Congressional Record: S. 1281 NASA Authorization FY 2006-2010; Bill Text and Comments by Sen. Hutchison and Sen. Nelson


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STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - June 21, 2005)

By Mrs. HUTCHISON (for herself and Mr. NELSON of Florida):

S. 1281. A bill to authorize appropriations for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for science, aeronautics, exploration, exploration capabilities, and the Inspector General, and for other purposes, for fiscal years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010; to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Mrs. HUTCHISON. Mr. President, my friend and colleague, the senior Senator from Florida, and I are today introducing a far-reaching bill to reauthorize the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for 5 years, from fiscal year 2006 through fiscal year 2010.

This legislation is already the product of close bipartisan cooperation among Republicans and Democrats, which should be a surprise to no one, for space exploration is something that is important to all Americans, and promises and provides benefits to all of us, to all of humanity.

This bill represents an important opportunity for the Congress to play its fundamental role, in conjunction with the executive branch, in establishing the policies and principles that will guide our Nation's exploration and utilization of space.

The President has outlined an ambitious new Vision for Exploration that enables us to see where we can be 30 and 40 years ahead, with a renewed US presence on the Moon and crews and habitats on Mars, and perhaps even beyond. I support and endorse that vision and believe it describes a course America must take into the future.

This legislation expresses the sense of the Congress that such a broad, visionary goal is important and necessary to help stimulate our efforts today to develop the capabilities and the skills to reach that goal, and to reap tremendous benefits and rewards for all of us here on Earth as we do.

The bill authorizes funding for NASA for the next 5 fiscal years, from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2010. The authorized levels are close to those requested in the President's budget request for 2006 and increase at a level to keep pace with estimates of inflation over the subsequent years.

Where the legislation differs from the President's request or from the plans that have been developed at NASA to begin the vision for exploration, we believe the adjustments made in this legislation will improve NASA's capability to carry out those plans and to sustain the high level of public and congressional support necessary for the long-term success of the vision for exploration.

Those differences revolve around two major areas of concern: (1) the need to ensure a sustained, continuous ability for the United States to launch crews and cargo into orbit; and (2) the need to maintain our existing commitments to both our international partners and our scientific partners in the International Space Station.

In other areas of space policy and programs, we have included language which expands on the administration proposals. We provide for the establishment, by the President, of a proposed National Policy for Aeronautics and Aeronautical Research, to provide a framework for making intelligent and far-reaching decisions about this crucial aspect of our Nation's ability to remain competitive in the global market of aeronautics. We must know what capabilities must be retained in our present aeronautics research infrastructure and what may be better served by changes that would remove the competition within NASA for limited resources in a constrained budgetary environment. Difficult choices must be made, but the first step in making informed decisions is to have a comprehensive policy framework to guide those decisions.

We endorse and expand, by repeated references in several portions of the bill, the desire to open the door for greater commercial participation in the exploration and utilization of space and space-based assets, from the development of basic launch capabilities, to crew-capable launch vehicles, to resupply and even research management of the International Space Station, and missions to the Moon and Mars, to Earth observation and remote sensing capabilities.

Commercial capabilities have experienced a dramatic upsurge in the recent past which makes this an especially important and promising aspect of this legislation. Just one year ago, on June 21, 2004, SpaceShipOne, built by the private firm of Scaled Composites, flew into the lower reaches of outer space, making pilot Mike Melvill the first civilian to fly a commercially-built spaceship out of the atmosphere and the first private pilot to earn astronaut wings.

As I said earlier, we believe the provisions of this legislation will make it easier for NASA to pursue the vision for exploration. Let me, in conclusion,

expand briefly on that statement by referring to two specific areas of interest: the development of a crew exploration vehicle, and the assembly and operation of the International Space Station.

NASA has begun several efforts in the past decade, to develop a replacement vehicle for human space flight, with a view to eventually retiring the space shuttle. Each of them has failed, after considerable expense, to find the technological breakthrough that was necessary for their success. They were focused on new technologies, new systems that were largely untested, and unproven. We are now out of time, and can no longer afford the luxury of attempting to develop a dramatically new and different human space flight capability.

This legislation directs NASA , wherever practical, to use existing technology and industrial capacity, derived from our 24 years of experience with the space shuttle, in developing alternative means for launching crews and cargo into space. This approach promises not only to result in less cost to NASA and less risk of failure in development, but it will enable this nation to avoid an unacceptable--and potentially dangerous--situation where we do not have a capability to launch humans in space, especially at a time when the number of nations who have that capability is increasing, as the entry of China into that long-exclusive ``club'' has demonstrated.

NASA has said it cannot afford to continue to provide for all the research that has been planned for years to be accomplished aboard the International Space Station. It has begun the process of narrowing the scope of the use of the space station to those experiments that can contribute directly to the needs of the vision for exploration, and the support of human missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. This legislation states strongly that such a restriction on the range of research disciplines aboard the ISS is not in the best interests of the Nation, or of our partners.

The bill directs NASA to retain and support those ``non-vision'' science disciplines, and authorizes an additional $100 million, initially, for NASA to do that. But more importantly, the bill designates the U.S. portion of the ISS as a national laboratory facility, and directs NASA to provide a plan, by March of next year, which will enable a national laboratory, within NASA , to assume research management responsibility for that on-orbit national laboratory facility.

The potential gain for NASA is that the national laboratory will be empowered to bring other, non-NASA , resources to bear in operating the ISS, thus freeing NASA of much of that operational responsibility, while at the same time allowing it to support the specific research it needs for the vision for exploration.

The legislation provides other authorities, as requested by the administration, to facilitate NASA operations and management, and addresses other issues, such as continued monitoring of safety-related issues. While it adds some reporting requirements for NASA , it also eliminates a number of statutory reporting requirements that are no longer necessary.

This legislation to reauthorize NASA is necessary and vital to the future success of our Nation's effort in the exploration of space, and I take great satisfaction in offering it today for the Senate's consideration. I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

S. 1281

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) SHORT TITLE.--This Act may be cited as ``National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005''.

(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS.--The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec..1..Short title; table of contents.

Sec..2..Findings.

Sec..3..Definitions.

TITLE I--AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

Subtitle A--Authorizations

Sec..101..Fiscal year 2006.

Sec..102..Fiscal year 2007.

Sec..103..Fiscal year 2008.

Sec..104..Fiscal year 2009.

Sec..105..Fiscal year 2010.

Sec..106..Evaluation criteria for budget request.

Subtitle B--General Provisions

Sec..131..Implementation of a science program that extends human knowledge and understanding of the Earth, sun, solar system, and the universe.

