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Title of Law:National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005
Law #:Public Law 109-155
Passed by Congress:109th Congress (1st Session)

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

S1281 Hutchison, K. (R.-Texas) 12/22/05
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

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.
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SEC. 101. RESPONSIBILITIES, POLICIES, AND PLANS.

(a) General Responsibilities.—

(1) PROGRAMS.—The Administrator shall ensure that NASA carries out a balanced set of programs that shall include, at a minimum, programs in—

(A) human space flight, in accordance with subsection (b);

(B) aeronautics research and development; and

(C) scientific research, which shall include, at a minimum—

(i) robotic missions to study the Moon and other planets and their moons, and to deepen understanding of astronomy, astrophysics, and other areas of science that can be productively studied from space;

(ii) earth science research and research on the Sun-Earth connection through the development and operation of research satellites and other means;

(iii) support of university research in space science, earth science, and microgravity science; and

(iv) research on microgravity, including research that is not directly related to human exploration.

(2) CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION.—In carrying out the programs of NASA, the Administrator shall—

(A) consult and coordinate to the extent appropriate with other relevant Federal agencies, including through the National Science and Technology Council;

(B) work closely with the private sector, including by—

(i) encouraging the work of entrepreneurs who are seeking to develop new means to launch satellites, crew, or cargo;

(ii) contracting with the private sector for crew and cargo services, including to the International Space Station, to the extent practicable;

(iii) using commercially available products (including software) and services to the extent practicable to support all NASA activities; and

(iv) encouraging commercial use and development of space to the greatest extent practicable; and

(C) involve other nations to the extent appropriate.

(b) Vision for Space Exploration.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall establish a program to develop a sustained human presence on the Moon, including a robust precursor program, to promote exploration, science, commerce, and United States preeminence in space, and as a stepping-stone to future exploration of Mars and other destinations. The Administrator is further authorized to develop and conduct appropriate international collaborations in pursuit of these goals.

(2) MILESTONES.—The Administrator shall manage human space flight programs to strive to achieve the following milestones (in conformity with section 503)—

(A) Returning Americans to the Moon no later than 2020.

(B) Launching the Crew Exploration Vehicle as close to 2010 as possible.

(C) Increasing knowledge of the impacts of long duration stays in space on the human body using the most appropriate facilities available, including the ISS.

(D) Enabling humans to land on and return from Mars and other destinations on a timetable that is technically and fiscally possible.

(c) Aeronautics.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The President of the United States, through an official the President shall designate, and in consultation with appropriate Federal agencies, shall develop a national policy to guide the aeronautics research and development programs of the United States through 2020. The policy shall include national goals for aeronautics research and development and shall describe the role and responsibilities of each Federal agency that will carry out the policy. The development of the policy shall utilize external studies that have been conducted on the state of United States aeronautics and aviation research and development and have suggested policies to ensure continued competitiveness.

(2) CONTENT.—(A) At a minimum, the national aeronautics research and development policy shall describe for NASA—

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

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

(iii) the facilities and personnel needed to carry out the aeronautics program through fiscal year 2011; and

(iv) the budget assumptions on which the policy is based, which for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 shall be the authorized level for aeronautics provided in title II of this Act.

(B) The policy shall be based on the premises that—

(i) the Federal Government has an established interest in conducting research and development programs for improving the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical vehicles, as described in section 102(d)(2) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2451(d)(2)); and

(ii) 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 aeronautical technologies and in their application, as described in section 102(d)(5) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2451(d)(5)).

(3) CONSIDERATIONS.—In developing the national aeronautics research and development policy, the President shall consider the following issues, which shall be discussed in the transmittal under paragraph (5):

(A) The extent to which NASA should focus on long-term, high-risk research or more incremental research, and the expected impact of that decision on the United States economy, and the ability to achieve environmental and other public goals related to aeronautics.

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

(C) How NASA will coordinate its aeronautics 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 the aeronautics industry.

(E) The extent to which the priority areas of research listed pursuant to paragraph (2)(A) should include the activities authorized by title IV of this Act, the discussion of which shall include a priority ranking of all of the activities authorized in title IV and an explanation for that ranking.

(4) CONSULTATION.—In the development of the national aeronautics research and development policy, the President 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.

(5) SCHEDULE.—(A) Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit the national aeronautics research and development policy to the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

(B) Not later than 60 days after the transmittal of the policy under subparagraph (A), the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report describing how NASA will carry out the policy.

