosponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM). S. 1297 
was referred to the Committee on May 12, 2015.
    On February 24, 2015, Senator Cruz, as chairman of the 
subcommittee, held a hearing entitled, ``U.S. Human Exploration 
Goals and Commercial Space Competitiveness.'' At the hearing 
the subcommittee examined, among other issues, the role of the 
commercial space industry and its contributions to U.S. global 
competitiveness, as well as necessary updates to the CSLA.
    On May 20, 2015, the Committee met in open Executive 
Session and by voice vote ordered S. 1297 to be reported 
favorably with an amendment in the nature of a substitute. An 
amendment submitted by Senator Wicker was accepted by voice 
vote. That amendment would insert at the end of section 6 of 
the Act language directing that the report required by the 
section also include an assessment of the use of existing 
private and government test infrastructure, as appropriate, in 
future licensing activities,
    The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives Kevin 
McCarthy (R-CA), along with Science, Space, and Technology 
Committee of the House of Representatives Chairman Lamar Smith 
(R-TX), Representatives Steven Palazzo (R-MS), and ten 
additional cosponsors, introduced H.R. 2262, the Spurring 
Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act 
(SPACE Act) of 2015 on May 12, 2015, which includes some 
similar provisions as S. 1297. The legislation was reported 
favorably by the Science, Space, and Technology Committee of 
the House of Representatives by a vote of 18 to 13 on May 13, 
2015. The introduced version of the SPACE Act would have 
extended the regulatory moratorium (existing industry 
``learning period'') through 2023; however, an amendment 
offered at markup by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA) was 
accepted by a vote of 18 to 12 that would further extend the 
learning period through 2025. On May 18, 2015, the Rules 
Committee of the House of Representative attached to the SPACE 
Act three other commercial space related bills (H.R. 1508, H.R. 
2261, and H.R. 2263) that also passed the Science, Space and 
Technology Committee of the House of Representatives on May 13, 
2015. On May 21, 2015, the House of Representatives approved by 
a vote of 284 to 133 the SPACE Act, which included the 
additional three bills as one combined package, and then the 
bill was referred to the Senate.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 1297--U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act

    S. 1297 would authorize the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration (NASA) to continue to maintain and operate the 
International Space Station (ISS) through 2024. Currently, NASA 
is authorized to engage in those activities through 2020. The 
legislation would require the Department of Transportation 
(DOT) and NASA to submit various reports to the Congress 
regarding commercial space operations and services, industry 
practices, as well as to assess potential liabilities 
associated with commercial space launches. In addition, the 
legislation would allow greater flexibility to private firms 
seeking launch licenses from DOT and it would encourage 
advances in launch safety regulations.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 1297 would cost less 
than $500,000 over the 2016-2020 period and about $14.3 billion 
over the 2016-2025 period, assuming appropriation of the 
necessary amounts. Enacting S. 1297 would not affect direct 
spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do 
not apply.
    S. 1297 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effects of S. 1297 are shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 250 
(general science, space, and technology).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021    2022    2023    2024    2025  2016-2020  2016-2025
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     NET CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APROPRIATION
 
Estimated Authorization Level...........................      *      0      0      0      0   3,470   3,549   3,627   3,710      0         0      14,356
Estimated Outlays.......................................      *      0      0      0      0   2,568   3,459   3,605   3,687    963         0      14,282
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: * = Less than $500,000.

    Basis of estimate: S. 1297 would authorize NASA to continue 
the ISS program during the 2020-2024 period. In 2014, NASA 
spent about $3 billion on ISS operations. CBO's estimate of the 
cost to continue ISS operations are based on historical funding 
and spending patterns, including an adjustment for anticipated 
inflation. Currently, NASA is authorized to fund the ISS 
through FY 2020; therefore additional spending by the federal 
government for that program would begin in FY 2021, assuming 
appropriation of necessary amounts. CBO estimates that 
preparing the additional reports to the Congress would cost 
less than $500,000 in 2016. Enacting S. 1297 would not affect 
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Estimated intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 
1297 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates 
as defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, 
or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Marin Burnett; Impact 
on state, local, and tribal governments: Jon Sperl; Impact on 
the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    S. 1297 would update, extend, and streamline existing 
activities of the FAA AST. Accordingly, the number of persons 
covered should be largely consistent with the current levels of 
individuals and businesses covered by the provisions of law 
addressed in the bill.

                            economic impact

    S. 1297 would not authorize any new direct spending and is 
therefore not expected to have an inflationary or adverse 
economic impact on the Nation. It is anticipated that there 
would be a positive economic impact from the bill since the 
language would promote competitiveness of a growing U.S. 
commercial space sector and prevent unnecessary regulatory 
burdens.