Sec..132..Biennial reports to Congress on science programs.

Sec..133..Status report on Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.

Sec..134..Develop expanded permanent human presence beyond low-Earth orbit.

Sec..135..Ground-based analog capabilities.

Sec..136..Space launch and transportation transition, capabilities, and development.

Sec..137..National policy for aeronautics research and development.

Sec..138..Identification of unique NASA core aeronautics research.

Sec..139..Lessons learned and best practices.

Sec..140..Safety management.

Sec..141..Creation of a budget structure that aids effective oversight and management.

Sec..142..Earth observing system.

Subtitle C--Limitations and Special Authority

Sec..161..Official representational fund.

Sec..161..Facilities management.

TITLE II--INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

Sec..201..International Space Station completion.

Sec..202..Research and support capabilities on international Space Station.

Sec..20d..National laboratory status for International Space Station.

Sec..204..Commercial support of International Space Station operations and utilization.

Sec..205..Use of the International Space Station and annual report.

TITLE III--NATIONAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION POLICY

Sec..301..United States human-rated launch capacity assessment.

Sec..302..Space Shuttle transition.

Sec..303..Commercial launch vehicles.

Sec..304..Secondary payload capability.

TITLE IV--ENABLING COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY

Sec..401..Commercialization plan.

Sec..402..Authority for competitive prize program to encourage development of advanced space and aeronautical technologies.

Sec..403..Commercial goods and services.

TITLE V--MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE IMPROVEMENTS

Sec..501..Extension of indemnification authority.

Sec..502..Intellectual property provisions.

Sec..503..Retrocession of jurisdiction.

Sec..504..Recovery and disposition authority.

Sec..505..Requirement for independent cost analysis.

Sec..506..Electronic access to business opportunities.

Sec..507..Reports elimination.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

The Congress finds the following:

(1) It is the policy of the United States to advance United States scientific, security, and economic interests through a healthy and active space exploration program.

(2) Basic and applied research in space science, Earth science, and aeronautics remain a significant part of the Nation's goals for the use and development of space. Basic research and development is an important component of NASA's program of exploration and discovery.

(3) Maintaining the capability to safely send humans into space is essential to United States national and economic security, United States preeminence in space, and inspiring the next generation of explorers. Thus, a gap in United States human space flight capability is harmful to the national interest.

(4) The exploration, development, and permanent habitation of the Moon will--

(A) inspire the Nation;

(B) spur commerce, imagination, and excitement around the world; and

(C) open the possibility of further exploration of Mars.

(5) The establishment of the capability for consistent access to and stewardship of the region between the Moon and Earth is in the national security and commercial interests of the United States.

(6) Commercial development of space, including exploration and other lawful uses, is in the interest of the United States and the international community at large.

(7) Research and access to capabilities to support a national laboratory facility within the United States segment of the ISS in low-Earth orbit are in the national policy interests of the United States, including maintenance and development of an active and healthy stream of research from ground to space in areas that can uniquely benefit from access to this facility.

(8) NASA should develop vehicles to replace the Shuttle orbiter's capabilities for transporting crew and heavy cargo while utilizing the current program's resources, including human capital, capabilities, and infrastructure. Using these resources can ease the transition to a new space transportation system, maintain an essential industrial base, and minimize technology and safety risks.

(9) The United States should remain the world leader in aeronautics and aviation. NASA should align its aerospace research to ensure United States leadership. A national effort is needed to assess NASA's aeronautics programs and infrastructure to allow a consolidated national approach that ensures efficiency and national preeminence in aeronautics and aviation.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) ADMINISTRATOR.--The term ``Administrator'' means the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

(2) ISS.--The term ``ISS'' means the international space station.

(3) NASA .--The term ``NASA'' means the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

(4) SHUTTLE-DERIVED VEHICLE.--The term ``shuttle-derived vehicle'' means any new space transportation vehicle, piloted or unpiloted, that--

(A) is capable of supporting crew or cargo missions; and

(B) uses a major component of NASA's Space Transportation System, such as the solid rocket booster, external tank, engine, and orbiter.

(5) IN-SITU RESOURCE UTILIZATION.--The term ``in-situ resource utilization'' means the technology or systems that can convert indigenous or locally-situated substances into useful materials and products.

TITLE I--AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

Subtitle A--Authorizations

SEC. 101. FISCAL YEAR 2006.

There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for fiscal year 2006 $16,556,400,000, as follows:

(1) For science, aeronautics and exploration, $9,661,000,000 for the following programs (including amounts for construction of facilities).

(2) For exploration capabilities, $6,863,000,000, (including amounts for construction of facilities), which shall be used for space operations, and out of which $100,000,000 shall be used for the purposes of section 202 of this Act.

(3) For the Office of Inspector General, $32,400,000.

SEC. 102. FISCAL YEAR 2007.

There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for fiscal year 2007, $17,052,900,000, as follows:

(1) $10,549,800,000 for science, aeronautics and exploration (including amounts for construction of facilities).

(2) For exploration capabilities, $6,469,600,000, for the following programs (including amounts for construction of facilities), of which $6,469,600,000 shall be for space operations.

(3) For the Office of Inspector General, $33,500,000.

SEC. 103. FISCAL YEAR 2008.

There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for fiscal year 2008, $17,470,900,000.

SEC. 104. FISCAL YEAR 2009.

There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for fiscal year 2009, $17,995,000,000.

SEC. 105. FISCAL YEAR 2010.

There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for fiscal year 2010, $18,534,900,000.

SEC. 106. EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR BUDGET REQUEST.

It is the sense of the Congress that each budget of the United States submitted to the Congress after the date of enactment of this Act should be evaluated for compliance with the findings and priorities established by this Act and the amendments made by this Act.

Subtitle B--General Provisions

SEC. 131. IMPLEMENTATION OF A SCIENCE PROGRAM THAT EXTENDS HUMAN KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE EARTH, SUN, SOLAR SYSTEM, AND THE UNIVERSE.

