United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

Selected Examples of National Laws Governing Space Activities: United States of America

 

The National Aeronautics and Space Act

Pub. L. No. 85-568, As Amended



TITLE I--SHORT TITLE, DECLARATION OF POLICY, AND DEFINITIONS

SHORT TITLE
DECLARATION OF POLICY AND PURPOSE
DEFINITIONS

TITLE II--COORDINATION OF AERONAUTICAL AND SPACE ACTIVITIES

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE COUNCIL
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
REPORTS TO CONGRESS
DISPOSAL OF EXCESS LAND

TITLE III--MISCELLANEOUS

NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR AERONAUTICS
TRANSFER OF RELATED FUNCTIONS
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
SECURITY
PROPERTY RIGHTS IN INVENTIONS
CONTRIBUTIONS AWARDS
DEFENSE OF CERTAIN MALPRACTICE AND NEGLIGENCE SUITS
INSURANCE AND INDEMNIFICATION
EXPERIMENTAL AEROSPACE VEHICLE
APPROPRIATIONS
MISUSE OF AGENCY NAME AND INITIALS
CONTRACTS REGARDING EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLES

TITLE IV--UPPER ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH PURPOSE AND POLICY

PURPOSE AND POLICY
DEFINITIONS
PROGRAM AUTHORIZED
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION


AN ACT

To provide for research into problems of flight within and outside the earth's atmosphere, and for other purposes.


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

TITLE I--SHORT TITLE, DECLARATION OF POLICY, AND DEFINITIONS

SHORT TITLE

Sec. 101. This Act may be cited as the "National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958".

DECLARATION OF POLICY AND PURPOSE

Sec. 102. (a) The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind.
(b) The Congress declares that the general welfare and security of the United States require that adequate provision be made for aeronautical and space activities. The Congress further declares that such activities shall be the responsibility of, and shall be directed by, a civilian agency exercising control over aeronautical and space activities sponsored by the United States, except that activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems, military operations, or the defense of the United States (including the research and development necessary to make effective provision for the defense of the United States) shall be the responsibility of, and shall be directed by, the Department of Defense; and that determination as to which such agency has responsibility for and direction of any such activity shall be made by the President in conformity with section 201(e).
(c) The Congress declares that the general welfare of the United States requires that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (as established by title II of this Act) seek and encourage, to the maximum extent possible, the fullest commercial use of space.
(d) The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives:
(1) The expansion of human knowledge of the Earth and of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;
(2) The improvement of the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical and space vehicles;
(3) The development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies, and living organisms through space;
(4) The establishment of long-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from, the opportunities for, and the problems involved in the utilization of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes;
(5) The preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere;
(6) The making available to agencies directly concerned with national defense of discoveries that have military value or significance, and the furnishing by such agencies, to the civilian agency established to direct and control nonmilitary aeronautical and space activities, of information as to discoveries which have value or significance to that agency;
(7) Cooperation by the United States with other nations and groups of nations in work done pursuant to this Act and in the peaceful application of the results thereof;
(8) The most effective utilization of the scientific and engineering resources of the United States, with close cooperation among all interested agencies of the United States in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, facilities, and equipment; and
(9) The preservation of the United States preeminent position in aeronautics and space through research and technology development related to associated manufacturing processes.
(e) The Congress declares that the general welfare of the United States requires that the unique competence in scientific and engineering systems of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration also be directed toward ground propulsion systems research and development. Such development shall be conducted so as to contribute to the objectives of developing energy- and petroleum-conserving ground propulsion systems, and of minimizing the environmental degradation caused by such systems.
(f) The Congress declares that the general welfare of the United States requires that the unique competence of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in science and engineering systems be directed to assisting in bioengineering research, development, and demonstration programs designed to alleviate and minimize the effects of disability.
(g) It is the purpose of this Act to carry out and effectuate the policies declared in subsections (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f).

DEFINITIONS

Sec. 103. As used in this Act--
(1) the term "aeronautical and space activities" means (A) research into, and the solution of, problems of flight within and outside the Earth's atmosphere, (B) the development, construction, testing, and operation for research purposes of aeronautical and space vehicles, (C) the operation of a space transportation system including the Space Shuttle, upper stages, space platforms, and related equipment, and (D) such other activities as may be required for the exploration of space; and
(2) the term "aeronautical and space vehicles" means aircraft, missiles, satellites, and other space vehicles, manned and unmanned, together with related equipment, devices, components, and parts.

TITLE II--COORDINATION OF AERONAUTICAL AND SPACE ACTIVITIES

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE COUNCIL

[Sec. 201. (a) There is hereby established the National Aeronautics and Space Council...]

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

Sec. 202. (a) There is hereby established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (hereinafter called the "Administration"). The Administration shall be headed by an Administrator, who shall be appointed from civilian life by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Under the supervision and direction of the President, the Administrator shall be responsible for the exercise of all powers and the discharge of all duties of the Administration, and shall have authority and control over all personnel and activities thereof.
(b) There shall be in the Administration a Deputy Administrator, who shall be appointed from civilian life by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and shall perform such duties and exercise such powers as the Administrator may prescribe. The Deputy Administrator shall act for, and exercise the powers of, the Administrator during his absence or disability.
(c) The Administrator and the Deputy Administrator shall not engage in any other business, vocation, or employment while serving as such.

FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION

Sec. 203. (a) The Administration, in order to carry out the purpose of this Act, shall--
(1) plan, direct, and conduct aeronautical and space activities;
(2) arrange for participation by the scientific community in planning scientific measurements and observations to be made through use of aeronautical and space vehicles, and conduct or arrange for the conduct of such measurements and observations;
(3) provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof;
(4) seek and encourage, to the maximum extent possible, the fullest commercial use of space; and
(5) encourage and provide for Federal Government use of commercially provided space services and hardware, consistent with the requirements of the Federal Government.
(b)(1) The Administration shall, to the extent of appropriated funds, initiate, support, and carry out such research, development, demonstration, and other related activities in ground propulsion technologies as are provided for in sections 4 through 10 of the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1976.
(2) The Administration shall initiate, support, and carry out such research, development, demonstrations, and other related activities in solar heating and cooling technologies (to the extent that funds are appropriated therefor) as are provided for in sections 5, 6, and 9 of the Solar Heating and Cooling Demonstration Act of 1974.
(c) In the performance of its functions the Administration is authorized--
(1) to make, promulgate, issue, rescind, and amend rules and regulations governing the manner of its operations and the exercise of the powers vested in it by law;
(2) to appoint and fix the compensation of such officers and employees as may be necessary to carry out such functions. Such officers and employees shall be appointed in accordance with the civil-service laws and their compensation fixed in accordance with the Classification Act of 1949, except that (A) to the extent the Administrator deems such action necessary to the discharge of his responsibilities, he may appoint not more than four hundred and twenty-five of the scientific, engineering, and administrative personnel of the Administration without regard to such laws, and may fix the compensation of such personnel not in excess of the highest rate of grade 18 of the General Schedule of the Classification Act of 1949, as amended and (B) to the extent the Administrator deems such action necessary to recruit specially qualified scientific and engineering talent, he may establish the entrance grade for scientific and engineering personnel without previous service in the Federal Government at a level up to two grades higher than the grade provided for such personnel under the General Schedule established by the Classification Act of 1949, and fix their compensation accordingly;
(3) to acquire (by purchase, lease, condemnation, or otherwise), construct, improve, repair, operate, and maintain laboratories, research and testing sites and facilities, aeronautical and space vehicles, quarters and related accommodations for employees and dependents of employees of the Administration, and such other real and personal property (including patents), or any interest therein, as the Administration deems necessary within and outside the continental United States; to acquire by lease or otherwise, through the Administrator of General Services, buildings or parts of buildings in the District of Columbia for the use of the Administration for a period not to exceed ten years without regard to the Act of March 3, 1877 (40 U.S.C. 34); to lease to others such real and personal property; to sell and otherwise dispose of real and personal property (including patents and rights thereunder) in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended (40 U.S.C. 471 et seq.); and to provide by contract or otherwise for cafeterias and other necessary facilities for the welfare of employees of the Administration at its installations and purchase and maintain equipment therefor;
(4) to accept unconditional gifts or donations of services, money, or property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible;
(5) without regard to section 3648 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (31 U.S.C. 529), to enter into and perform such contracts, leases, cooperative agreements, or other transactions as may be necessary in the conduct of its work and on such terms as it may deem appropriate, with any agency or instrumentality of the United States, or with any State, Territory, or possession, or with any political subdivision thereof, or with any person, firm, association, corporation, or educational institution. To the maximum extent practicable and consistent with the accomplishment of the purposes of this Act, such contracts, leases, agreements, and other transactions shall be allocated by the Administrator in a manner which will enable small-business concerns to participate equitably and proportionately in the conduct of the work of the Administration;
(6) to use, with their consent, the services, equipment, personnel, and facilities of Federal and other agencies with or without reimbursement, and on a similar basis to cooperate with other public and private agencies and instrumentalities in the use of services, equipment, and facilities. Each department and agency of the Federal Government shall cooperate fully with the Administration in making its services, equipment, personnel, and facilities available to the Administration, and any such department or agency is authorized, notwithstanding any other provision of law, to transfer to or to receive from the Administration, without reimbursement, aeronautical and space vehicles, and supplies and equipment other than administrative supplies or equipment;
(7) to appoint such advisory committees as may be appropriate for purposes of consultation and advice to the Administration in the performance of its functions;
(8) to establish within the Administration such offices and procedures as may be appropriate to provide for the greatest possible coordination of its activities under this Act with related scientific and other activities being carried on by other public and private agencies and organizations;
(9) to obtain services as authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, but at rates for individuals not to exceed the per diem rate equivalent to the rate for GS-18;
(10) when determined by the Administrator to be necessary, and subject to such security investigations as he may determine to be appropriate, to employ aliens without regard to statutory provisions prohibiting payment of compensation to aliens;
(11) to provide by concession, without regard to section 321 of the Act of June 30, 1932 (47 Stat. 412; 40 U.S.C. 303b), on such terms as the Administrator may deem to be appropriate and to be necessary to protect the concessioner against loss of his investment in property (but not anticipated profits) resulting from the Administration's discretionary acts and decisions, for the construction, maintenance, and operation of all manner of facilities and equipment for visitors to the several installations of the Administration and, in connection therewith, to provide services incident to the dissemination of information concerning its activities to such visitors, without charge or with a reasonable charge therefor (with this authority being in addition to any other authority which the Administration may have to provide facilities, equipment, and services for visitors to its installations). A concession agreement under this paragraph may be negotiated with any qualified proposer following due consideration of all proposals received after reasonable public notice of the intention to contract. The concessioner shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to make a profit commensurate with the capital invested and the obligations assumed, and the consideration paid by him for the concession shall be based on the probable value of such opportunity and not on maximizing revenue to the United States. Each concession agreement shall specify the manner in which the concessioner's records are to be maintained, and shall provide for access to any such records by the Administration and the Comptroller General of the United States for a period of five years after the close of the business year to which such records relate. A concessioner may be accorded a possessory interest, consisting of all incidents of ownership except legal title (which shall vest in the United States), in any structure, fixture, or improvement he constructs or locates upon land owned by the United States; and, with the approval of the Administration, such possessory interest may be assigned, transferred, encumbered, or relinquished by him, and, unless otherwise provided by contract, shall not be extinguished by the expiration or other termination of the concession and may not be taken for public use without just compensation;
(12) with the approval of the President, to enter into cooperative agreements under which members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps may be detailed by the appropriate Secretary for services in the performance of functions under this Act to the same extent as that to which they might be lawfully assigned in the Department of Defense;
(13)(A) to consider, ascertain, adjust, determine, settle, and pay, on behalf of the United States, in full satisfaction thereof, any claim for $25,000 or less against the United States for bodily injury, death, or damage to or loss of real or personal property resulting from the conduct of the Administration's functions as specified in subsection (a) of this section, where such claim is presented to the Administration in writing within two years after the accident or incident out of which the claim arises; and
(B) if the Administration considers that a claim in excess of $25,000 is meritorious and would otherwise be covered by this paragraph, to report the facts and circumstances thereof to the Congress for its consideration; and
(14) Repealed.
Sec. 204. [Civilian-Military Liaison Committee] abolished.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Sec. 205. The Administration, under the foreign policy guidance of the President, may engage in a program of international cooperation in work done pursuant to this Act, and in the peaceful application of the results thereof, pursuant to agreements made by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

