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At A Glance
 
Public Law
: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010
: 111-267
Session: 111th Congress (Second Session)

The following are excerpts, highlighted in red, from the final legislation and/or conference report which contain references to and studies for The National Academies. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)

S3729 Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) 9/29/10
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)
To authorize the programs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for fiscal years 2011 through 2013, and for other purposes.
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TITLE II—POLICY, GOALS, AND OBJECTIVES FOR HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT AND EXPLORATION

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SEC. 204. INDEPENDENT STUDY ON HUMAN EXPLORATION OF SPACE.


(a) In General.—In fiscal year 2012 the Administrator shall contract with the National Academies for a review of the goals, core capabilities, and direction of human space flight, using the goals set forth in the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008, the goals set forth in this Act, and goals set forth in any existing statement of space policy issued by the President.

(b) Elements.—The review shall include—

(1) a broad spectrum of participation with representatives of a range of disciplines, backgrounds, and generations, including civil, commercial, international, scientific, and national security interests;


(2) input from NASA’s international partner discussions and NASA’s Human Exploration Framework Team;


(3) an examination of the relationship of national goals to foundational capabilities, robotic activities, technologies, and missions authorized by this Act;


(4) a review and prioritization of scientific, engineering, economic, and social science questions to be addressed by human space exploration to improve the overall human condition; and


(5) findings and recommendations for fiscal years 2014 through 2023.


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TITLE V—CONTINUATION, SUPPORT, AND EVOLUTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

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SEC. 504. MANAGEMENT OF THE ISS NATIONAL LABORATORY.


(a) Cooperative Agreement With Not-for Profit Entity for Management of National Laboratory.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall provide initial financial assistance and enter into a cooperative agreement with an appropriate organization that is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to manage the activities of the ISS national laboratory in accordance with this section.


(2) QUALIFICATIONS.—The organization with which the Administrator enters into the cooperative agreement shall develop the capabilities to implement research and development projects utilizing the ISS national laboratory and to otherwise manage the activities of the ISS national laboratory.


(3) PROHIBITION ON OTHER ACTIVITIES.—The cooperative agreement shall require the organization entering into the agreement to engage exclusively in activities relating to the management of the ISS national laboratory and activities that promote its long term research and development mission as required by this section, without any other organizational objectives or responsibilities on behalf of the organization or any parent organization or other entity.

(b) NASA Liaison.—

(1) DESIGNATION.—The Administrator shall designate an official or employee of the Space Operations Mission Directorate of NASA to act as liaison between NASA and the organization with which the Administrator enters into a cooperative agreement under subsection (a) with regard to the management of the ISS national laboratory.


(2) CONSULTATION WITH LIAISON.—The cooperative agreement shall require the organization entering into the agreement to carry out its responsibilities under the agreement in cooperation and consultation with the official or employee designated under paragraph (1).


(c) Planning and Coordination of ISS national laboratory Research Activities.—The Administrator shall provide initial financial assistance to the organization with which the Administrator enters into a cooperative agreement under subsection (a), in order for the organization to initiate the following:

(1) Planning and coordination of the ISS national laboratory research activities.


(2) Development and implementation of guidelines, selection criteria, and flight support requirements for non-NASA scientific utilization of ISS research capabilities and facilities available in United States-owned modules of the ISS or in partner-owned facilities of the ISS allocated to United States utilization by international agreement.


(3) Interaction with and integration of the International Space Station National Laboratory Advisory Committee established under section 602 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008 (42 U.S.C. 17752) with the governance of the organization, and review recommendations provided by that Committee regarding agreements with non-NASA departments and agencies of the United States Government, academic institutions and consortia, and commercial entities leading to the utilization of the ISS national laboratory facilities.


(4) Coordination of transportation requirements in support of the ISS national laboratory research and development objectives, including provision for delivery of instruments, logistics support, and related experiment materials, and provision for return to Earth of collected samples, materials, and scientific instruments in need of replacement or upgrade.


(5) Cooperation with NASA, other departments and agencies of the United States Government, the States, and commercial entities in ensuring the enhancement and sustained operations of non-exploration-related research payload ground support facilities for the ISS, including the Space Life Sciences Laboratory, the Space Station Processing Facility and Payload Operations Integration Center.


(6) Development and implementation of scientific outreach and education activities designed to ensure effective utilization of ISS research capabilities including the conduct of scientific assemblies, conferences, and other fora for the presentation of research findings, methods, and mechanisms for the dissemination of non-restricted research findings and the development of educational programs, course supplements, interaction with educational programs at all grade levels, including student-focused research opportunities for conduct of research in the ISS national laboratory facilities.


(7) Such other matters relating to the utilization of the ISS national laboratory facilities for research and development as the Administrator may consider appropriate.