The Administrator shall--

(1) conduct a rich and vigorous set of science activities aimed at better comprehension of the universe, solar system, and Earth, and ensure that the various areas within NASA's science portfolio are developed and maintained in a balanced and healthy manner;

(2) plan projected Mars exploration activities in the context of planned lunar robotic precursor missions, ensuring the ability to conduct a broad set of scientific investigations and research around and on the Moon's surface;

(3) upon successful completion of the planned return-to-flight schedule of the Space Shuttle, determine the schedule for a Shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, unless such a mission would compromise astronaut or safety or the integrity of NASA's other missions;

(4) ensure that, in implementing the provisions of this section, appropriate inter-agency and commercial collaboration opportunities are sought and utilized to the maximum feasible extent;

(5) seek opportunities to diversify the flight opportunities for scientific Earth science instruments and seek innovation in the development of instruments that would enable greater flight opportunities;

(6) develop a long term sustainable relationship with the United States commercial remote sensing industry, and, consistent with applicable policies and law, to the maximum practical extent, rely on their services;

(7) in conjunction with United States industry and universities, develop Earth science applications to enhance Federal, State, local, regional, and tribal agencies that use government and commercial remote sensing capabilities and other sources of geospatial information to address their needs; and

(8) plan, develop, and implement a near-Earth object survey program to detect, track, catalogue, and characterize the physical characteristics of near-Earth asteroids and comets in order to assess the threat of such near-Earth objects in impacting the Earth.

SEC. 132. BIENNIAL REPORTS TO CONGRESS ON SCIENCE PROGRAMS.

(a) IN GENERAL.--Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act and every 2 years thereafter, the Administrator shall transmit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science setting forth in detail--

(1) the findings and actions taken on NASA's assessment of the balance within its science portfolio and any efforts to adjust that balance among the major program areas, including the areas referred to in section 131;

(2) any activities undertaken by the Administration to conform with the Sun-Earth science and applications direction provided in section 131; and

(3) efforts to enhance near-Earth object detection and observation.

(b) EXTERNAL REVIEW FINDINGS.--The Administrator shall include in each report submitted under this section a summary of findings and recommendations from any external reviews of the Administration's science mission priorities and programs.

SEC. 133. STATUS REPORT ON HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE SERVICING MISSION.

Within 60 days after the landing of the second Space Shuttle mission for return-to-flight certification, the Administrator shall transmit to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science a one-time status report on a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.

SEC. 134. DEVELOP EXPANDED PERMANENT HUMAN PRESENCE BEYOND LOW-EARTH ORBIT.

(a) IN GENERAL.--As part of the programs authorized under the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2451 et seq.), the Administrator shall establish a program to develop a permanently sustained human presence on the Moon, in tandem with an extensive precursor program, to support security, commerce, and scientific pursuits, and as a stepping-stone to future exploration of Mars. The Administrator is further authorized to develop and conduct international collaborations in pursuit of these goals, as appropriate.

(b) REQUIREMENTS.--In carrying out this section, the Administrator shall--

(1) implement an effective exploration technology program that is focused around the key needs to support lunar human and robotic operations;

(2) as part of NASA's annual budget submission, submit to the Congress the detailed mission, schedule, and budget for key lunar mission-enabling technology areas, including areas for possible innovative governmental and commercial activities and partnerships;

(3) as part of NASA's annual budget submission, submit to the Congress a plan for NASA's lunar robotic precursor and technology programs, including current and planned technology investments and scientific research that support the lunar program; and

(4) conduct an intensive in-situ resource utilization technology program in order to develop the capability to use space resources to increase independence from Earth, and sustain exploration beyond low-Earth orbit.

SEC. 135. GROUND-BASED ANALOG CAPABILITIES.

(a) IN GENERAL.--The Administrator shall establish a ground-based analog capability in remote United States locations in order to assist in the development of lunar operations, life support, and in-situ resource utilization experience and capabilities.

(b) LOCATIONS.--The Administrator shall select locations for subsection (a) in places that--

(1) are regularly accessible;

(2) have significant temperature extremes and range; and

(3) have access to energy and natural resources (including geothermal, permafrost, volcanic, and other potential resources).

(c) INVOLVEMENT OF LOCAL POPULATIONS; PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERS.--In carrying out this section, the Administrator shall involve local populations, academia, and industrial partners as much as possible to ensure that ground-based benefits and applications are encouraged and developed.

SEC. 136. SPACE LAUNCH AND TRANSPORTATION TRANSITION, CAPABILITIES, AND DEVELOPMENT.

(a) POST-ORBITER TRANSITION.--The Administrator shall develop an implementation plan for the transition to a new crew exploration vehicle and heavy-lift launch vehicle that uses the personnel, capabilities, assets, and infrastructure of the Space Shuttle to the fullest extent possible and addresses how NASA will accommodate the docking of the crew exploration vehicle to the ISS.

(b) AUTOMATED RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING.--The Administrator is directed to pursue aggressively automated rendezvous and docking capabilities that can support ISS and other mission requirements and include these activities, progress reports, and plans in the implementation plan.

(c) CONGRESSIONAL SUBMISSION.--Within 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act the Administrator shall submit a copy of the implementation plan to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science.

SEC. 137. NATIONAL POLICY FOR AERONAUTICS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

(a) IN GENERAL.--The President, through the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shall develop, in consultation with NASA and other relevant Federal agencies, a national aeronautics policy to guide the aeronautics programs of the United States through the year 2020.

(b) CONTENT.--At a minimum the national aeronautics policy shall describe--

(1) national goals for aeronautics research;

(2) the priority areas of research for aeronautics through fiscal year 2011;

(3) the basis of which and the process by which priorities for ensuing fiscal years will be selected; and

(4) respective roles and responsibilities of various Federal agencies in aeronautics research.

(c) NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF AERONAUTICS INFRASTRUCTURE AND CAPABILITIES.--In developing the national aeronautics policy, the President, through the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shall conduct a national study of government-owned aeronautics research infrastructure to assess--

(1) uniqueness, mission dependency, and industry need; and

(2) the development or initiation of a consolidated national aviation research, development, and support organization.

(d) SCHEDULE.--No later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the President's Science Advisor and the Administrator shall submit the national aeronautics policy to the Appropriations Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the House Committee on Science, and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

SEC. 138. IDENTIFICATION OF UNIQUE NASA CORE AERONAUTICS RESEARCH.

Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science that assesses the aeronautics research program for its current and potential application to new aeronautic and space vehicles and the unique aeronautical research and associated capabilities that must be retained and supported by NASA to further space exploration and support United States economic competitiveness.

SEC 139. LESSONS LEARNED AND BEST PRACTICES

(a) IN GENERAL.--The Administrator shall provide an implementation plan describing NASA's approach for obtaining, implementing, and sharing lessons learned and best practices for its major programs and projects within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act. The implementation plan shall be updated and maintained to assure that it is current and consistent with the burgeoning culture of learning and safety that is emerging at NASA .