                                privacy

    S. 1297 would not have an adverse impact on the personal 
privacy of individuals affected.

                               paperwork

    The reporting requirements in S. 1297 are not expected to 
significantly increase the paperwork requirements for private 
individuals or businesses since the bill would only impact 
businesses already subject to FAA's permitting and licensing 
requirements. Indeed, it is anticipated that the streamlining 
provisions of the bill may reduce paperwork requirements for 
regulated businesses. The bill would require the Federal 
Government to produce six reports within one year. In addition, 
there are two Government reports that would be due beginning on 
December 31, 2016, and biennially thereafter.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would designate the short title of this bill 
as the ``U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act.''

Section 2. References to title 51, United States Code.

    This section would clarify that any amendments to or 
repeals of a section or provision are to title 51 of the United 
States Code, unless otherwise stated.

Section 3. Liability insurance and financial responsibility 
        requirements.

    This section would require the Secretary, in consultation 
with the commercial space sector and insurance providers, to 
evaluate and, if necessary, develop a plan to update the 
methodology used to calculate the MPL from third party claims. 
The Secretary would be required to submit the evaluation, and 
any plan, to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives by 
September 30, 2015. It is the intent of the Committee to 
prevent the Government from requiring launch companies to 
purchase more insurance coverage than is necessary.

Section 4. Launch liability extension.

    This section would extend liability insurance and financial 
responsibility requirements under section 50915 of title 51 of 
the United States Code, for licensed commercial launch and 
reentry activities, subject to MPL insurance requirements, from 
December 31, 2016, through December 31, 2020. The Committee has 
received compelling testimony that a stable, long-term, third 
party liability risk-sharing regime between the Government and 
licensees is important to the international competitiveness of 
the U.S. commercial space transportation industry.

Section 5. Commercial space launch licensing and experimental permits.

    This section would amend current law to ensure that an 
experimental permit for a suborbital rocket or suborbital 
rocket design would not be automatically invalidated when a 
license is issued for launch or reentry of that same design. 
Allowable testing under an experimental permit would be 
broadened to include research and development for existing - 
rather than solely for new - design concepts, equipment, or 
operating techniques. This section is based upon S. 592, a bill 
sponsored by Senator Rubio (R-FL) with Senators Martin Heinrich 
(D-NM) and Tom Udall (D-NM) that was introduced on February 26, 
2015. A similar bill was approved by the Committee in the 113th 
Congress but had no further action in the Senate.

Section 6. Licensing report.

    This section would require the Secretary to submit a report 
to Congress, no later than 120 days after the date of 
enactment, on approaches for streamlining the licensing and 
permitting process for hybrid rocket systems that use a carrier 
aircraft (non-launch) to carry the suborbital vehicle (for 
launch) to a certain altitude where it will be released. It is 
the intent of the Committee that any proposed approaches for 
streamlining for the licensing and permitting processes would 
not authorize substitution of space launch certification for 
the regulatory requirements for space flight participants that 
would otherwise assure safety for regulated airspace passengers 
under the certification under part 121 of title 14 of the Code 
of Federal Regulations.
    Additionally, this section also would require the report to 
include an assessment of existing private and Federal 
Government test infrastructure. It is the intent of the 
Committee that the commercial space sector should have the 
option to choose between utilizing private or Federal 
Government test infrastructure to collect data that may inform 
future launch licensing or permitting activities.

Section 7. Space authority.

    This section would require the OSTP to consult with the 
DOT, State Department, NASA, and other relevant Federal 
agencies, as necessary, to submit an assessment and recommended 
approaches for oversight of commercial non-governmental 
activities conducted in space that would prioritize safety, 
utilize existing authorities, minimize burdens, promote the 
U.S. commercial space sector, and meet U.S. obligations under 
international treaties. The report to Congress would be 
required no later than 120 days after the date of enactment. It 
is the intent of the Committee that the assessment conducted by 
OSTP of current and proposed near-term, commercial non-
governmental activities conducted in space also would include 
activities on, or making use of, other celestial bodies, such 
as asteroids or the moon. The report should examine and provide 
recommendations to address issues related to resource 
utilization, property rights, and non-interference that might 
arise from such activities.

Section 8. Space surveillance and situational awareness data.

    This section would require the Secretary, in concurrence 
with the Secretary of Defense, to consult with other relevant 
Federal agencies as necessary to submit a report to Congress, 
no later than 120 days after the date of enactment, on the 
feasibility of processing and releasing safety-related space 
situational awareness data to any entity (consistent with 
national security interests and public safety obligations of 
the United States) on the position and trajectories of objects 
in space.

Section 9. Extension of certain safety regulation requirements.