REPORTS TO CONGRESS

Sec. 206. (a) The President shall transmit to the Congress in May of each year a report, which shall include (1) a comprehensive description of the programed activities and the accomplishments of all agencies of the United States in the field of aeronautics and space activities during the preceding fiscal year, and (2) an evaluation of such activities and accomplishments in terms of the attainment of, or the failure to attain, the objectives described in section 102(c) of this Act.
(b) Any report made under this section shall contain such recommendations for additional legislation as the Administrator or the President may consider necessary or desirable for the attainment of the objectives described in section 102(c) of this Act.
(c) No information which has been classified for reasons of national security shall be included in any report made under this section, unless such information has been declassified by, or pursuant to authorization given by, the President.

DISPOSAL OF EXCESS LAND

Sec. 207. Notwithstanding the provisions of this or any other law, the Administration may not report to a disposal agency as excess to the needs of the Administration any land having an estimated value in excess of $50,000 which is owned by the United States and under the jurisdiction and control of the Administration, unless (A) a period of thirty days has passed after the receipt by the Speaker and the Committee on Science and Astronautics of the House of Representatives and the President and the Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences of the Senate of a report by the Administrator or his designee containing a full and complete statement of the action proposed to be taken and the facts and circumstances relied upon in support of such action, or (B) each such committee before the expiration of such period has transmitted to the Administrator written notice to the effect that such committee has no objection to the the proposed action.
Sec. 208. [Donations For Space Shuttle Orbiter] authority expired.

TITLE III--MISCELLANEOUS

NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR AERONAUTICS

Sec. 301. (a) The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, on the effective date of this section, shall cease to exist. On such date all functions, powers, duties, and obligations, and all real and personal property, personnel (other than members of the Committee), funds, and records of that organization, shall be transferred to the Administration.
(b) Section 2302 of title 10 of the United States Code is amended by striking out "or the Executive Secretary of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics." and inserting in lieu thereof "or the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration."; and section 2303 of such title 10 is amended by striking out "The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics." and inserting in lieu thereof "The National Aeronautics and Space Administration."
(c) The first section of the Act of August 26, 1950 (5 U.S.C. 22-1), is amended by striking out "the Director, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics" and inserting in lieu thereof "the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration", and by striking out "or National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics" and inserting in lieu thereof "or National Aeronautics and Space Administration".
(d) The Unitary Wind Tunnel Plan Act of 1949 (50 U.S.C. 511-515) is amended (1) by striking out "The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (hereinafter referred to as the 'Committee')" and inserting in lieu thereof "The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (hereinafter referred to as the 'Administrator')"; (2) by striking out "Committee" or "Committee's" wherever they appear and inserting in lieu thereof "Administrator" and "Administrator's", respectively; and (3) by striking out "its" wherever it appears and inserting in lieu thereof "his".
(e) This section shall take effect ninety days after the date of the enactment of this Act, or on any earlier date on which the Administrator shall determine, and announce by proclamation published in the Federal Register, that the Administration has been organized and is prepared to discharge the duties and exercise the powers conferred upon it by this Act.

TRANSFER OF RELATED FUNCTIONS

Sec. 302. (a) Subject to the provisions of this section, the President, for a period of four years after the date of enactment of this Act, may transfer to the Administration any functions (including powers, duties, activities, facilities, and parts of functions) of any other department or agency of the United States or of any officer or organizational entity thereof, which relate primarily to the functions, powers, and duties of the Administration as prescribed by section 203 of this Act. In connection with any such transfer, the President may, under this section or other applicable authority, provide for appropriate transfers of records, property, civilian personnel, and funds.
(b) Whenever any such transfer is made before January 1, 1959, the President shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate a full and complete report concerning the nature and effect of such transfer.
(c) After December 31, 1958, no transfer shall be made under this section until (1) a full and complete report concerning the nature and effect of such proposed transfer has been transmitted by the President to the Congress, and (2) the first period of sixty calendar days of regular session of the Congress following the date of receipt of such report by the Congress has expired without the adoption by the Congress of a concurrent resolution stating that the Congress does not favor such transfer.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION

Sec. 303. (a) Information obtained or developed by the Administrator in the performance of his functions under this Act shall be made available for public inspection; except (A) information authorized or required by Federal statute to be withheld, (B) information classified to protect the national security; and (C) information described in subsection (b): Provided, That nothing in this Act shall authorize the witholding of information by the Administrator from the duly authorized committees of the Congress.
(b) The Administrator, for a period up to 5 years after the development of information that results from activities conducted under an agreement entered into under section 203(c)(5) and (6) of this Act, and that would be a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential under the meaning of section 552(b)(4) of title 5, United States Code, if the information had been obtained from a non-Federal party participating in such an agreement, may provide appropriate protections against the dissemination of such information, including exemption from subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code.