(b) REQUIRED CONTENT.--The implementation plan shall contain as a minimum the lessons learned and best practices requirements for NASA , the organizations or positions responsible for enforcement of the requirements, the reporting structure, and the objective performance measures indicating the effectiveness of the activity.

(c) INCENTIVES.--The Administrator shall provide incentives to encourage sharing and implementation of lessons learned and best practices by employees, projects, and programs; as well as penalties for programs and projects that are determined not to have demonstrated use of those resources.

SEC. 140. SAFETY MANAGEMENT.

Section 6 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, 1968 (42 U.S.C. 2477) is amended--

(1) by inserting ``(a) IN GENERAL.--'' before ``There'';

(2) by striking ``to it'' and inserting ``to it, including evaluating NASA's compliance with the return-to-flight and continue-to-fly recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board,'';

(3) by inserting ``and the Congress'' after ``advise the Administrator'';

(4) by striking ``and with respect to the adequacy of proposed or existing safety standards and shall'' and inserting ``with respect to the adequacy of proposed or existing safety standards, and with respect to management and culture. The Panel shall also'';

(5) by adding at the end the following:

``(b) ANNUAL REPORT.--The Panel shall submit an annual report to the Administrator and to the Congress. In the first annual report submitted after the date of enactment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005, the Panel shall include an evaluation of NASA's safety management culture.

``(c) SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.--It is the sense of the Congress that the Administrator should--

``(1) ensure that NASA employees can raise safety concerns without fear of reprisal;

``(2) continue to follow the recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board for safely returning and continuing to fly; and

``(3) continue to inform the Congress from time to time of NASA's progress in meeting those recommendations.''.

SEC. 141. CREATION OF A BUDGET STRUCTURE THAT AIDS EFFECTIVE OVERSIGHT AND MANAGEMENT.

In developing NASA's budget request for inclusion in the Budget of the United States for fiscal year 2007 and thereafter, the Administrator shall--

(1) include line items for--

(A) science, aeronautics, and exploration;

(B) exploration capabilities; and

(C) the Office of the Inspector General;

(2) enumerate separately, within the science, aeronautics, and exploration account, the requests for--

(A) space science;

(B) Earth science; and

(C) aeronautics;

(3) include, within the exploration capabilities account, the requests for--

(A) the Space Shuttle; and

(B) the ISS; and

(4) enumerate separately the specific request for the independent technical authority within the appropriate account.

SEC. 142. EARTH OBSERVING SYSTEM.

(a) IN GENERAL.--Within 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation with the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Director of the United States Geological Survey, shall submit a plan to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science to ensure the long-term vitality of the earth observing system at NASA .

(b) PLAN REQUIREMENTS.--The plan shall--

(1) address such issues as--

(A) out-year budgetary projections;

(B) technical requirements for the system; and

(C) integration into the Global Earth Observing System of Systems; and

(2) evaluate--

(A) the need to proceed with any NASA missions that have been delayed or canceled;

(B) plans for transferring needed capabilities from some canceled or de-scoped missions to the National Polar-orbiting Environmental Satellite System;

(C) the technical base for exploratory earth observing systems;

(D) the need to strengthen research and analysis programs; and

(E) the need to strengthen the approach to obtaining important climate observations and data records.

(c) EARTH OBSERVING SYSTEM DEFINED.--In this section, the term ``earth observing system'' means the series of satellites, a science component, and a data system for long-term global observations of the land surface, biosphere, solid Earth, atmosphere, and oceans.

Subtitle C--Limitations and Special Authority

SEC. 161. OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIONAL FUND.

Amounts appropriated pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 101 may be used, but not to exceed $70,000, for official reception and representation expenses.

SEC. 162. FACILITIES MANAGEMENT.

(a) IN GENERAL.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator may convey, by sale, lease, exchange, or otherwise, including through leaseback arrangements, real and related personal property under the custody and control of the Administration, or interests therein, and retain the net proceeds of such dispositions in an account within NASA's working capital fund to be used for NASA's real property capital needs. All net proceeds realized under this section shall be obligated or expended only as authorized by appropriations Acts. To aid in the use of this authority, NASA shall develop a facilities investment plan that takes into account uniqueness, mission dependency, and other studies required by this Act.

(b) APPLICATION OF OTHER LAW.--Sales transactions under this section are subject to section 501 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11411).

(c) NOTICE OF REPROGRAMMING.--If any funds authorized by this Act are subject to a reprogramming action that requires notice to be provided to the Appropriations Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate, notice of such action shall concurrently be provided to the House of Representatives Committee on Science and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

(d) DEFINITIONS.--In this section:

(a) NET PROCEEDS.--The term ``net proceeds'' means the rental and other sums received less the costs of the disposition.

(2) REAL PROPERTY CAPITAL NEEDS.--The term ``real property capital needs'' means any expenses necessary and incident to the agency's real property capital acquisitions, improvements, and dispositions.

TITLE II--INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

SEC. 201. INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION COMPLETION.

(a) ELEMENTS, CAPABILITIES, AND CONFIGURATION CRITERIA.--The Administrator shall ensure that the ISS will be able to--

(1) fulfill international partner agreements and provide a diverse range of research capacity, including a high rate of human biomedical research protocols, countermeasures, applied bio-technologies, technology and exploration research, and other priority areas;

(2) have an ability to support crew size of at least 6 persons;

(3) support crew exploration vehicle docking and automated docking of cargo vehicles or modules launched by either heavy-lift or commercially-developed launch vehicles; and

(4) be operated at an appropriate risk level.

(b) CONTINGENCY PLAN.--The transportation plan to support ISS shall include contingency options to ensure sufficient logistics and on-orbit capabilities to support any potential hiatus between Space Shuttle availability and follow-on crew and cargo systems, and provide sufficient pre-positioning of spares and other supplies needed to accommodate any such hiatus.

(c) CERTIFICATION.--Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, and before making any change in the ISS assembly sequence in effect on the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall certify in writing to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science NASA's plan to meet the requirements of subsections (a) and (b).

(d) COST LIMITATION FOR THE ISS.--Within 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the Congress information pertaining to the impact of the Columbia accident and the implementation of full cost accounting on the development costs of the International Space Station. The Administrator shall also identify any statutory changes needed to section 202 of the NASA Authorization Act of 2000 to address those impacts.

SEC. 202. RESEARCH AND SUPPORT CAPABILITIES ON INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.