    This section would extend the time that the Secretary has 
to issue a final rule for certain regulations on the commercial 
space flight industry, also known as the learning period, from 
October 1, 2015, to October 1, 2020. This section also would 
codify a construction clarifying that the DOT may discuss 
potential regulatory approaches with the commercial space 
sector prior to the issuance of a notice of proposed 
rulemaking. This section also would direct the DOT to report to 
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of 
the House of Representatives, no later than 270 days after the 
date of enactment, on the identification of key industry 
metrics that may indicate readiness of the commercial space 
sector and the DOT to transition to a regulatory approach. 
Further, this section would require that the Secretary to 
submit a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives beginning 
on December 31, 2016, and biennially thereafter, identifying 
the activities most appropriate for regulatory action, if any, 
and a proposed transition plan for such regulations.

Section 10. Industry voluntary consensus standards.

    This section would require the Secretary to continue work 
with the commercial space sector, including the Commercial 
Space Transportation Advisory Committee, to facilitate the 
development of voluntary consensus standards based on 
recommended best practices as the commercial space sector 
continues to mature. Further, this section would require that 
the Secretary, in consultation with the commercial space 
sector, report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, 
Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives beginning 
on December 31, 2016, and biennially thereafter, detailing the 
progress the commercial space sector has made with the 
development of industry voluntary consensus standards.

Section 11. Government astronauts.

    This section would establish ``government astronaut'' as a 
separate class of individuals from crew and space flight 
participants to reflect the status of certain government 
employees or an international partner astronaut carried within 
a launch vehicle or reentry vehicle. The addition of government 
astronaut as a distinct category would allow the DOT and NASA 
to exclude government astronauts from commercial license 
requirements that should not be applicable to certain 
government employees.

Section 12. Streamline commercial space launch activities.

    This section would require the Secretary, in overseeing and 
coordinating commercial launch and reentry operations, to 
consult with the Secretary of Defense, NASA Administrator, and 
other Federal agencies, as appropriate, to work together to 
reduce the regulatory burden on the commercial space industry 
launching from federally-owned installations. The section also 
would require the Secretary to report on unnecessary 
requirements and approvals, any existing efforts for working 
across Federal agencies to resolve such issues, and 
recommendations for further streamlining commercial launch and 
reentry operations among multiple Federal agencies.

Section 13. Operation and utilization of the ISS.

    This section would extend the operation and utilization of 
the ISS through at least 2024 by directing the NASA 
Administrator to take all the necessary steps to ensure the ISS 
remains a viable and productive facility capable of 
utilization, including its use for scientific research and 
commercial applications. This section would not authorize 
appropriations for such activities.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, 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 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

            TITLE 51. NATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL SPACE PROGRAMS


        SUBTITLE V. PROGRAMS TARGETING COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES

            CHAPTER 509. COMMERCIAL SPACE LAUNCH ACTIVITIES

Sec. 50901. Findings and purposes

  (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
          (1) the peaceful uses of outer space continue to be 
        of great value and to offer benefits to all mankind;
          (2) private applications of space technology have 
        achieved a significant level of commercial and economic 
        activity and offer the potential for growth in the 
        future, particularly in the United States;
          (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 
        launching, reentry, and associated services that would 
        complement the launching, reentry, and associated 
        capabilities of the United States Government;
          (5) the development of commercial launch vehicles, 
        reentry vehicles, and associated services would enable 
        the United States to retain its competitive position 
        internationally, contributing to the national interest 
        and economic well-being of the United States;
          (6) providing launch services and reentry services by 
        the private sector is consistent with the national 
        security and foreign policy interests of the United 
        States and would be facilitated by stable, minimal, and 
        appropriate regulatory guidelines that are fairly and 
        expeditiously applied;
          (7) the United States should encourage private sector 
        launches, reentries, and associated services and, only 
        to the extent necessary, regulate those launches, 
        reentries, and services to ensure compliance with 
        international obligations of the United States and to 
        protect the public health and safety, safety of 
        property, and national security and foreign policy 
        interests of the United States;
          (8) space transportation, including the establishment 
        and operation of launch sites, reentry sites, and 
        complementary facilities, the providing of launch 
        services and reentry services, the establishment of 
        support facilities, and the providing of support 
        services, is an important element of the transportation 
        system of the United States, and in connection with the 
        commerce of the United States there is a need to 
        develop a strong space transportation infrastructure 
        with significant private sector involvement;
          (9) the participation of State governments in 
        encouraging and facilitating private sector involvement 
        in space-related activity, particularly through the 
        establishment of a space transportation-related 
        infrastructure, including launch sites, reentry sites, 
        complementary facilities, and launch site and reentry 
        site support facilities, is in the national interest 
        and is of significant public benefit;
          (10) the goal of safely opening space to the American 
        people and their private commercial, scientific, and 
        cultural enterprises should guide Federal space 
        investments, policies, and regulations;
          (11) private industry has begun to develop commercial 
        launch vehicles capable of carrying human beings into 
        space and greater private investment in these efforts 
        will stimulate the Nation's commercial space 
        transportation industry as a whole;
          (12) space transportation is inherently risky, and 
        the future of the commercial human space flight 
        industry will depend on its ability to continually 
        improve its safety performance;
          (13) a critical area of responsibility for the 
        Department of Transportation is to regulate the 
        operations and safety of the emerging commercial human 
        space flight industry;
          (14) the public interest is served by creating a 
        clear legal, regulatory, and safety regime for 
        commercial human space flight; and
          (15) the regulatory standards governing human space 
        flight must evolve as the industry matures so that 
        regulations neither stifle technology development nor 
        expose crew, government astronauts, or space flight 
        participants to avoidable risks as the public comes to 
        expect greater safety for crew, government astronauts, 
        and space flight participants from the industry.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 50902. Definitions