SECURITY

Sec. 304. (a) The Administrator shall establish such security requirements, restrictions, and safeguards as he deems necessary in the interest of the national security. The Administrator may arrange with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management for the conduct of such security or other personnel investigations of the Administration's officers, employees, and consultants, and its contractors and subcontractors and their officers and employees, actual or prospective, as he deems appropriate; and if any such investigation develops any data reflecting that the individual who is the subject thereof is of questionable loyALTy the matter shall be referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the conduct of a full field investigation, the results of which shall be furnished to the Administrator.
(b) The Atomic Energy Commission may authorize any of its employees, or employees of any contractor, prospective contractor, licensee, or prospective licensee of the Atomic Energy Commission or any other person authorized to have access to Restricted Data by the Atomic Energy Commission under subsection 145b. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2165(b)), to permit any member, officer, or employee of the Council, or the Administrator, or any officer, employee, member of an advisory committee, contractor, subcontractor, or officer or employee of a contractor or subcontractor of the Administration, to have access to Restricted Data relating to aeronautical and space activities which is required in the performance of his duties and so certified by the Council or the Administrator, as the case may be, but only if (1) the Council or Administrator or designee thereof has determined, in accordance with the established personnel security procedures and standards of the Council or Administration, that permitting such individual to have access to such Restricted Data will not endanger the common defense and security, and (2) the Council or Administrator or designee thereof finds that the established personnel and other security procedures and standards of the Council or Administration are adequate and in reasonable conformity to the standards established by the Atomic Energy Commission under section 145 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2165). Any individual granted access to such Restricted Data pursuant to this subsection may exchange such Data with any individual who (A) is an officer or employee of the Department of Defense, or any department or agency thereof, or a member of the armed forces, or a contractor or subcontractor of any such department, agency, or armed force, or an officer or employee of any such contractor or subcontractor, and (B) has been authorized to have access to Restricted Data under the provisions of section 143 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2163).
(c)Chapter 37 of title 18 of the United States Code (entitled Espionage and Censorship) is amended by--
(1) adding at the end thereof the following new section:
"� 799. Violation of regulations of National Aeronautics and Space Administration
"Whoever willfully shall violate, attempt to violate, or conspire to violate any regulation or order promulgated by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the protection or security of any laboratory, station, base or other facility, or part thereof, or any aircraft, missile, spacecraft, or similar vehicle, or part thereof, or other property or equipment in the custody of the Administration, or any real or personal property or equipment in the custody of any contractor under any contract with the Administration or any subcontactor of any such contractor, shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."
(2) adding at the end of the sectional analysis thereof the following new item:
"799. Violation of regulations of National Aeronautics and Space Administration."
(d) Section 1114 of title 18 of the United States Code is amended by inserting immediately before "while engaged in the performance of his official duties" the following: "or any officer or employee of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration directed to guard and protect property of the United States under the administration and control of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,".
(e) The Administrator may direct such of the officers and employees of the Administration as he deems necessary in the public interest to carry firearms while in the conduct of their official duties. The Administrator may also authorize such of those employees of the contractors and subcontactors of the Administration engaged in the protection of property owned by the United States and located at facilities owned by or contracted to the United States as he deems necessary in the public interest, to carry firearms while in the conduct of their official duties.
(f) Under regulations to be prescribed by the Administrator and approved by the Attorney General of the United States, those employees of the Administration and of its contractors and subcontractors authorized to carry firearms under subsection (e) may arrest without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony. Persons granted authority to make arrests by this subsection may exercise that authority only while guarding and protecting property owned or leased by, or under the control of, the United States under the administration and control of the Administration or one of its contractors or subcontractors, at facilities owned by or contracted to the Administration.