(a) IN GENERAL.--The Administrator shall--

(1) within 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, provide an assessment of biomedical and life science research planned for implementation aboard the ISS that includes the identification of research which can be performed in ground-based facilities and then, if appropriate, validated in space to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science;

(2) ensure the capacity to support ground-based research leading to spaceflight of scientific research in a variety of disciplines with potential direct national benefits and applications that can advance significantly from the uniqueness of micro-gravity;

(3) restore and protect such potential ISS research activities as molecular crystal growth, animal research, basic fluid physics, combustion research, cellular biotechnology, low temperature physics, and cellular research at a level which will sustain the existing scientific expertise and research capabilities until such time as additional funding or resources from sources other than NASA can be identified to support these activities within the framework of the National Laboratory provided for in section 203 of this Act; and

(4) within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, develop a research plan that will demonstrate the process by which NASA will evolve the ISS research portfolio in a manner consistent with the planned growth and evolution of ISS on-orbit and transportation capabilities.

(b) MAINTENANCE OF ON-ORBIT ANALYTICAL CAPABILITIES.--The Administrator shall ensure that on-orbit analytical capabilities to support diagnostic human research, as well as on-orbit characterization of molecular crystal growth, cellular research, and other research products and results are developed and maintained, as an alternative to Earth-based analysis requiring the capability of returning research products to Earth.

(c) ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL SCIENTIFIC USES.--The Administrator shall assess further potential possible scientific uses of the ISS for other applications, such as technology development, development of manufacturing processes, Earth observation and characterization, and astronomical observations.

(d) TRANSITION TO PUBLIC-PRIVATE RESEARCH OPERATIONS.--By no later than the date on which the assembly of the ISS is complete (as determined by the Administrator), the Administrator shall initiate steps to transition research operations on the ISS to a greater private-public operating relationship pursuant to section 203 of this Act.

SEC. 203. NATIONAL LABORATORY STATUS FOR INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.

(a) IN GENERAL.--In order to accomplish the objectives listed in section 202, the United States segment of the ISS is hereby designated a national laboratory facility. The Administrator, after consultation with the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, shall develop the national laboratory facility to oversee scientific utilization of an ISS national laboratory within the organizational structure of NASA .

(b) NATIONAL LABORATORY FUNCTIONS.--The Administrator shall seek to use the national laboratory to increase the utilization of the ISS by other national and commercial users and to maximize available NASA funding for research through partnerships, cost-sharing agreements, and arrangements with non-NASA entities.

(c) IMPLEMENTATION PLAN.--Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall provide an implementation plan to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science for establishment of the ISS national laboratory facility which, at a minimum, shall include--

(1) proposed on-orbit laboratory functions;

(2) proposed ground-based laboratory facilities;

(3) detailed laboratory management structure, concept of operations, and operational feasibility;

(4) detailed plans for integration and conduct of ground and space-based research operations;

(5) description of funding and workforce resource requirements necessary to establish and operate the laboratory;

(6) plans for accommodation of existing international partner research obligations and commitments; and

(7) detailed outline of actions and timeline necessary to implement and initiate operations of the laboratory.

(d) U.S. SEGMENT DEFINED.--In this section the term ``United States Segment of the ISS'' means those elements of the ISS manufactured--

(1) by the United States; or

(2) for the United States by other nations in exchange for funds or launch services.

SEC. 204. COMMERCIAL SUPPORT OF INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION OPERATIONS AND UTILIZATION.

The Administrator shall purchase commercial services for support of the ISS for cargo and other needs to the maximum extent possible, in accordance with Federal procurement law.

SEC. 205. USE OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION AND ANNUAL REPORT.

(a) POLICY.--It is the policy of the United States--

(1) to ensure diverse and growing utilization of benefits from the ISS; and

(2) to increase commercial operations in low-Earth orbit and beyond that are supported by national and commercial space transportation capabilities.

(b) USE OF INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.--The Administrator shall conduct broadly focused scientific and exploration research and development activities using the ISS in a manner consistent with the provisions of this title, and advance the Nation's exploration of the Moon and beyond, using the ISS as a test-bed and outpost for operations, engineering, and scientific research.

(c) REPORTS.--No later than March 31 of each year the Administrator shall submit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science on the use of the ISS for these purposes, with implementation milestones and associated results.

TITLE III--NATIONAL SPACE TRANSPORTATION POLICY

SEC. 301. UNITED STATES HUMAN-RATED LAUNCH CAPACITY ASSESSMENT.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator shall, within 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, provide to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science, a full description of the transportation requirements needed to support the space launch and transportation transition implementation plan required by section 136 of this Act, as well as for the ISS, including--

(1) the manner in which the capabilities of any proposed human-rated crew and launch vehicles meet the requirements of the implementation plan under section 136 of this Act;

(2) a retention plan of skilled personnel from the legacy Shuttle program which will sustain the level of safety for that program through the final flight and transition plan that will ensure that any NASA programs can utilize the human capital resources of the Shuttle program, to the maximum extent practicable;

(3) the implications for and impact on the Nation's aerospace industrial base;

(4) the manner in which the proposed vehicles contribute to a national mixed fleet launch and flight capacity;

(5) the nature and timing of the transition from the Space Shuttle to the workforce, the proposed vehicles, and any related infrastructure;

(6) support for ISS crew transportation, ISS utilization, and lunar exploration architecture;

(7) for any human rated vehicle, a crew escape system, as well as substantial protection against orbital debris strikes that offers a high level of safety;

(8) development risk areas;

(9) the schedule and cost;

(10) the relationship between crew and cargo capabilities; and

(11) the ability to reduce risk through the use of currently qualified hardware.

SEC. 302. SPACE SHUTTLE TRANSITION.

(a) IN GENERAL.--In order to ensure continuous human access to space, the Administrator may not retire the Space Shuttle orbiter until a replacement human-rated spacecraft system has demonstrated that it can take humans into Earth orbit and return them safely, except as may be provided by law enacted after the date of enactment of this Act. The Administrator shall conduct the transition from the Space Shuttle orbiter to a replacement capability in a manner that uses the personnel, capabilities, assets, and infrastructure of the current Space Shuttle program to the maximum extent feasible.

(b) REPORT.--After providing the information required by section 301 to the Committees, the Administrator shall transmit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science containing a detailed and comprehensive Space Shuttle transition plan that includes any necessary recertification, including requirements, assumptions, and milestones, in order to utilize the Space Shuttle orbiter beyond calendar year 2010.

(c) CONTRACT TERMINATIONS; VENDOR REPLACEMENTS.--The Administrator may not terminate any contracts nor replace any vendors associated with the Space Shuttle until the Administrator transmits the report required by subsection (b) to the Committees.