(C) At the time the President’s fiscal year 2007 budget is transmitted to the Congress, the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the proposed NASA aeronautics budget describing—

(i) the rationale for the budget levels and activities in the proposed fiscal year 2007 NASA aeronautics budget;

(ii) the extent to which the program directions proposed for fiscal year 2007 are likely to be consistent with the national policy being prepared under this section; and

(iii) the extent to which the proposed programs for fiscal year 2007 are consistent with past reports and current studies of the National Academy of Sciences, and other relevant reports and studies.

(d) Science.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall develop a plan to guide the science programs of NASA through 2016.

(2) CONTENT.—At a minimum, the plan developed under paragraph (1) shall be designed to ensure that NASA has a rich and vigorous set of science activities, and shall describe—

(A) the missions NASA will initiate, design, develop, launch, or operate in space science and earth science through fiscal year 2016, including launch dates;

(B) a priority ranking of all of the missions listed under subparagraph (A), and the rationale for the ranking; and

(C) the budget assumptions on which the policy is based, which for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 shall be consistent with the authorizations provided in title II of this Act.

(3) CONSIDERATIONS.—In developing the science plan under this subsection, the Administrator shall consider the following issues, which shall be discussed in the transmittal under paragraph (6):

(A) What the most important scientific questions in space science and earth science are.

(B) How to best benefit from the relationship between NASA’s space and earth science activities and those of other Federal agencies.

(C) Whether the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, SIM-Planet Quest, and missions under the Future Explorers Programs can be expedited to meet previous schedules.

(D) Whether any NASA Earth observing missions that have been delayed or cancelled can be restored.

(E) How to ensure the long-term vitality of Earth observation programs at NASA, including their satellite, science, and data system components.

(F) Whether current and currently planned Earth observation missions should be supplemented or replaced with new satellite architectures and instruments that enable global coverage, and all-weather, day and night imaging of the Earth’s surface features.

(G) How to integrate NASA earth science missions with the Global Earth Observing System of Systems.

(4) CONSULTATION.—In developing the plan under this subsection, the Administrator shall draw on decadal surveys and other reports in planetary science, astronomy, solar and space physics, earth science, and any other relevant fields developed by the National Academy of Sciences. The Administrator shall also consult widely with academic and industry experts and with other Federal agencies.

(5) HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE.—The plan developed under this subsection shall address plans for a human mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope consistent with section 302 of this Act.

(6) SCHEDULE.—The Administrator shall transmit the plan developed under this subsection to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act. The Administrator shall make available to those committees any study done by a nongovernmental entity that was used in the development of the plan.

(e) Facilities.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall develop a plan for managing NASA’s facilities through fiscal year 2015. The plan shall be consistent with the policies and plans developed pursuant to this section.

(2) CONTENT.—At a minimum, the plan developed under paragraph (1) shall describe—

(A) any new facilities NASA intends to acquire, whether through construction, purchase, or lease, and the expected dates for doing so;

(B) any facilities NASA intends to significantly modify, refurbish, or upgrade, and the expected dates for doing so;

(C) any facilities NASA intends to close, and the expected dates for doing so;

(D) any transactions NASA intends to conduct to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer the ownership of a facility, and the expected dates for doing so;

(E) how each of the actions described in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D) will enhance the ability of NASA to carry out its programs;

(F) the expected costs or savings expected from each of the actions described in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D);

(G) the priority order of the actions described in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D);

(H) the budget assumptions of the plan, which for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 shall be consistent with the authorizations provided in title II of this Act, including the funding levels for maintenance and repairs; and

(I) how facilities were evaluated in developing the plan.

(3) SCHEDULE.—The Administrator shall transmit the plan developed under this subsection to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than the date on which the President submits the proposed budget for the Federal Government for fiscal year 2008 to the Congress.

(f) Workforce.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall develop a human capital strategy to ensure that NASA has a workforce of the appropriate size and with the appropriate skills to carry out the programs of NASA, consistent with the policies and plans developed pursuant to this section. Under the strategy, NASA shall utilize current personnel, to the maximum extent feasible, in implementing the vision for space exploration and NASA’s other programs. The strategy shall cover the period through fiscal year 2011.

(2) CONTENT.—The strategy developed under paragraph (1) shall describe, at a minimum—

(A) any categories of employees NASA intends to reduce, the expected size and timing of those reductions, the methods NASA intends to use to make the reductions, and the reasons NASA no longer needs those employees;

(B) any categories of employees NASA intends to increase, the expected size and timing of those increases, the methods NASA intends to use to recruit the additional employees, and the reasons NASA needs those employees;

(C) the steps NASA will use to retain needed employees; and

(D) the budget assumptions of the strategy, which for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 shall be consistent with the authorizations provided in title II of this Act, and any expected additional costs or savings from the strategy by fiscal year.