  In this chapter--
          (1) ``citizen of the United States'' means--
                  (A) an individual who is a citizen of the 
                United States;
                  (B) an entity organized or existing under the 
                laws of the United States or a State; or
                  (C) an entity organized or existing under the 
                laws of a foreign country if the controlling 
                interest (as defined by the Secretary of 
                Transportation) is held by an individual or 
                entity described in subclause (A) or (B) of 
                this clause.
          (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.
          (3) ``executive agency'' has the same meaning given 
        that term in section 105 of title 5.
          (4) ``government astronaut'' means an individual 
        who--
                  (A) is either--
                          (i) an employee of the United States 
                        Government, including the uniformed 
                        services, engaged in the performance of 
                        a Federal function under authority of 
                        law or an Executive act; or
                          (ii) an international partner 
                        astronaut;
                  (B) is identified by the Administrator of the 
                National Aeronautics and Space Administration;
                  (C) is carried within a launch vehicle or 
                reentry vehicle; and
                  (D) may perform or may not perform activities 
                directly relating to the launch, reentry, or 
                other operation of the launch vehicle or 
                reentry vehicle.
          (5) ``international partner astronaut'' means an 
        individual designated under Article 11 of the 
        International Space Station Intergovernmental 
        Agreement, by a partner to that agreement other than 
        the United States, as qualified to serve as an 
        International Space Station crew [member.
          (6) ``International Space Station Intergovernmental 
        Agreement'' means the Agreement Concerning Cooperation 
        on the International Space Station, signed at 
        Washington January 29, 1998 (TIAS 12927).
          [(4)] (7) ``launch'' means to place or try to place a 
        launch vehicle or reentry vehicle [and any payload, 
        crew, or space flight participant] and any payload or 
        human being from Earth--
                  (A) in a suborbital trajectory;
                  (B) in Earth orbit in outer space; or
                  (C) otherwise in outer space,
          including activities involved in the preparation of a 
        launch vehicle or payload for launch, when those 
        activities take place at a launch site in the United 
        States.
          [(5)] (8) ``launch property'' means an item built 
        for, or used in, the launch preparation or launch of a 
        launch vehicle.
          [(6)](9) ``launch services'' means--
                  (A) activities involved in the preparation of 
                a launch vehicle, [payload, crew (including 
                crew training), or space flight participant] 
                payload, crew (including crew training), 
                government astronaut, or space flight 
                participant for launch; and
                  (B) the conduct of a launch.
          [(7)](10) ``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.
          [(8)](11) ``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.
          [(9)](12) ``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.
          [(10)](13) ``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)](14) except in section 50904(c), ``permit'' 
        means an experimental permit issued under section 
        50906.
          [(12)](15) ``person'' means an individual and an 
        entity organized or existing under the laws of a State 
        or country.
          [(13)](16) ``reenter'' and ``reentry'' mean to return 
        or attempt to return, purposefully, a reentry vehicle 
        [and its payload, crew, or space flight participants, 
        if any,] and its payload or human beings, if any, from 
        Earth orbit or from outer space to Earth.
          [(14)](17) ``reentry services'' means--
                  (A) activities involved in the preparation of 
                a reentry vehicle and [payload, crew (including 
                crew training), or space flight participant, if 
                any,] payload, crew (including crew training), 
                government astronaut, or space flight 
                participant, if any, for reentry; and
                  (B) the conduct of a reentry.
          [(15)](18) ``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).
          [(16)](19) ``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)](20) [``space flight participant'' means an 
        individual, who is not crew, carried within a launch 
        vehicle or reentry vehicle.]
          (20) ``space flight participant'' means an 
        individual, who is not crew or a government astronaut, 
        carried within a launch vehicle or reentry vehicle.
          [(18)](21) ``State'' means a State of the United 
        States, the District of Columbia, and a territory or 
        possession of the United States.
          [(19)](22) unless and until regulations take effect 
        under section 50922(c)(2), ``suborbital rocket'' means 
        a vehicle, rocket-propelled in whole or in part, 
        intended for flight on a suborbital trajectory, and the 
        thrust of which is greater than its lift for the 
        majority of the rocket-powered portion of its ascent.
          [(20)](23) ``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.
          [(21)](24) ``third party'' means a person except--
                  (A) the United States Government or the 
                Government's contractors or subcontractors 
                involved in launch services or reentry 
                services;
                  (B) a licensee or transferee under this 
                chapter;
                  (C) a licensee's or transferee's contractors, 
                subcontractors, or customers involved in launch 
                services or reentry services;
                  (D) the customer's contractors or 
                subcontractors involved in launch services or 
                reentry services; or
                  (E) crew, government astronauts, or space 
                flight participants.
          [(22)](25) ``United States'' means the States of the 
        United States, the District of Columbia, and the 
        territories and possessions of the United States.