(d) Research Capacity Allocation and Integration of Research Payloads.—

(1) ALLOCATION OF ISS RESEARCH CAPACITY.—As soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, but not later than October 1, 2011, ISS national laboratory managed experiments shall be guaranteed access to, and utilization of, not less than 50 percent of the United States research capacity allocation, including power, cold stowage, and requisite crew time onboard the ISS through September 30, 2020. Access to the ISS research capacity includes provision for the adequate upmass and downmass capabilities to utilize the ISS research capacity, as available. The Administrator may allocate additional capacity to the ISS national laboratory should such capacity be in excess of NASA research requirements.


(2) ADDITIONAL RESEARCH CAPABILITIES.—If any NASA research plan is determined to require research capacity onboard the ISS beyond the percentage allocated under paragraph (1), such research plan shall be prepared in the form of a requested research opportunity to be submitted to the process established under this section for the consideration of proposed research within the capacity allocated to the ISS national laboratory. A proposal for such a research plan may include the establishment of partnerships with non-NASA institutions eligible to propose research to be conducted within the ISS national laboratory capacity. Until September 30, 2020, the official or employee designated under subsection (b) may grant an exception to this requirement in the case of a proposed experiment considered essential for purposes of preparing for exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, as determined by joint agreement between the organization with which the Administrator enters into a cooperative agreement under subsection (a) and the official or employee designated under subsection (b).


(3) RESEARCH PRIORITIES AND ENHANCED CAPACITY.—The organization with which the Administrator enters into the cooperative agreement shall consider recommendations of the National Academies Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space in establishing research priorities and in developing proposed enhancements of research capacity and opportunities for the ISS national laboratory.


(4) RESPONSIBILITY FOR RESEARCH PAYLOAD.—NASA shall retain its roles and responsibilities in providing research payload physical, analytical, and operations integration during pre-flight, post-flight, transportation, and orbital phases essential to ensure safe and effective flight readiness and vehicle integration of research activities approved and prioritized by the organization with which the Administrator enters into the cooperative agreement and the official or employee designated under subsection (b).


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TITLE VII—EARTH SCIENCE

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SEC. 704. DECADAL SURVEY MISSIONS IMPLEMENTATION FOR EARTH OBSERVATION.


The Administrator shall undertake to implement, as appropriate, missions identified in the National Research Council’s Earth Science Decadal Survey within the scope of the funds authorized for the Earth Science Mission Directorate.

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TITLE VIII—SPACE SCIENCE

SEC. 801. TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT.


The Administrator shall ensure that the Science Mission Directorate maintains a long term technology development program for space and Earth science. This effort should be coordinated with an overall Agency technology investment approach, as authorized in section 905 of this Act.

SEC. 802. SUBORBITAL RESEARCH ACTIVITIES.


(a) In General.—The report of the National Academy of Sciences, Revitalizing NASA’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation and Developing Workforce, found that suborbital science missions were absolutely critical to building an aerospace workforce capable of meeting the needs of current and future human and robotic space exploration.

(b) Management.—The Administrator shall designate an officer or employee of the Science Mission Directorate to act as the responsible official for all Suborbital Research in the Science Mission Directorate. The designee shall be responsible for the development of short- and long term strategic plans for maintaining, renewing and extending suborbital facilities and capabilities, monitoring progress towards goals in the plans, and be responsible for integration of suborbital activities and workforce development within the agency, thereby ensuring the long term recognition of their combined value to the directorate, to NASA, and to the Nation.

(c) Establishment of Suborbital Research Program.—The Administrator shall establish a Suborbital Research Program within the Science Mission Directorate that shall include the use of sounding rockets, aircraft, high altitude balloons, suborbital reusable launch vehicles, and commercial launch vehicles to advance science and train the next generation of scientists and engineers in systems engineering and systems integration which are vital to maintaining critical skills in the aerospace workforce. The program shall integrate existing suborbital research programs with orbital missions at the discretion of the designated officer or employee and shall emphasize the participation of undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral researchers when formulating announcements of opportunity.

(d) Report.—The Administrator shall report to the appropriate committees of Congress on the number and type of suborbital missions conducted in each fiscal year and the number of undergraduate and graduate students participating in the missions. The report shall be made annually for each fiscal year under this section.

(e) Authorization.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

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SEC. 805. DECADAL RESULTS.


NASA shall take into account the current decadal surveys from the National Academies’ Space Studies Board when submitting the President’s budget request to the Congress.

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TITLE IX—AERONAUTICS AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY

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SEC. 906. NATIONAL SPACE TECHNOLOGY POLICY.


(a) In General.—The President or the President’s designee, in consultation with appropriate Federal agencies, shall develop a national policy to guide the space technology development programs of the United States through 2020. The policy shall include national goals for technology development and shall describe the role and responsibilities of each Federal agency that will carry out the policy. In developing the policy, the President or the President’s designee shall utilize external studies that have been conducted on the state of United States technology development and have suggested policies to ensure continued competitiveness.

(b) Content.—

(1) At a minimum, the national space technology development policy shall describe for NASA—


(A) the priority areas of research for technology investment;


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


(C) the facilities and personnel needed to carry out the technology development program; and


(D) the budget assumptions on which the policy is based, which for fiscal years 2011, 2012, and 2013 shall be the authorized level for NASA’s technology program authorized by this Act.