PROPERTY RIGHTS IN INVENTIONS

Sec. 305. (a) Whenever any invention is made in the performance of any work under any contract of the Administration, and the Administrator determines that--
(1) the person who made the invention was employed or assigned to perform research, development, or exploration work and the invention is related to the work he was employed or assigned to perform, or that it was within the scope of his employment duties, whether or not it was made during working hours, or with a contribution by the Government of the use of Government facilities, equipment, materials, allocated funds, information proprietary to the Government, or services of Government employees during working hours; or
(2) the person who made the invention was not employed or assigned to perform research, development, or exploration work, but the invention is nevertheless related to the contract, or to the work or duties he was employed or assigned to perform, and was made during working hours, or with a contribution from the Government of the sort referred to in clause (1),
such invention shall be the exclusive property of the United States, and if such invention is patentable a patent therefor shall be issued to the United States upon application made by the Administrator, unless the Administrator waives all or any part of the rights of the United States to such invention in conformity with the provisions of subsection (f) of this section.
(b) Each contract entered into by the Administrator with any party for the performance of any work shall contain effective provisions under which such party shall furnish promptly to the Administrator a written report containing full and complete technical information concerning any invention, discovery, improvement, or innovation which may be made in the performance of any such work.
(c) No patent may be issued to any applicant other than the Administrator for any invention which appears to the Commissioner of Patents to have significant utility in the conduct of aeronautical and space activities unless the applicant files with the Commissioner, with the application or within thirty days after request therefor by the Commissioner, a written statement executed under oath setting forth the full facts concerning the circumstances under which such invention was made and stating the relationship (if any) of such invention to the performance of any work under any contract of the Administration. Copies of each such statement and the application to which it relates shall be transmitted forthwith by the Commissioner to the Administrator.
(d) Upon any application as to which any such statement has been transmitted to the Administrator, the Commissioner may, if the invention is patentable, issue a patent to the applicant unless the Administrator, within ninety days after receipt of such application and statement, requests that such patent be issued to him on behalf of the United States. If, within such time, the Administrator files such a request with the Commissioner, the Commissioner shall transmit notice thereof to the applicant, and shall issue such patent to the Administrator unless the applicant within thirty days after receipt of such notice requests a hearing before a Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences on the question whether the Administrator is entitled under this section to receive such patent. The Board may hear and determine, in accordance with rules and procedures established for interference cases, the question so presented, and its determination shall be subject to appeal by the applicant or by the Administrator to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in accordance with procedures governing appeals from decisions of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in other proceedings.
(e) Whenever any patent has been issued to any applicant in conformity with subsection (d), and the Administrator thereafter has reason to believe that the statement filed by the applicant in connection therewith contained any false representation of any material fact, the Administrator within five years after the date of issuance of such patent may file with the Commissioner a request for the transfer to the Administrator of title to such patent on the records of the Commissioner. Notice of any such request shall be transmitted by the Commissioner to the owner of record of such patent, and title to such patent shall be so transferred to the Administrator unless within thirty days after receipt of such notice such owner of record requests a hearing before a Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences on the question whether any such false representation was contained in such statement. Such question shall be heard and determined, and determination thereof shall be subject to review, in the manner prescribed by subsection (d) for questions arising thereunder. No request made by the Administrator under this subsection for the transfer of title to any patent, and no prosecution for the violation of any criminal statute, shall be barred by any failure of the Administrator to make a request under subsection (d) for the issuance of such patent to him, or by any notice previously given by the Administrator stating that he had no objection to the issuance of such patent to the applicant therefor.
(f) Under such regulations in conformity with this subsection as the Administrator shall prescribe, he may waive all or any part of the rights of the United States under this section with respect to any invention or class of inventions made or which may be made by any person or class of persons in the performance of any work required by any contract of the Administration if the Administrator determines that the interests of the United States will be served thereby. Any such waiver may be made upon such terms and under such conditions as the Administrator shall determine to be required for the protection of the interests of the United States. Each such waiver made with respect to any invention shall be subject to the reservation by the Administrator of an irrevocable, nonexclusive, nontransferable, royalty-free license for the practice of such invention throughout the world by or on behalf of the United States or any foreign government pursuant to any treaty or agreement with the United States. Each proposal for any waiver under this subsection shall be referred to an Inventions and Contribution Board which shall be established by the Administrator within the Administration. Such Board shall accord to each interested party an opportunity for hearing, and shall transmit to the Administrator its findings of fact with respect to such proposal and its recommendations for action to be taken with respect thereto.
[(g)] deleted
(h) The Administrator is authorized to take all suitable and necessary steps to protect any invention or discovery to which he has title, and to require that contractors or persons who retain title to inventions or discoveries under this section protect the inventions or discoveries to which the Administration has or may acquire a license of use.
(i) The Administration shall be considered a defense agency of the United States for the purpose of chapter 17 of title 35 of the United States Code.
(j) As used in this section--
(1) the term "person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, institution, or other entity;
(2) the term "contract" means any actual or proposed contract, agreement, understanding, or other arrangement, and includes any assignment, substitution of parties, or subcontract executed or entered into thereunder; and
(3) the term "made", when used in relation to any invention, means the conception or first actual reduction to practice of such invention.
(k) Any object intended for launch, launched, or assembled in outer space shall be considered a vehicle for purpose of section 272 of title 35, United States Code.
(l) The use or manufacture of any patented invention incorporated in a space vehicle launched by the United States Government for a person other than the United States shall not be considered to be a use or manufacture by or for the United States within the meaning of section 1498(a) of title 28, United States Code unless the Administration gives an express authorization or consent for such use or manufacture.

CONTRIBUTIONS AWARDS

Sec. 306. (a) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Administrator is authorized, upon his own initiative or upon application of any person, to make a monetary award, in such amount and upon such terms as he shall determine to be warranted, to any person (as defined by section 305) for any scientific or technical contribution to the Administration which is determined by the Administrator to have significant value in the conduct of aeronautical and space activities. Each application made for any such award shall be referred to the Inventions and Contributions Board established under section 305 of this Act. Such Board shall accord to each such applicant an opportunity for hearing upon such application, and shall transmit to the Administrator its recommendation as to the terms of the award, if any, to be made to such applicant for such contribution. In determining the terms and conditions of any award the Administrator shall take into account--
(1) the value of the contribution to the United States;
(2) the aggregate amount of any sums which have been expended by the applicant for the development of such contribution;
(3) the amount of any compensation (other than salary received for services rendered as an officer or employee of the Government) previously received by the applicant for or on account of the use of such contribution by the United States; and
(4) such other factors as the Administrator shall determine to be material.
(b) If more than one applicant under subsection (a) claims an interest in the same contribution, the Administrator shall ascertain and determine the respective interests of such applicants, and shall apportion any award to be made with respect to such contribution among such applicants in such proportions as he shall determine to be equitable. No award may be made under subsection (a) with respect to any contribution--
(1) unless the applicant surrenders, by such means as the Administrator shall determine to be effective, all claims which such applicant may have to receive any compensation (other than the award made under this section) for the use of such contribution or any element thereof at any time by or on behalf of the United States, or by or on behalf of any foreign government pursuant to any treaty or agreement with the United States, within the United States or at any other place;
(2) in any amount exceeding $100,000, unless the Administrator has transmitted to the appropriate committees of the Congress a full and complete report concerning the amount and terms of, and the basis for, such proposed award, and thirty calendar days of regular session of the Congress have expired after receipt of such report by such committees.