SEC. 303. COMMERCIAL LAUNCH VEHICLES.

It is the sense of Congress that the Administrator should use current and emerging commercial launch vehicles to fulfill appropriate mission needs, including the support of low-Earth orbit and lunar exploration operations.

SEC. 304. SECONDARY PAYLOAD CAPABILITY.

In order to help develop a cadre of experienced engineers and to provide more routine and affordable access to space, the Administrator shall provide the capabilities to support secondary payloads on United States launch vehicles, including free flyers, for satellites or scientific payloads weighing less than 500 kilograms.

TITLE IV--ENABLING COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY

SEC. 401. COMMERCIALIZATION PLAN.

(a) IN GENERAL.--The Administrator, in consultation with the Associate Administrator for Space Transportation of the Federal Aviation Administration, the Director of the Office of Space Commercialization of the Department of Commerce, and any other relevant agencies, shall develop a commercialization plan to support the human missions to the Moon and Mars, to support Low-Earth Orbit activities and Earth science mission and applications, and to transfer science research and technology to society. The plan shall identify opportunities for the private sector to participate in the future missions and activities, including opportunities for partnership between NASA and the private sector in the development of technologies and services.

(b) REPORT.--Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit a copy of the plan to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science.

SEC. 402. AUTHORITY FOR COMPETITIVE PRIZE PROGRAM TO ENCOURAGE DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED SPACE AND AERONAUTICAL TECHNOLOGIES.

Title III of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2451 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 316. PROGRAM ON COMPETITIVE AWARD OF PRIZES TO ENCOURAGE DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED SPACE AND AERONAUTICAL TECHNOLOGIES.

``(a) PROGRAM AUTHORIZED.--

``(1) IN GENERAL.--The Administrator may carry out a program to award prizes to stimulate innovation in basic and applied research, technology development, and prototype demonstration that have the potential for application to the performance of the space and aeronautical activities of the Administration.

``(2) USE OF PRIZE AUTHORITY.--In carrying out the program, the Administrator shall seek to develop and support technologies and areas identified in section 134 of this Act or other areas that the Administrator determines to be providing impetus to NASA's overall exploration and science architecture and plans, such as private efforts to detect near Earth objects and, where practicable, utilize the prize winner's technologies in fulfilling NASA's missions. The Administrator shall widely advertise any competitions conducted under the program and must include advertising to research universities.

``(3) COORDINATION.--The program shall be implemented in compliance with section 138 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005.

``(b) PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS.--

``(1) COMPETITIVE PROCESS.--Recipients of prizes under the program under this section shall be selected through one or more competitions conducted by the Administrator.

``(2) ADVERTISING.--The Administrator shall widely advertise any competitions conducted under the program.

``(c) REGISTRATION; ASSUMPTION OF RISK.--

``(1) REGISTRATION.--Each potential recipient of a prize in a competition under the program under this section shall register for the competition.

``(2) ASSUMPTION OF RISK.--In registering for a competition under paragraph (1), a potential recipient of a prize shall assume any and all risks, and waive claims against the United States Government and its related entities, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from participation in the competition, whether such injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise, except in the case of willful misconduct.

``(3) RELATED ENTITY DEFINED.--In this subsection, the term `related entity' includes a contractor or subcontractor at any tier, a supplier, user, customer, cooperating party, grantee, investigator, or detailee.

``(d) LIMITATIONS.--

``(1) TOTAL AMOUNT.--The total amount of cash prizes available for award in competitions under the program under this section in any fiscal year may not exceed $50,000,000.

``(2) APPROVAL REQUIRED FOR LARGE PRIZES.--No competition under the program may result in the award of more than $1,000,000 in cash prizes without the approval of the Administrator or a designee of the Administrator.

``(e) RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER AUTHORITY.--The Administrator may utilize the authority in this section in conjunction with or in addition to the utilization of any other authority of the Administrator to acquire, support, or stimulate basic and applied research, technology development, or prototype demonstration projects.

``(f) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS.--Funds appropriated for the program authorized by this section shall remain available until expended.''.

SEC. 403. COMMERCIAL GOODS AND SERVICES.

It is the sense of the Congress that NASA should purchase commercially available space goods and services to the fullest extent feasible in support of the human missions beyond Earth and should encourage commercial use and development of space to the greatest extent practicable.

TITLE V--MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE IMPROVEMENTS

SEC. 501. EXTENSION OF INDEMNIFICATION AUTHORITY.

Section 309 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2458c) is amended by striking ``December 31, 2002'' and inserting ``December 31, 2007'', and by striking ``September 30, 2005'' and inserting ``December 31, 2009''.

SEC. 502. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROVISIONS.

Section 305 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2457 et seq.), is amended by inserting after subsection (f) the following:

``(g) ASSIGNMENT OF PATENT RIGHTS, ETC.--

``(1) IN GENERAL.--Under agreements entered into pursuant to paragraph (5) or (6) of section 203(c) of this Act (42 U.S.C. 2473(c)(5) or (6)), the Administrator may--

``(A) grant or agree to grant in advance to a participating party, patent licenses or assignments, or options thereto, in any invention made in whole or in part by an Administration employee under the agreement; or

``(B) subject to section 209 of title 35, grant a license to an invention which is Federally owned, for which a patent application was filed before the signing of the agreement, and directly within the scope of the work under the agreement, for reasonable compensation when appropriate.

``(2) EXCLUSIVITY.--The Administrator shall ensure, through such agreement, that the participating party has the option to choose an exclusive license for a pre-negotiated field of use for any such invention under the agreement or, if there is more than 1 participating party, that the participating parties are offered the option to hold licensing rights that collectively encompass the rights that would be held under such an exclusive license by one party.

``(3) CONDITIONS.--In consideration for the Government's contribution under the agreement, grants under this subsection shall be subject to the following explicit conditions:

``(A) A nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license from the participating party to the Administration to practice the invention or have the invention practiced throughout the world by or on behalf of the Government. In the exercise of such license, the Government shall not publicly disclose trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential within the meaning of section 552 (b)(4) of title 5, United States Code, or which would be considered as such if it had been obtained from a non-Federal party.

``(B) If the Administration assigns title or grants an exclusive license to such an invention, the Government shall retain the right--

``(i) to require the participating party to grant to a responsible applicant a nonexclusive, partially exclusive, or exclusive license to use the invention in the applicant's licensed field of use, on terms that are reasonable under the circumstances; or

``(ii) if the participating party fails to grant such a license, to grant the license itself.