(2) The policy shall be based on the premise that the Federal Government has an established interest in conducting research and development programs that help preserve the role of the United States as a global leader in space technologies and their application.


(3) Considerations.—In developing the national space technology development policy, the President or the President’s designee shall consider, and include a discussion in the report required by subsection (c), of the following issues:


(A) The extent to which NASA should focus on long term, high-risk research or more incremental technology development, and the expected impact of that decision on the United States economy.


(B) The extent to which NASA should address military and commercial needs.


(C) How NASA will coordinate its technology program with other Federal agencies.


(D) The extent to which NASA will conduct research in-house, fund university research, and collaborate on industry research and the expected impact of that mix of funding on the supply of United States workers for industry.


(4) Consultation.—In the development of the national space technology development policy, the President or the President’s designee shall consult widely with academic and industry experts and with other Federal agencies. The Administrator may enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences to help develop the policy.

(c) Report.—

(1) Policy.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit a report setting forth national space technology policy to the appropriate committees of Congress and to the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations.


(2) Implementation.—Not later than 60 days after the President transmits the report required by paragraph (1) to the Congress, the Administrator shall transmit a report to the same committees describing how NASA will carry out the policy.

SEC. 907. COMMERCIAL REUSABLE SUBORBITAL RESEARCH PROGRAM.


(a) IN GENERAL.—The report of the National Academy of Sciences, Revitalizing NASA’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation and Developing Workforce, found that suborbital science missions were absolutely critical to building an aerospace workforce capable of meeting the needs of current and future human and robotic space exploration.

(b) MANAGEMENT.—The Administrator shall designate an officer or employee of the Space Technology Program to act as the responsible official for the Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program in the Space Technology Program. The designee shall be responsible for the development of short- and long term strategic plans for maintaining, renewing and extending suborbital facilities and capabilities.

(c) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Administrator shall establish a Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program within the Space Technology Program that shall fund the development of payloads for scientific research, technology development, and education, and shall provide flight opportunities for those payloads to microgravity environments and suborbital altitudes. The Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program may fund engineering and integration demonstrations, proofs of concept, or educational experiments for commercial reusable vehicle flights. The program shall endeavor to work with NASA’s Mission Directorates to help achieve NASA’s research, technology, and education goals.

(d) REPORT.—The Administrator shall submit a report annually to the appropriate committees of Congress describing progress in carrying out the Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research program, including the number and type of suborbital missions planned in each fiscal year.

(e) AUTHORIZATION.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator $15,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2013 to carry out this section.

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TITLE XI—RE-SCOPING AND REVITALIZING INSTITUTIONAL CAPABILITIES


SEC. 1101. SENSE OF CONGRESS.


It is the sense of Congress that NASA needs to re-scope, and as appropriate, down-size, to fit current and future missions and expected funding levels. Eighty percent of NASA’s facilities are over 40 years old. Additionally, in a number of areas NASA finds itself “holding onto” facilities and capabilities scaled to another era.

SEC. 1102. INSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS STUDY.


Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall provide to the appropriate committees of Congress a comprehensive study that, taking into account the long term direction provided by this Act, carefully examines NASA’s structure, organization, and institutional assets and identifies a strategy to evolve toward the most efficient retention, sizing, and distribution of facilities, laboratories, test capabilities, and other infrastructure consistent with NASA’s missions and mandates. The Administrator should pay particular attention to identifying and removing unneeded or duplicative infrastructure. The Administrator should include in the study a suggested reconfiguration and reinvestment strategy that would conform the needed equipment, facilities, test equipment, and related organizational alignment that would best meet the requirements of missions and priorities authorized and directed by this Act. As part of this strategy, the Administrator should include consideration and application of the findings and recommendations of the National Research Council report, Capabilities for the Future: An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research, prepared in response to section 1003 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008 (42 U.S.C. 17812).

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TITLE XII—OTHER MATTERS

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SEC. 1205. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION AND VALIDATION OF NASA SOFTWARE.


It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) safety is at the heart of every NASA mission;


(2) the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance remains vital to assuring the safety of all NASA activities;


(3) among the most important activities of the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance is the performance of independent safety and mission assurance assessments and process verification reviews;


(4) as NASA embarks on a new path, independent verification and validation of software must be of the highest priority to ensure safety throughout all NASA programs;


(5) NASA’s activities depend on software integrity to achieve their goals and deliver a successful mission to the American people;


(6) independent verification and validation is necessary to ensure that safety-critical software will operate dependably and support mission success;


(7) the creation of the Independent Verification and Validation Facility of NASA was the direct result of recommendations made by the National Research Council and the Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident;


(8) the mission-critical software of NASA must operate dependably and safely;


(9) the Independent Verification and Validation Facility of NASA plays an important role in assuring the safety of all NASA activities by improving methodologies for risk identification and assessment, and providing recommendations for risk mitigation and acceptance; and


(10) the Independent Verification and Validation Facility shall be the sole provider of independent verification and validation services for software created by or for NASA.


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