Sec. 50904. Restrictions on launches, operations, and reentries

  (d) Single License or Permit.--The Secretary of 
Transportation shall ensure that only 1 license or permit is 
required from the Department of Transportation to conduct 
[activities involving crew or space flight participants] 
activities involving crew, government astronauts, or space 
flight participants, including launch and reentry, for which a 
license or permit is required under this chapter. The Secretary 
shall ensure that all Department of Transportation regulations 
relevant to the licensed or permitted activity are satisfied.

Sec. 50905. License applications and requirements

  (a) Applications.--
          (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), 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). 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 the 
        Secretary has not taken action on a license application 
        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 approval procedures 
        for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of 
        [crews and space flight participants] crew, government 
        astronauts, and space flight participants, to the 
        extent permitted by subsections (b) and (c)) that may 
        be used in conducting licensed commercial space launch 
        or reentry activities.
  (b) 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) 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;
                  (D) additional license requirements, for a 
                launch vehicle carrying a human being for 
                compensation or hire, necessary to protect the 
                health and safety of [crew or space flight 
                participants] crew, government astronauts, or 
                space flight participants, only if such 
                requirements are imposed pursuant to final 
                regulations issued in accordance with 
                subsection (c); and
                  (E) 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. The Secretary may not grant a waiver 
        under this paragraph that would permit 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;
                  (B) the holder of the license or permit has 
                informed any individual serving as crew in 
                writing, prior to executing any contract or 
                other arrangement to employ that individual 
                (or, in the case of an individual already 
                employed as of the date of enactment of the 
                Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, 
                as early as possible, but in any event prior to 
                any launch in which the individual will 
                participate as crew), that the United States 
                Government has not certified the launch vehicle 
                as safe for carrying crew or space flight 
                participants; and
                  (C) 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 and reentry, including the safety record 
                of the launch or reentry vehicle type, and the 
                Secretary has informed the space flight 
                participant in writing of any relevant 
                information related to risk or probable loss 
                during each phase of flight gathered by the 
                Secretary in making the determination required 
                by section 50914(a)(2) and (c);
                  (B) the holder of the license or permit has 
                informed any space flight participant in 
                writing, prior to receiving any compensation 
                from that space flight participant or (in the 
                case of a space flight participant not 
                providing compensation) otherwise concluding 
                any agreement to fly that space flight 
                participant, that the United States Government 
                has not certified the launch vehicle as safe 
                for carrying crew or space flight participants;
                  (C) in accordance with regulations 
                promulgated by the Secretary, the space flight 
                participant has provided written informed 
                consent to participate in the launch and 
                reentry and written certification of compliance 
                with any regulations promulgated under 
                paragraph (6)(A); and
                  (D) the holder of the license or permit has 
                complied with any regulations promulgated by 
                the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (6).
          (6)(A) The Secretary may issue regulations requiring 
        space flight participants to undergo an appropriate 
        physical examination prior to a launch or reentry under 
        this chapter. This subparagraph shall cease to be in 
        effect three years after the date of enactment of the 
        Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.
                  (B) The Secretary may issue additional 
                regulations setting reasonable requirements for 
                space flight participants, including medical 
                and training requirements. Such regulations 
                shall not be effective before the expiration of 
                3 years after the date of enactment of the 
                Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.
  (c) Safety Regulations.--
          (1) The Secretary may issue regulations governing the 
        design or operation of a launch vehicle to protect the 
        health and safety of [crew and space flight 
        participants] crew, government astronauts, and space 
        flight participants.
          (2) Regulations issued under this subsection shall--
                  (A) describe how such regulations would be 
                applied when the Secretary is determining 
                whether to issue a license under this chapter;
                  (B) apply only to launches in which a vehicle 
                will be carrying a human being for compensation 
                or hire;
                  (C) be limited to restricting or prohibiting 
                design features or operating practices that--
                          (i) have resulted in a serious or 
                        fatal injury (as defined in 49 CFR 830, 
                        as in effect on November 10, 2004) [to 
                        crew or space flight participants] to 
                        crew, government astronauts, or space 
                        flight participants during a licensed 
                        or permitted commercial human space 
                        flight; or
                          (ii) contributed to an unplanned 
                        event or series of events during a 
                        licensed or permitted commercial human 
                        space flight that posed a high risk of 
                        causing a serious or fatal injury (as 
                        defined in 49 CFR 830, as in effect on 
                        November 10, 2004) [to crew or space 
                        flight participants] to crew, 
                        government astronauts, or space flight 
                        participants; and
                  (D) be issued with a description of the 
                instance or instances when the design feature 
                or operating practice being restricted or 
                prohibited contributed to a result or event 
                described in subparagraph (C).
          (3) [Beginning on October 1, 2015] Beginning on 
        October 1, 2020, the Secretary may propose regulations 
        under this subsection without regard to paragraph 
        (2)(C) and (D). Any such regulations shall take into 
        consideration the evolving standards of safety in the 
        commercial space flight industry.
          (4) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to 
        limit the authority of the Secretary to issue 
        requirements or regulations to protect the public 
        health and safety, safety of property, national 
        security interests, and foreign policy interests of the 
        United States.
          (5) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to 
        limit the authority of the Secretary to discuss 
        potential regulatory approaches with the commercial 
        space sector, including observations, findings, and 
        recommendations from the Commercial Space 
        Transportation Advisory Committee, prior to the 
        issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking.
          (6) The Secretary shall continue to work with the 
        commercial space sector, including the Commercial Space 
        Transportation Advisory Committee, to facilitate the 
        development of voluntary consensus standards based on 
        recommended best practices to improve the safety of 
        crew, government astronauts, and space flight 
        participants as the commercial space sector continues 
        to mature.
  (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. 50906. Experimental permits