DEFENSE OF CERTAIN MALPRACTICE AND NEGLIGENCE SUITS

Sec. 307. (a) The remedy against the United States provided by sections 1346(b) and 2672 of title 28, United States Code, for damages for personal injury, including death, caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any physician, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, or paramedical or other supporting personnel (including medical and dental technicians, nursing assistants, and therapists) of the Administration in the performance of medical, dental, or related heALTh care functions (including clinical studies and investigations) while acting within the scope of his duties or employment therein or therefor shall hereafter be exclusive of any other civil action or proceeding by reason of the same subject matter against such physician, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, or paramedical or other supporting personnel (or the estate of such person) whose act or omission gave rise to such action or proceeding.
(b) The Attorney General shall defend any civil action or proceeding brought in any court against any person referred to in subsection (a) of this section (or the estate of such person) for any such injury. Any such person against whom such civil action or proceeding is brought shall deliver within such time after date of service or knowledge of service as determined by the Attorney General, all process served upon such person or an attested true copy thereof to such person's immediate superior or to whomever was designated by the Administrator to receive such papers and such person shall promptly furnish copies of the pleading and process therein to the United States Attorney for the district embracing the place wherein the proceeding is brought to the Attorney General and to the Administrator.
(c) Upon a certification by the Attorney General that any person described in subsection (a) was acting in the scope of such person's duties or employment at the time of the incident out of which the suit arose, any such civil action or proceeding commenced in a State court shall be removed without bond at any time before trial by the Attorney General to the district court of the United States of the district and division embracing the place wherein it is pending and the proceeding deemed a tort action brought against the United States under the provisions of title 28, United States Code, and all references thereto. Should a United States district court determine on a hearing on a motion to remand held before a trial on the merits that the case so removed is one in which a remedy by suit within the meaning of subsection (a) of this section is not available against the United States, the case shall be remanded to the State court.
(d) The Attorney General may compromise or settle any claim asserted in such civil action or proceeding in the manner provided in section 2677 of title 28, United States Code, and with the same effect.
(e) For purposes of this section, the provisions of section 2680(h) of title 28, United States Code, shall not apply to any cause of action arising out of a negligent or wrongful act of omission in the performance of medical, dental, or related heALTh care functions (including clinical studies and investigations).
(f) The Administrator or his designee may, to the extent that the Administrator or his designee deem appropriate, hold harmless or provide liability insurance for any person described in subsection (a) for damages for personal injury, including death, caused by such person's negligent or wrongful act or omission in the performance of medical, dental, or related heALTh care functions (including clinical studies and investigations) while acting within the scope of such person's duties if such person is assigned to a foreign country or detailed for service with other than a Federal department, agency, or instrumentality or if the circumstances are such as are likely to preclude the remedies of third persons against the United States described in section 2679(b) of title 28, United States Code, for such damage or injury.

INSURANCE AND INDEMNIFICATION

Sec. 308. (a) The Administration is authorized on such terms and to the extent it may deem appropriate to provide liability insurance for any user of a space vehicle to compensate all or a portion of claims by third parties for death, bodily injury, or loss of or damage to property resulting from activities carried on in connection with the launch, operations or recovery of the space vehicle. Appropriations available to the Administration may be used to acquire such insurance, but such appropriations shall be reimbursed to the maximum extent practicable by the users under reimbursement policies established pursuant to section 203(c) of this Act.
(b) Under such regulations in conformity with this section as the Administrator shall prescribe taking into account the availability, cost and terms of liability insurance, any agreement between the Administration and a user of a space vehicle may provide that the United States will indemnify the user against claims (including reasonable expenses of litigation or settlement) by third parties for death, bodily injury, or loss of or damage to property resulting from activities carried on in connection with the launch, operations or recovery of the space vehicle, but only to the extent that such claims are not compensated by liability insurance of the user: Provided, That such indemnification may be limited to claims resulting from other than the actual negligence or willful misconduct of the user.
(c) An agreement made under subsection (b) that provides indemnification must also provide for--
(1) notice to the United States of any claim or suit against the user for the death, bodily injury, or loss of or damage to the property; and
(2) control of or assistance in the defense by the United States, at its election, of that suit or claim.
(d) No payment may be made under subsection (b) unless the Administrator or his designee certifies that the amount is just and reasonable.
(e) Upon the approval by the Administrator, payments under subsection (b) may be made, at the Administrator's election, either from funds available for research and development not otherwise obligated or from funds appropriated for such payments.
(f) As used in this section--
(1) the term "space vehicle" means an object intended for launch, launched or assembled in outer space, including the Space Shuttle and other components of a space transportation system, together with related equipment, devices, components and parts;
(2) the term "user" includes anyone who enters into an agreement with the Administration for use of all or a portion of a space vehicle, who owns or provides property to be flown on a space vehicle, or who employs a person to be flown on a space vehicle; and
(3) the term "third party" means any person who may institute a claim against a user for death, bodily injury or loss of or damage to property.