(3) SCHEDULE.—The Administrator shall transmit the strategy developed under this subsection to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than 60 days after the date on which the President submits the proposed budget for the Federal Government for fiscal year 2007 to the Congress. At least 60 days before transmitting the strategy, NASA shall provide a draft of the strategy to its Federal employee unions for a 30-day consultation period after which NASA shall respond in writing to any written concerns provided by the unions.

(4) LIMITATION.—NASA may not implement any Reduction in Force or other involuntary separations (except for cause) prior to March 16, 2007.

(g) Center Management.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall conduct a study to determine whether any of NASA’s centers should be operated by or with the private sector by converting a center to a Federally Funded Research and Development Center or through any other mechanism.

(2) CONTENT.—The study conducted under paragraph (1) shall, at a minimum—

(A) make a recommendation for the operation of each center and provide reasons for that recommendation; and

(B) describe the advantages and disadvantages of each mode of operation considered in the study.

(3) CONSIDERATIONS.—In conducting the study, the Administrator shall take into consideration the experiences of other relevant Federal agencies in operating laboratories and centers, and any reports that have reviewed the mode of operation of those laboratories and centers, as well as any reports that have reviewed NASA’s centers.

(4) SCHEDULE.—The Administrator shall transmit the study conducted under this subsection to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than May 31, 2006.

(h) Budgets.—

(1) CATEGORIES.—The proposed budget for NASA submitted by the President for each fiscal year shall be accompanied by documents showing—

(A) by program—

(i) the budget for space operations, including the ISS and the Space Shuttle;

(ii) the budget for exploration systems;

(iii) the budget for aeronautics;

(iv) the budget for space science;

(v) the budget for earth science;

(vi) the budget for microgravity science;

(vii) the budget for education;

(viii) the budget for safety oversight; and

(ix) the budget for public relations;

(B) the budget for technology transfer programs;

(C) the budget for the Integrated Enterprise Management Program, by individual element;

(D) the budget for the Independent Technical Authority, both total and by center;

(E) the total budget for the prize program under section 104, and the administrative budget for that program; and

(F) the comparable figures for at least the 2 previous fiscal years for each item in the proposed budget.

(2) SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR BUDGET REQUESTS.—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.

(i) Additional Budget Information.—NASA shall make available, upon request from the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives or the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate—

(1) information on corporate and center general and administrative costs and service pool costs, including—

(A) the total amount of funds being allocated for those purposes for any fiscal year for which the President has submitted an annual budget request to Congress;

(B) the amount of funds being allocated for those purposes for each center, for headquarters, and for each directorate; and

(C) the major activities included in each cost category; and

(2) the figures on the amount of unobligated funds and unexpended funds, by appropriations account—

(A) that remained at the end of the fiscal year prior to the fiscal year in which the budget is being presented that were carried over into the fiscal year in which the budget is being presented;

(B) that are estimated will remain at the end of the fiscal year in which the budget is being presented that are proposed to be carried over into the fiscal year for which the budget is being presented; and

(C) that are estimated will remain at the end of the fiscal year for which the budget is being presented.

(j) NASA Aeronautics Test Facilities and Simulators.—

(1) REVIEW.—The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall commission an independent review of the Nation’s long-term strategic needs for aeronautics test facilities and shall submit the review to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate. The review shall include an evaluation of the facility needs described pursuant to subsection (c)(2)(A)(iii). The review shall take into consideration the results of the study conducted pursuant to the instructions on page 582 of the conference report (H. Rept. 108-767) to accompany the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (P.L. 108-375).

(2) LIMITATION.—The Administrator shall not close or mothball any aeronautics test facilities identified in the 2003 independent assessment by the RAND Corporation titled “Wind Tunnel and Propulsion Test Facilities: An Assessment of NASA’s Capabilities to Serve National Needs” as being part of the minimum set of those facilities necessary to retain and manage to serve national needs, or any aeronautics simulators, that were in use as of January 1, 2004, with the exception of the already closed 16-foot transonic tunnel, until—

(A) the review conducted under paragraph (1) has been transmitted to the Congress; and

(B) 60 days after the Administrator has transmitted to the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a written certification that the proposed closure will not have an adverse impact on NASA’s ability to execute the national policy developed under subsection (c) and to achieve the goals described in that policy.