  (a) A person may apply to the Secretary of Transportation for 
an experimental permit under this section in the form and 
manner the Secretary prescribes. Consistent with the protection 
of the public health and safety, safety of property, and 
national security and foreign policy interests of the United 
States, the Secretary, not later than 120 days after receiving 
an application pursuant to this section, 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 90 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 the Secretary has failed 
to act on a permit within the deadline established by this 
section.
  (b) In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary may 
establish procedures for safety approvals of launch vehicles, 
reentry vehicles, safety systems, processes, services, or 
personnel that may be used in conducting commercial space 
launch or reentry activities pursuant to a permit.
  (c) In order to encourage the development of a commercial 
space flight industry, the Secretary may when issuing permits 
use the authority granted under section 50905(b)(2)(C).
  (d) The Secretary may issue a permit only for reusable 
suborbital rockets that will be [launched or reentered] 
launched or reentered under that permit solely for--
          [(1) research and development to test new design 
        concepts, new equipment, or new operating techniques;]
          (1) research and development to test design concepts, 
        equipment, or operating techniques;
          (2) showing compliance with requirements as part of 
        the process for obtaining a license under this chapter; 
        or
          (3) 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.
  (e) Permits issued under this section shall--
          (1) authorize an unlimited number of launches and 
        reentries for a particular [suborbital rocket design] 
        suborbital rocket or suborbital rocket design for the 
        uses described in subsection (d); and
          (2) specify the type of modifications that may be 
        made to the suborbital rocket without changing the 
        design to an extent that would invalidate the permit.
  (f) Permits shall not be transferable.
  [(g) 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.]
  (g) The Secretary may issue a permit under this section 
notwithstanding any license issued under this chapter. The 
issuance of a license under this chapter may not invalidate a 
permit issued under this section.
  (h) No person may operate a reusable suborbital rocket under 
a permit for carrying any property or human being for 
compensation or hire.
  (i) For the purposes of sections 50907, 50908, 50909, 50910, 
50912, 50914, 50917, 50918, 50919, and 50923 of this chapter--
          (1) a permit shall be considered a license;
          (2) the holder of a permit shall be considered a 
        licensee;
          (3) a vehicle operating under a permit shall be 
        considered to be licensed; and
          (4) the issuance of a permit shall be considered 
        licensing.
        This subsection shall not be construed to allow the 
        transfer of a permit.