``(C) The Government may exercise its right retained under subparagraph (B) only in exceptional circumstances and only if the Government determines that--

``(i) the action is necessary to meet health or safety needs that are not reasonably satisfied by the participating party;

``(ii) the action is necessary to meet requirements for public use specified by Federal regulations, and such requirements are not reasonably satisfied by the participating party; or

``(iii) the action is necessary to comply with an agreement containing provisions described in section 12(c)(4)(B) of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a(c)(4)(B)).

``(4) APPEAL AND REVIEW OF DETERMINATION.--A determination under paragraph (3)(C) is subject to administrative appeal and judicial review under section 203(b) of title 35, United States Code.''.

SEC. 503. RETROCESSION OF JURISDICTION.

Title III of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended by section 502 of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 317. RETROCESSION OF JURISDICTION.

``Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator may, whenever the Administrator considers it desirable, relinquish to a State all or part of the legislative jurisdiction of the United States over lands or interests under the Administrator's control in that State. Relinquishment of legislative jurisdiction under this section may be accomplished (1) by filing with the Governor of the State concerned a notice of relinquishment to take effect upon acceptance thereof, or (2) as the laws of the State may otherwise provide.''.

SEC. 504. RECOVERY AND DISPOSITION AUTHORITY.

Title III of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended by section 603 of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 318. RECOVERY AND DISPOSITION AUTHORITY.

``(a) IN GENERAL.--

``(1) CONTROL OF REMAINS.--Subject to paragraph (2), when there is an accident or mishap resulting in the death of a crewmember of a NASA human space flight vehicle, the Administrator may take control over the remains of the crewmember and order autopsies and other scientific or medical tests.

``(2) TREATMENT.--Each crewmember shall provide the Administrator with his or her preferences regarding the treatment accorded to his or her remains and the Administrator shall, to the extent possible, respect those stated preferences.

``(b) DEFINITIONS.--In this section:

``(1) CREWMEMBER.--The term `crewmember' means an astronaut or other person assigned to a NASA human space flight vehicle.

``(2) NASA HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT VEHICLE.--The term `NASA human space flight vehicle' means a space vehicle, as defined in section 308(f)(1), that--

``(A) is intended to transport 1 or more persons;

``(B) designed to operate in outer space; and

``(C) is either owned by NASA , or owned by a NASA contractor or cooperating party and operated as part of a NASA mission or a joint mission with NASA .''.

SEC. 505. REQUIREMENT FOR INDEPENDENT COST ANALYSIS.

Section 301 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 2459g) amended--

(1) by striking ``Phase B'' in subsection (a) and inserting ``implementation'';

(2) by striking ``$150,000,000'' in subsection (a) and inserting ``$250,000,000'';

(3) by striking ``Chief Financial Officer'' each place it appears in subsection (a) and inserting ``Administrator'';

(4) by inserting ``and consider'' in subsection (a) after ``shall conduct''; and

(5) by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:

``(b) IMPLEMENTATION DEFINED.--In this section, the term `implementation' means all activity in the life cycle of a program or project after preliminary design, independent assessment of the preliminary design, and approval to proceed into implementation, including critical design, development, certification, launch, operations, disposal of assets, and, for technology programs, development, testing, analysis and communication of the results to the customers.''.

SEC. 506. ELECTRONIC ACCESS TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES.

Title III of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended by section 604 of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 319. ELECTRONIC ACCESS TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES.

``(a) IN GENERAL.--The Administrator may implement a pilot program providing for reduction in the waiting period between publication of notice of a proposed contract action and release of the solicitation for procurements conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

``(b) APPLICABILITY.--The program implemented under subsection (a) shall apply to non-commercial acquisitions--

``(1) with a total value in excess of $100,000 but not more than $5,000,000, including options;

``(2) that do not involve bundling of contract requirements as defined in section 3(o) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(o)); and

``(3) for which a notice is required by section 8(e) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(e)) and section 18(a) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 416(a)).

``(c) NOTICE.--

``(1) Notice of acquisitions subject to the program authorized by this section shall be made accessible through the single Government-wide point of entry designated in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, consistent with section 30(c)(4) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 426(c)(4)).

``(2) Providing access to notice in accordance with paragraph (1) satisfies the publication requirements of section 8(e) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(e)) and section 18(a) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 416(a)).

``(d) SOLICITATION.--Solicitations subject to the program authorized by this section shall be made accessible through the Government-wide point of entry, consistent with requirements set forth in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, except for adjustments to the wait periods as provided in subsection (e).

``(e) WAIT PERIOD.--

``(1) Whenever a notice required by section 8(e)(1)(A) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(e)(1)(A)) and section 18(a) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 416(a)) is made accessible in accordance with subsection (c) of this section, the wait period set forth in section 8(e)(3)(A) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(e)(3)(A)) and section 18(a)(3)(A) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 416(a)(3)(A)), shall be reduced by 5 days. If the solicitation applying to that notice is accessible electronically in accordance with subsection (d) simultaneously with issuance of the notice, the wait period set forth in section 8(e)(3)(A) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(e)(3)(A)) and section 18(a)(3)(A) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 416(a)(3)(A)) shall not apply and the period specified in section 8(e)(3)(B) of the Small Business Act and section 18(a)(3)(B) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act for submission of bids or proposals shall begin to run from the date the solicitation is electronically accessible.

``(2) When a notice and solicitation are made accessible simultaneously and the wait period is waived pursuant to paragraph (1), the deadline for the submission of bids or proposals shall be not less than 5 days greater than the minimum deadline set forth in section 8(e)(3)(B) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(e)(3)(B)) and section 18(a)(3)(B) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 416(a)(3)(B)).

``(f) IMPLEMENTATION.--

``(1) Nothing in this section shall be construed as modifying regulatory requirements set forth in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, except with respect to--

``(A) the applicable wait period between publication of notice of a proposed contract action and release of the solicitation; and

``(B) the deadline for submission of bids or proposals for procurements conducted in accordance with the terms of this pilot program.

``(2) This section shall not apply to the extent the President determines it is inconsistent with any international agreement to which the United States is a party.

``(g) STUDY.--Within 18 months after the effective date of the program, NASA , in coordination with the Small Business Administration, the General Services Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget, shall evaluate the impact of the pilot program and submit to Congress a report that--

``(1) sets forth in detail the results of the test, including the impact on competition and small business participation; and

``(2) addresses whether the pilot program should be made permanent, continued as a test program, or allowed to expire.