Subparagraph (B) shall cease to be effective five years after the date the study required by this section has been transmitted to the Congress.

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SEC. 301. PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS.

(a) In General.—The performance of each division in the Science directorate of NASA shall be reviewed and assessed by the National Academy of Sciences at 5-year intervals.

(b) Timing.—Beginning with the first fiscal year following the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall select at least one division for review under this section. The Administrator shall select divisions so that all disciplines will have received their first review within six fiscal years of the date of enactment of this Act.

(c) Reports.—Not later than March 1 of each year, beginning with the first fiscal year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit a report to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate—

(1) setting forth in detail the results of any external review under subsection (a);

(2) setting forth in detail actions taken by NASA in response to any external review; and

(3) including a summary of findings and recommendations from any other relevant external reviews of NASA’s science mission priorities and programs.

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SEC. 302. STATUS ON HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE SERVICING MISSION.

It is the sense of the Congress that the Hubble Space Telescope is an extraordinary instrument that has provided, and should continue to provide, answers to profound scientific questions. In accordance with the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences study titled “Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope”, all appropriate efforts should be expended to complete the Space Shuttle servicing mission. Upon successful completion of the planned return-to-flight schedule of the Space Shuttle, the Administrator shall determine the schedule for a Space Shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, unless such a mission would compromise astronaut safety. Not later than 60 days after the landing of the second Space Shuttle mission for return-to-flight certification, the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a status report on plans for a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.

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SEC. 421. FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH PROGRAM.

(a) Objective.—In order to ensure that the Nation maintains needed capabilities in fundamental areas of aeronautics research, the Administrator shall establish a program of long-term fundamental research in aeronautical sciences and technologies that is not tied to specific development projects.

(b) Operation.—The Administrator shall conduct the program under this section, in part by awarding grants to institutions of higher education. The Administrator shall encourage the participation of institutions of higher education located in States that participate in the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. All grants to institutions of higher education under this section shall be awarded through merit review.

(c) Assessment.—The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement with the National Research Council for an assessment of the Nation’s future requirements for fundamental aeronautics research and whether the Nation will have a skilled research workforce and research facilities commensurate with those requirements. The assessment shall include an identification of any projected gaps, and recommendations for what steps should be taken by the Federal Government to eliminate those gaps.

(d) Report.—The Administrator shall transmit the assessment, along with NASA’s response to the assessment, to Congress not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

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SEC. 426. ASSESSMENT OF WAKE TURBULENCE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.

(a) Assessment.—The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement with the National Research Council for an assessment of Federal wake turbulence research and development programs. The assessment shall address at least the following questions:

(1) Are the Federal research and development goals and objectives well defined?

(2) Are there any deficiencies in the Federal research and development goals and objectives?

(3) What roles should be played by each of the relevant Federal agencies, such as NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in wake turbulence research and development?

(b) Report.—A report containing the results of the assessment conducted pursuant to subsection (a) shall be provided to Congress not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

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SEC. 614. REVIEW OF EDUCATION PROGRAMS.

(a) In General.—The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a review and evaluation of NASA’s precollege science, technology, and mathematics education program. The review and evaluation shall be documented in a report to the Administrator and shall include such recommendations as the National Research Council determines will improve the effectiveness of the program.

(b) Review.—The review and evaluation under subsection (a) shall include—

(1) an evaluation of the effectiveness of the overall program in meeting its defined goals and objectives;

(2) an assessment of the quality and educational effectiveness of the major components of the program, including an evaluation of the adequacy of assessment metrics and data collection requirements available for determining the effectiveness of individual projects;

(3) an evaluation of the funding priorities in the program, including a review of the funding level and funding trend for each major component of the program and an assessment of whether the resources made available are consistent with meeting identified goals and priorities; and

(4) a determination of the extent and the effectiveness of coordination and collaboration between NASA and other Federal agencies that sponsor science, technology, and mathematics education activities.

(c) Report to Congress.—Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate the results of the review and evaluation required under subsection (a).

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SEC. 722. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION MAJOR RESEARCH EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES.

(a) Astronomical Sciences Senior Review.—

(1) REVIEW.—The Director of the National Science Foundation shall charge the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee with conducting a review of the astronomical facilities supported by the Foundation to determine the appropriate balance between supporting the operation of existing facilities and supporting the design, development, and eventual operation of new facilities. The review shall recommend actions that would enable the Foundation to support priorities recommended in the National Academy of Sciences reports “Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium” and “Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos”.