Sec. 50907. 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 or space flight 
participant training] crew, government astronaut, or space 
flight participant 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 sections 
50904(c), 50905, and 50906 of this title. A licensee must 
cooperate with an observer carrying out this subsection.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 50908. Effective periods, and modifications, suspensions, and 
                    revocations, of licenses

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (d) Additional Suspensions.--
          (1) The Secretary may suspend a license when a 
        previous launch or reentry under the license has 
        resulted in a serious or fatal injury (as defined in 49 
        CFR 830, as in effect on November 10, 2004) [to crew or 
        space flight participants]  to any human being and the 
        Secretary has determined that continued operations 
        under the license are likely to cause additional 
        serious or fatal injury (as defined in 49 CFR 830, as 
        in effect on November 10, 2004) [to crew or space 
        flight participants] to any human being.
          (2) Any suspension imposed under this subsection 
        shall be for as brief a period as possible and, in any 
        event, shall cease when the Secretary--
                  (A) has determined that the licensee has 
                taken sufficient steps to reduce the likelihood 
                of a recurrence of the serious or fatal injury; 
                or
                  (B) has modified the license pursuant to 
                subsection (b) to sufficiently reduce the 
                likelihood of a recurrence of the serious or 
                fatal injury.
          (3) This subsection shall not apply to permits.
  (e) Effective Periods of Modifications, Suspensions, and 
Revocations.--Unless the Secretary specifies otherwise, a 
modification, suspension, or revocation under this section 
takes effect immediately and remains in effect during a review 
under section 50912 of this title.
  (f) Notification.--The Secretary shall notify the licensee in 
writing of the decision of the Secretary under this section and 
any action the Secretary takes or proposes to take based on the 
decision.

Sec. 50915. Paying claims exceeding liability insurance and financial 
                    responsibility requirements

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (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, 
2016] December 31, 2020. This section does not apply to 
permits.

Sec. 50917. Enforcement and penalty

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (b) General Authority.--
          (1) In carrying out this chapter, the Secretary of 
        Transportation may--
                  (A) conduct investigations and inquiries;
                  (B) administer oaths;
                  (C) take affidavits; and
                  (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 or 
                        space flight participant training 
                        site,] crew, government astronaut, or 
                        space flight participant 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
                          (ii) seize the object, record, or 
                        report when there is probable cause to 
                        believe the object, record, or report 
                        was used, is being used, or likely will 
                        be used in violation of this chapter.
          (2) The Secretary may delegate a duty or power under 
        this chapter related to enforcement to an officer or 
        employee of another executive agency with the consent 
        of the head of the agency.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 50919. Relationship to other executive agencies, laws, and 
                    international obligations

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  [(g) Nonapplication.--This chapter does not apply to--
          [(1) a launch, reentry, operation of a launch vehicle 
        or reentry vehicle, operation of a launch site or 
        reentry site, or other space activity the Government 
        carries out for the Government; or
          [(2) planning or policies related to the launch, 
        reentry, operation, or activity.]
  (g) Nonapplication.--
          (1) In general.--This chapter does not apply to--
                  (A) a launch, reentry, operation of a launch 
                vehicle or reentry vehicle, operation of a 
                launch site or reentry site, or other space 
                activity the Government carries out for the 
                Government; or
                  (B) planning or policies related to the 
                launch, reentry, operation, or activity under 
                subparagraph (A).
          (2) Rule of construction.--The following activities 
        are not space activities the Government carries out for 
        the Government under paragraph (1):
                  (A) A government astronaut being carried 
                within a launch vehicle or reentry vehicle 
                under this chapter.
                  (B) A government astronaut performing 
                activities directly relating to the launch, 
                reentry, or other operation of the launch 
                vehicle or reentry vehicle under this chapter.

                     SUBTITLE VII. ACCESS TO SPACE

                CHAPTER 709. INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

[Sec. 70907. Maintaining use through at least 2020

  [The Administrator shall take all necessary steps to ensure 
that the International Space Station remains a viable and 
productive facility capable of potential United States 
utilization through at least 2020 and shall take no steps that 
would preclude its continued operation and utilization by the 
United States after 2015.]

Sec. 70907. Maintaining use through at least 2024

  (a) Policy.--The Administrator shall take all necessary steps 
to ensure that the International Space Station remains a viable 
and productive facility capable of potential United States 
utilization through at least September 30, 2024.
  (b) NASA Actions.--In furtherance of the policy under 
subsection (a), the Administrator shall ensure, to the extent 
practicable, that the International Space Station, as a 
designated national laboratory--
          (1) remains viable as an element of overall 
        exploration and partnership strategies and approaches;
          (2) is considered for use by all NASA mission 
        directorates, as appropriate, for technically 
        appropriate scientific data gathering or technology 
        risk reduction demonstrations; and
          (3) remains an effective, functional vehicle 
        providing research and test bed capabilities for the 
        United States through at least September 30, 2024.