EXPERIMENTAL AEROSPACE VEHICLE

Sec. 309. (a) IN GENERAL.�The Administrator may provide liability insurance for, or indemnification to, the developer of an experimental aerospace vehicle developed or used in execution of an agreement between the Administration and the developer.
(b) TERMS AND CONDITIONS.�
(1) IN GENERAL.�Except as otherwise provided in this section, the insurance and indemnification provided by the Administration under subsection (a) to a developer shall be provided on the same terms and conditions as insurance and indemnification is provided by the Administration under section 308 of this Act to the user of a space vehicle.
(2) INSURANCE.�
(A) IN GENERAL.�A developer shall obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility in amounts to compensate for the maximum probable loss from claims by�
(i) a third party for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with the development or use of an experimental aerospace vehicle; and
(ii) the United States Government for damage or loss to Government property resulting from such an activity.
(B) MAXIMUM REQUIRED.�The Administrator shall determine the amount of insurance required, but, except as provided in subparagraph (C), that amount shall not be greater than the amount required under section 70112(a)(3) of title 49, United States Code, for a launch. The Administrator shall publish notice of the Administrator�s determination and the applicable amount or amounts in the Federal Register within 10 days after making the determination.
(C) INCREASE IN DOLLAR AMOUNTS.�The Administrator may increase the dollar amounts set forth in section 70112(a)(3)(A) of title 49, United States Code, for the purpose of applying that section under this section to a developer after consultation with the Comptroller General and such experts and consultants as may be appropriate, and after publishing notice of the increase in the Federal Register not less than 180 days before the increase goes into effect. The Administrator shall make available for public inspection, not later than the date of publication of such notice, a complete record of any correspondence received by the Administration, and a transcript of any meetings in which the Administration participated, regarding the proposed increase.
(D) SAFETY REVIEW REQUIRED BEFORE ADMINISTRATOR PROVIDES INSURANCE.�The Administrator may not provide liability insurance or indemnification under subsection (a) unless the developer establishes to the satisfaction of the Administrator that appropriate safety procedures and practices are being followed in the development of the experimental aerospace vehicle.
(3) NO INDEMNIFICATION WITHOUT CROSS-WAIVER.�Notwithstanding subsection (a), the Administrator may not indemnify a developer of an experimental aerospace vehicle under this section unless there is an agreement between the Administration and the developer described in subsection (c).
(4) APPLICATION OF CERTAIN PROCEDURES.�If the Administrator requests additional appropriations to make payments under this section, like the payments that may be made under section 308(b) of this Act, then the request for those appropriations shall be made in accordance with the procedures established by subsections (d) and (e) of section 70113 of title 49, United States Code.
(c) CROSS-WAIVERS.�
(1) ADMINISTRATOR AUTHORIZED TO WAIVE.�The Administrator, on behalf of the United States, and its departments, agencies, and instrumentalities, may reciprocally waive claims with a developer or cooperating party and with the related entities of that developer or cooperating party under which each party to the waiver agrees to be responsible, and agrees to ensure that its own related entities are responsible, for damage or loss to its property for which it is responsible, or for losses, resulting from any injury or death sustained by its own employees or agents, as a result of activities connected to the agreement or use of the experimental aerospace vehicle.
(2) LIMITATIONS.�
(A) CLAIMS.�A reciprocal waiver under paragraph (1) may not preclude a claim by any natural person (including, but not limited to, a natural person who is an employee of the United States, the developer, the cooperating party, or their respective subcontractors) or that natural person�s estate, survivors, or subrogees for injury or death, except with respect to a subrogee that is a party to the waiver or has otherwise agreed to be bound by the terms of the waiver.
(B) LIABIITY FOR NEGLIGENCE.�A reciprocal waiver under paragraph (1) may not absolve any party of liability to any natural person (including, but not limited to, a natural person who is an employee of the United States, the developer, the cooperating party, or their respective subcontractors) or such a natural person�s estate, survivors, or subrogees for negligence, except with respect to a subrogee that is a party to the waiver or has otherwise agreed to be bound by the terms of the waiver.
(C) INDEMNIFICATION FOR DAMAGES.�A reciprocal waiver under paragraph (1) may not be used as the basis of a claim by the Administration, or the developer or cooperating party, for indemnification against the other for damages paid to a natural person, or that natural person�s estate, survivors, or subrogees, for injury or death sustained by that natural person as a result of activities connected to the agreement or use of the experimental aerospace vehicle.
(D) WILLFUL MISCONDUCT.�A reciprocal waiver under paragraph (1) may not relieve the United States, the developer, the cooperating party, or the related entities of the developer or cooperating party, of liability for damage or loss resulting from willful misconduct.
(3) EFFECT ON PREVIOUS WAIVERS.�Subsection (c) applies to any waiver of claims entered into by the Administration without regard to whether it was entered into before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(d) DEFINITIONS.�In this section:
(1) COOPERATING PARTY.�The term "cooperating party" means any person who enters into an agreement with the Administration for the performance of cooperative scientific, aeronautical, or space activities to carry out the purposes of this Act.
(2) DEVELOPER.�The term "developer" means a United states person (other than a natural person) who--
(A) is a party to an agreement with the Administration for the purpose of developing new technology for an experimental aerospace vehicle;
(B) owns or provides property to be flown or situated on that vehicle; or (C) employs a natural person to be flown on that vehicle.
(3) EXPERIMENTAL AEROSPACE VEHICLE.�The term "experimental aerospace vehicle" means an object intended to be flown in, or launched into, orbital or suborbital flight for the purpose of demonstrating technologies necessary for a reusable launch vehicle, developed under an agreement between the Administration and a developer.
(4) RELATED ENTITTY.�The term "related entity" includes a contractor or subcontractor at any tier, a supplier, a grantee, and an investigator or detailee.
(e) RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAWS.�
(1) SECTION 308.�This section does not apply to any object, transaction, or operation to which section 308 of this Act applies.
(2) CHAPTER 701 OF TITLE 49, UNITED STAES CODE.�The Administrator may not provide indemnification to a developer under this section for launches subject to license under section 70117(g)(1) of title 49, United States Code.
(f) TERMINATION.�
(1) IN GENERAL.�The provisions of this section shall terminate on December 31, 2002, except that the Administrator may extend the termination date to a date not later than September 30, 2005, if the Administrator determines that such extension is in the interests of the United States.
(2) EFFECT OF TERMINATION ON AGREEMENT.�The termination of this section shall not terminate or otherwise affect any cross-waiver agreement, insurance agreement, indemnification agreement, or other agreement entered into under this section, except as may be provided in that agreement.

