H.R. 4916 Aeronautics and Space Prize Act


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HR 4916 IH

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 4916

To create a National Endowment to advance private sector development of aeronautics and space technologies by way of the National Advanced Space and Aeronautical Technologies Prize Award Program.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 19, 2007

Mr. ROHRABACHER introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology


A BILL

To create a National Endowment to advance private sector development of aeronautics and space technologies by way of the National Advanced Space and Aeronautical Technologies Prize Award Program.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Aeronautics and Space Prize Act'.

SEC. 2. NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR AERONAUTICS AND SPACE.

    (a) Establishment- There is established a National Endowment for Aeronautics and Space (referred to in this Act as the `Endowment').

    (b) Purposes- The purposes of the Endowment are--

      (1) to execute a program awarding cash prizes in recognition of outstanding private sector achievements in basic, advanced, and applied research, technology development, and prototype demonstration that have the potential for application to the Nation's aeronautics and space endeavors within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (referred to in this Act as `NASA') and other governmental agencies as well as private entities in the United States;

      (2) with the advice of NASA and other agencies as appropriate, to carry out a program for tasteful advertising of commercial products and services in conjunction with the Nation's aeronautics and space endeavors in conjunction with NASA, other agencies involved in aeronautics and space, or independently; and

      (3) to encourage private gifts of real and personal property or any income therefrom or other interest therein for the benefit of, or in connection with, the Nation's aeronautics and space endeavors in NASA as well as other governmental agencies and private entities involved in aeronautics and space in the United States.

    (c) Authority of the Endowment- In carrying out the purposes specified in subsection (b), the endowment 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 the purposes specified in subsection (b), in accordance with civil service laws; and

      (3) to appoint such advisory committees as may be appropriate for purposes of consultation and advice to the Endowment.

    (d) Powers of the Endowment-

      (1) CONTRACT- The Endowment, with the advice of NASA and other agencies as appropriate, shall have the power to enter into contracts or grants, to execute instruments, and generally to do any and all lawful acts necessary or appropriate consistent with the purposes of the Endowment specified in subsection (b).

      (2) PAYMENT- Neither NASA, other agencies, private sector entities, nor any employee thereof, except as specified in this Act, is authorized to accept funds from the Endowment.

      (3) COORDINATION- In order to carry out its functions under this Act, the Endowment may utilize the services and facilities of NASA and other Federal agencies, and such services and facilities may be made available on request to the extent practicable without reimbursement therefor.

    (e) Gifts; Devises; Bequests-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Endowment may accept, receive, solicit, hold, administer, and use any gifts, devises, or bequests, either absolutely or in trust, of real or personal property or any income therefrom or other interest therein for the benefit of or in connection with the Nation's aeronautics and space endeavors within NASA as well as other governmental agencies within the United States, including a gift, devise, or bequest that is encumbered, restricted, or subject to beneficial interests of private persons if any current or future interest therein is for the benefit of the Nation's aeronautics and space endeavors within NASA as well as other governmental agencies involved in aeronautics and space within the United States. For purposes of this paragraph, an interest in real property includes easements or other rights for preservation, conservation, protection, or enhancement by and for the public of natural, scenic, historic, scientific, educational, inspirational, or recreational resources.

      (2) LIMITATION- The Endowment may not accept a gift, devise, or bequest which entails any expenditure other than from the resources of the Endowment.

      (3) PROPERTY OF THE UNITED STATES- Gifts and other transfers made to or for the use of the Endowment shall be regarded as contributions, gifts, or transfers to or for the use of the United States.

    (f) Reporting- Promptly at the end of each fiscal year, the Endowment shall transmit to Congress an annual report of its proceedings and activities, including a full and complete statement of its receipts, expenditures, and investments.

    (g) Chairperson of the Endowment-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Endowment shall be headed by a Chairperson, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

      (2) RESPONSIBILITIES- Under the supervision and direction of the President, the Chairperson shall be responsible for the exercise of all powers and the discharge of all duties of the Endowment, and shall have authority and control over all personnel and activities thereof. The Chairperson shall not engage in any other business, vocation, or employment while serving as such.

      (3) TERMS- The Chairperson shall serve for a term of 4 years and shall be eligible for reappointment. Upon expiration of the Chairperson's term of office the Chairperson shall serve until the Chairperson's successor shall be appointed.

      (4) DUTIES- The Chairperson shall correlate the programs of the Endowment, insofar as practicable, with existing programs of Federal, State, regional, or private groups, and shall develop the programs of the Endowment with due regard to the contribution to the objectives of this Act which can be made by other Federal agencies under existing programs. The Chairperson may enter into interagency agreements to promote or assist the aeronautics and space activities of other Federal agencies on a reimbursable or nonreimbursable basis, and may use funds authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of subsection (b) for the costs of such activities.

SEC. 3. NATIONAL ADVANCED SPACE AND AERONAUTICAL TECHNOLOGIES PRIZE AWARD PROGRAM.

    (a) In General- The Endowment shall carry out the program described in section 2(b)(1).

    (b) Competition Requirements- The Endowment shall--

      (1) widely advertise prize competitions and use a competitive process for the selection of recipients of prizes under this section; and

      (2) make a determination, with the advice of NASA and other governmental agencies as appropriate, prior to the advertisement required under paragraph (1) if an individual prize might have benefits for the Nation's aeronautics and space endeavors within NASA as well as other governmental agencies and private entities involved in aeronautics and space in the United States.

    (c) Registration-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Endowment shall require potential recipients of prizes to register for any prize competition under the program established under this section, and, as part of the registration process, to 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 or revenue or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in a competition, whether such injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise, except in the case of willful misconduct.

      (2) RELATED ENTITY- For purposes of this subsection, the term `related entity' includes a contractor or subcontractor at any tier, and a supplier, user, customer, cooperating party, grantee, investigator, or detailee.

    (d) Limitations- The following limitations apply:

      (1) The total amount of cash prizes budgeted in a fiscal year shall not exceed $150,000,000.

      (2) No prize competition shall result in the award of more than $50,000 in cash prizes without the approval of the Chairperson or the Chairperson's designee.

    (e) Availability of Funds- Funds appropriated for the program authorized by this section shall remain available until expended for a maximum of 4 years.

    (f) Report- The Endowment shall transmit to the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and to the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives, a report on the administration of the program under this section for each fiscal year. The report shall include--

      (1) the aeronautics and space applications for which cash prizes were awarded;

      (2) the total amount of the cash prizes awarded; and

      (3) the methods used for solicitation and evaluation of submissions, together with an assessment of the effectiveness of those methods.

SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.

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