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2010


                       [42 U.S.C. 18301 et seq.]

SEC. 501. CONTINUATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION [THROUGH 
                    2020].

                           [42 U.S.C. 18351]

  (a) Policy of the United States.--It shall be the policy of 
the United States, in consultation with its international 
partners in the ISS program, to support full and complete 
utilization of the ISS [through at least 2020] through at least 
2024.
  (b) NASA Actions.--In furtherance of the policy set forth in 
subsection (a), NASA shall pursue international, commercial, 
and intragovernmental means to maximize ISS logistics supply, 
maintenance, and operational capabilities, reduce risks to ISS 
systems sustainability, and offset and minimize United States 
operations costs relating to the ISS.

SEC. 503. MAINTENANCE OF THE UNITED STATES SEGMENT AND ASSURANCE OF 
                    CONTINUED OPERATIONS OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE 
                    STATION.

                           [42 U.S.C. 18353]

  (a) In General.--The Administrator shall take all actions 
necessary to ensure the safe and effective operation, 
maintenance, and maximum utilization of the United States 
segment of the ISS [through at least September 30, 2020] 
through at least September 30, 2024.
  (b) Vehicle and Component Review.--
          (1) In general.--[In carrying out subsection (a), the 
        Administrator] The Administrator shall, as soon as is 
        practicable after the date of the enactment of this 
        Act, carry out a comprehensive assessment of the 
        essential modules, operational systems and components, 
        structural elements, and permanent scientific equipment 
        on board or planned for delivery and installation 
        aboard the ISS, including both United States and 
        international partner elements, for purposes of 
        identifying the spare or replacement modules, systems 
        and components, elements, and equipment that are 
        required to ensure complete, effective, and safe 
        functioning and full scientific utilization of the ISS 
        through September 30, 2020.
          (2) Data.--In carrying out the assessment, the 
        Administrator shall assemble any existing data, and 
        provide for the development of any data or analysis not 
        currently available, that is necessary for purposes of 
        the assessment.

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SEC. 504. MANAGEMENT OF THE ISS NATIONAL LABORATORY.

[42 U.S.C. 18354]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (d) Research Capacity Allocation and Integration of Research 
Payloads.--
          (1) Allocation of iss research capacity.--As soon as 
        practicable after the date of the enactment of this 
        Act, but not later than October 1, 2011, ISS national 
        laboratory managed experiments shall be guaranteed 
        access to, and utilization of, not less than 50 percent 
        of the United States research capacity allocation, 
        including power, cold stowage, and requisite crew time 
        onboard the ISS through [September 30, 2020] September 
        30, 2024. Access to the ISS research capacity includes 
        provision for the adequate upmass and downmass 
        capabilities to utilize the ISS research capacity, as 
        available. The Administrator may allocate additional 
        capacity to the ISS national laboratory should such 
        capacity be in excess of NASA research requirements.
          (2) Additional research capabilities.--If any NASA 
        research plan is determined to require research 
        capacity onboard the ISS beyond the percentage 
        allocated under paragraph (1), such research plan shall 
        be prepared in the form of a requested research 
        opportunity to be submitted to the process established 
        under this section for the consideration of proposed 
        research within the capacity allocated to the ISS 
        national laboratory. A proposal for such a research 
        plan may include the establishment of partnerships with 
        non-NASA institutions eligible to propose research to 
        be conducted within the ISS national laboratory 
        capacity. Until [September 30, 2020] September 30, 
        2024, the official or employee designated under 
        subsection (b) may grant an exception to this 
        requirement in the case of a proposed experiment 
        considered essential for purposes of preparing for 
        exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, as determined by 
        joint agreement between the organization with which the 
        Administrator enters into a cooperative agreement under 
        subsection (a) and the official or employee designated 
        under subsection (b).
          (3) Research priorities and enhanced capacity.--The 
        organization with which the Administrator enters into 
        the cooperative agreement shall consider 
        recommendations of the National Academies Decadal 
        Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space in 
        establishing research priorities and in developing 
        proposed enhancements of research capacity and 
        opportunities for the ISS national laboratory.
          (4) Responsibility for research payload.--NASA shall 
        retain its roles and responsibilities in providing 
        research payload physical, analytical, and operations 
        integration during pre-flight, post-flight, 
        transportation, and orbital phases essential to ensure 
        safe and effective flight readiness and vehicle 
        integration of research activities approved and 
        prioritized by the organization with which the 
        Administrator enters into the cooperative agreement and 
        the official or employee designated under subsection 
        (b).

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