APPROPRIATIONS

Sec. 310. (a) There are hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act, except that nothing in this Act shall authorize the appropriation of any amount for (1) the acquisition or condemnation of any real property, or (2) any other item of a capital nature (such as plant or facility acquisition, construction, or expansion) which exceeds $250,000. Sums appropriated pursuant to this subsection for the construction of facilities, or for research and development activities, shall remain available until expended.
(b) Any funds appropriated for the construction of facilities may be used for emergency repairs of existing facilities when such existing facilities are made inoperative by major breakdown, accident, or other circumstances and such repairs are deemed by the Administrator to be of greater urgency than the construction of new facilities.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the authorization of any appropriation to the Administration shall expire (unless an earlier expiration is specifically provided) at the close of the third fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the authorization was enacted, to the extent that such appropriation has not theretofore actually been made.

MISUSE OF AGENCY NAME AND INITIALS

Sec. 311. (a) No person (as defined by section 305) may (1) knowingly use the words "National Aeronautics and Space Administration" or the letters "NASA", or any combination, variation, or colorable imitation of those words or letters either alone or in combination with other words or letters, as a firm or business name in a manner reasonably calculated to convey the impression that such firm or business has some connection with, endorsement of, or authorization from, the National Aeronautics and Space Ad ministration which does not, in fact, exist; or (2) knowingly use those words or letters or any combination, variation, or colorable imitation thereof either alone or in combination with other words or letters in connection with any product or service being offered or made available to the public in a manner reasonably calculated to convey the impression that such product or service has the authorization, support, sponsorship, or endorsement of, or the development, use, or manufacture by or on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration which does not, in fact, exist.
(b) Whenever it appears to the Attorney General that any person is engaged in an act or practice which constitutes or will constitute conduct prohibited by subsection (a), the Attorney General may initiate a civil proceeding in a district court of the United States to enjoin such act or practice.

CONTRACTS REGARDING EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLES

Sec. 312. (a) The Administrator may enter into contracts for expendable launch vehicle services that are for periods in excess of the period for which funds are otherwise available for obligation, provide for the payment for contingent liability which may accrue in excess of available appropriations in the event the Government for its convenience terminates such contracts, and provide for advance payments reasonably related to launch vehicle and related equipment, fabrication, and acquisition costs, if any such contract limits the amount of the payments that the Federal Government is allowed to make under such contract to amounts provided in advance in appropriation Acts. Such contracts may be limited to sources within the United States when the Administrator determines that such limitation is in the public interest.
(b) If funds are not available to continue any such contract, the contract shall be terminated for the convenience of the Government, and the costs of such contract shall be paid from appropriations originally available for performance of the contract, from other, unobligated appropriations currently available for the procurement of launch services, or from funds appropriated for such payments.
Sec. 312. (a) Appropriations for the Administration for fiscal year 2002 and thereafter shall be made in three accounts, "Human space flight", "Science, aeronautics and technology", and an account for amounts appropriated for the necessary expenses of the Office of Inspector General. Appropriations shall remain available for 2 fiscal years. Each account shall include the planned full costs of the Administration�s related activities.
(b) To ensure the safe, timely, and successful accomplishment of Administration missions, the Administration may transfer amounts for Federal salaries and benefits; training, travel and awards; facility and related costs; information technology services; publishing services; science, engineering, fabricating and testing services; and other administrative services among accounts, as necessary.
(c) The Administrator, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall determine what balances from the "Mission support" account are to be transferred to the "Human space flight" and "Science, aeronautics and technology" accounts. Such balances shall be transferred and merged with the "Human space flight" and "Science, aeronautics and technology" accounts, and remain available for the period of which originally appropriated.

TITLE IV--UPPER ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH

PURPOSE AND POLICY

Sec. 401. (a) The purpose of this title is to authorize and direct the Administration to develop and carry out a comprehensive program of research, technology, and monitoring of the phenomena of the upper atmosphere so as to provide for an understanding of and to maintain the chemical and physical integrity of the Earth's upper atmosphere.
(b) The Congress declares that is the policy of the United States to undertake an immediate and appropriate research, technology, and monitoring program that will provide for understanding the physics and chemistry of the Earth's upper atmosphere.

DEFINITIONS

Sec. 402. For the purpose of this title the term "upper atmosphere" means that portion of the Earth's sensible atmosphere above the troposphere.

PROGRAM AUTHORIZED

Sec. 403. (a) In order to carry out the purposes of this title the Administration in cooperation with other Federal agencies, shall initiate and carry out a program of research, technology, monitoring, and other appropriate activities directed to understand the physics and chemistry of the upper atmosphere.
(b) In carrying out the provisions of this title the Administration shall--
(1) arrange for participation by the scientific and engineering community, of both the Nation's industrial organizations and institutions of higher education, in planning and carrying out appropriate research, in developing necessary technology and in making necessary observations and measurements;
(2) provide, by way of grant, contract, scholarships or other arrangements, to the maximum extent practicable and consistent with other laws, for the widest practicable and appropriate participation of the scientific and engineering community in the program authorized by this title; and
(3) make all results of the program authorized by this title available to the appropriate regulatory agencies and provide for the widest practicable dissemination of such results.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Sec. 404. In carrying out the provisions of this title, the Administration, subject to the direction of the President and after consultation with the Secretary of State, shall make every effort to enlist the support and cooperation of appropriate scientists and engineers of other countries and international organizations.
As amended through Pub. L. 106-391, 114 Stat. 1577 (October 30, 2000)

 

 

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