``(h) REGULATIONS.--The Administrator shall publish proposed revisions to the NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement necessary to implement this section in the Federal Register not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005. The Administrator shall--

``(1) make the proposed regulations available for public comment for a period of not less than 60 days; and

``(2) publish final regulations in the Federal Register not later than 240 days after the date of enactment of that Act.

``(i) EFFECTIVE DATE.--

``(1) IN GENERAL.--The pilot program authorized by this section shall take effect on the date specified in the final regulations promulgated pursuant to subsection (h)(2).

``(2) LIMITATION.--The date so specified shall be no less than 30 days after the date on which the final regulation is published.

``(j) EXPIRATION OF AUTHORITY.--The authority to conduct the pilot program under subsection (a) and to award contracts under such program shall expire 2 years after the effective date established in the final regulations published in the Federal Register under subsection (h)(2).''.

SEC. 507. REPORTS ELIMINATION.

(a) REPEALS.--The following provisions of law are repealed:

(1) Section 201 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 2451 note).

(2) Section 304(d) of the Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering, and Development Authorization Act of 1992 (49 U.S.C. 47508 note).

(3) Section 323 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2000.

(b) AMENDMENTS.--

(1) Section 315 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2459j) is amended by striking subsection (a) and redesignating subsections (b) through (f) as subsections (a) through (e).

(2) Section 315(a) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2487a(c)) is amended by striking subsection (c) and redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (c).

Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, I am pleased to join Senator Hutchison today in sponsoring a NASA Authorization Act that provides policy guidance for keeping NASA on track to achieve their objectives; and to ensure that there is a good balance between the different activities that NASA performs.

As chair and ranking member of the Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Science and Space, Senator Hutchison and I believe that through this bill, Congress can provide constructive support to the good work being done by Administrator Michael Griffin, as they begin to implement the President's vision and prepare NASA for the challenges of the future.

This is a 5-year bill, authorizing NASA from 2006 through 2010. It authorizes NASA appropriations in excess of the President's Budget Request.

For fiscal year 2006, the President requested $16.456 billion, which is a 2.4 percent increase over the fiscal year 2005 NASA operating budget. This bill authorizes $16.556 billion for fiscal year 2006, which is a 3.0 percent increase over the fiscal year 2005 NASA operating budget. This bill authorizes increases at a level of about 3 percent each year, consistently providing more funding than the President's budget projection.

Like many of our colleagues, we believe that recent NASA budget requests have been below the levels required for NASA to perform its various missions effectively. Once this bill is enacted, we intend to work with the Appropriations Committee to ensure that adequate funds are provided for NASA to succeed.

This legislation authorizes NASA to return humans to the Moon, to explore it, and to maintain a human presence on the Moon. Consistent with the President's vision, it also requires using what we learn and develop on the Moon as a stepping-stone to future exploration of Mars.

To carry out these missions, our bill requires NASA to develop an implementation plan for the transition from shuttle to crew exploration vehicle, CEV. The plan will help NASA to make a smooth transition from retirement of the space shuttle orbiters to the replacement spacecraft systems. The implementation plan will help make sure that we can keep the skills and the focus that are needed to assure that each space shuttle flight is safe through retirement of the orbiters, and to retain those personnel needed for the CEV and heavy lift cargo spacecraft.

It is essential to our national security that we prevent any hiatus or gap in which the United States cannot send astronauts to space without relying on a foreign country. The Russians have been good partners in construction of the international space station, and the Soyuz spacecraft has been a reliable vehicle for our astronauts. But with all of the uncertainties in our relationship with Russia, we simply cannot allow ourselves the vulnerability of being totally dependent on the Soyuz. We need to maintain assured access to space by U.S. astronauts on a continuous basis. We therefore require in this legislation, that there not be a hiatus between the retirement of the space shuttle orbiters and the availability of the next generation U.S. human-rated spacecraft.

We recognize that NASA has some concerns regarding our position on a hiatus, and we are aware of Dr. Griffin's efforts to reduce the potential for a gap. We will work with NASA as this legislation moves forward to ensure that a compromise is reached that is mutually satisfying. This provision does not unduly tie the Administrator's hands, while still guaranteeing us assured access to space.

Our bill directs NASA to plan for and consider a Hubble servicing mission after the 2 space shuttle return to flight missions have been completed.

Americans are inspired by the images that Hubble produces. The new instruments to be added during the SM-4 Hubble servicing mission will produce higher quality images; enable us to see further into space; and give scientists a better understanding of our Universe's past, and perhaps of our future. The replacement gyroscopes and batteries that are planned for the mission will extend Hubble's life by 5 or more years.

This NASA authorization bill calls for utilization of the international space station for basic science as well as exploration science. It is important that we reap the benefits of our multi-billion dollar investment in the space station. The promise of some basic science research requires a microgravity or a space environment for us to better understand the problem that we are trying to solve. This bill ensures that NASA will maintain a focus on the importance of basic science.

This bill directs NASA to improve its safety culture. According to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, CAIB, report, the safety culture at NASA was as much a cause of the Columbia tragedy as the physical cause. Low and mid-level personnel felt that you could not elevate safety concerns without reprisals, or being ignored. NASA has already taken significant steps to address these problems, but we need to assure that the safety culture improves as quickly as possible and that it continues to improve.

This legislation proposes that the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel monitor and measure NASA's improvements to their safety culture, including employees' fear of reprisals for voicing concerns about safety.

It also contains policy regarding NASA's need to consider and implement lessons learned, in order to avoid another preventable tragedy like the Challenger and Columbia disasters.

This authorization bill addresses NASA aeronautics and America's pre-eminence in aviation. The Europeans have stated their intent to dominate the airplane market by 2020. This bill directs the President, through the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, OSTP, to work with NASA and other Federal agencies to develop a national policy for aeronautics. It also directs NASA to evaluate its core aeronautics research.

Many people do not realize that NASA does research for improving airplanes. NASA conducts research that makes airplanes safer, quieter, more fuel efficient, and less polluting. This important function of NASA needs to be continued and further developed.

Senator Hutchison and I expect to mark this bill up in the Commerce Committee later this week, and hope to have time to consider it on the floor before the August recess. I will urge all of my colleagues to support this important legislation. NASA has a new direction, and they have outstanding new leadership in Dr. Griffin.

We have an opportunity to authorize NASA for: implementing the Vision for Space Exploration; renewing our commitment to U.S. aviation and NASA aeronautics research; retaining or resurrecting very important science activities at NASA ; and assuring that America has continuous human access to space.

By doing so, we will continue to advance our national security, strengthen our economy, inspire the next generation of explorers, and fulfill our destiny as explorers.

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