(2) TRANSMITTAL.—The Director shall transmit the review, along with a schedule for implementing any recommendations the Director accepts and an explanation for rejecting any recommendations, to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee of Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate no later than June 30, 2006.

(b) Plan for Funding Design and Development for Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction Projects.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Director of the National Science Foundation shall develop a plan to facilitate more thorough design and development of facilities that can be considered for funding through the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction account.

(2) CONSIDERATIONS.—In developing the plan, the Director shall consider—

(A) steps to encourage and ease cross-directorate collaboration;

(B) ways to ensure that a Directorate that will eventually support the operation of a facility is fully committed to that facility from the outset;

(C) providing funding for the design and development of facilities from new sources within the Foundation; and

(D) ways to enable and encourage entities proposing facilities projects to receive design and development funding from nongovernmental sources.

(3) TRANSMITTAL.—No later than June 30, 2006, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall transmit to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate the plan, along with a statement from the Director describing how the plan addresses the considerations described in paragraph (2).

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SEC. 803. COMPOSITION OF THE TASK FORCE.

(a) External Organizations.—The independent task force shall include at least one representative from each of the following external organizations:

(1) The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel.

(2) The Task Force on International Space Station Operational Readiness of the NASA Advisory Council, or its successor.

(3) The Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council.

(b) Independent Organizations Within NASA.—The independent task force shall also include at least the following individuals from within NASA:

(1) NASA’s Chief Engineer.

(2) The head of the Independent Technical Authority.

(3) The head of the Safety and Mission Assurance Office.

(4) The head of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center.

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************************************************************************************
HRpt 109-354 - To accompany S. 1281
- 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
Conference Committee

(12/16/05)
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TITLE I—GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND REPORTS

SEC. 101. RESPONSIBILITIES, POLICIES, AND PLANS.

  (a) General Responsibilities.—

(1) PROGRAMS.—The Administrator shall ensure that NASA carries out a balanced set of programs that shall include, at a minimum, programs in—

(A) human space flight, in accordance with subsection (b);

(B) aeronautics research and development; and

(C) scientific research, which shall include, at a minimum—

  (i) robotic missions to study the Moon and other planets and their moons, and to deepen understanding of astronomy, astrophysics, and other areas of science that can be productively studied from space;

(ii) earth science research and research on the Sun-Earth connection through the development and operation of research satellites and other means;

(iii) support of university research in space science, earth science, and microgravity science; and

(iv) research on microgravity, including research that is not directly related to human exploration.

(2) CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION.—In carrying out the programs of NASA, the Administrator shall—

(A) consult and coordinate to the extent appropriate with other relevant Federal agencies, including through the National Science and Technology Council;

(B) work closely with the private sector, including by—

(i) encouraging the work of entrepreneurs who are seeking to develop new means to launch satellites, crew, or cargo;

(ii) contracting with the private sector for crew and cargo services, including to the International Space Station, to the extent practicable;

(iii) using commercially available products (including software) and services to the extent practicable to support all NASA activities; and

(iv) encouraging commercial use and development of space to the greatest extent practicable; and

(C) involve other nations to the extent appropriate.

(b) Vision for Space Exploration.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall establish a program to develop a sustained human presence on the Moon, including a robust precursor program, to promote exploration, science, commerce, and United States preeminence in space, and as a stepping-stone to future exploration of Mars and other destinations. The Administrator is further authorized to develop and conduct appropriate international collaborations in pursuit of these goals.

(2) MILESTONES.—The Administrator shall manage human space flight programs to strive to achieve the following milestones (in conformity with section 503)—

(A) Returning Americans to the Moon no later than 2020.

(B) Launching the Crew Exploration Vehicle as close to 2010 as possible.

(C) Increasing knowledge of the impacts of long duration stays in space on the human body using the most appropriate facilities available, including the ISS.

(D) Enabling humans to land on and return from Mars and other destinations on a timetable that is technically and fiscally possible.

(c) Aeronautics.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The President of the United States, through an official the President shall designate, and in consultation with appropriate Federal agencies, shall develop a national policy to guide the aeronautics research and development programs of the United States through 2020. The policy shall include national goals for aeronautics research and development and shall describe the role and responsibilities of each Federal agency that will carry out the policy. The development of the policy shall utilize external studies that have been conducted on the state of United States aeronautics and aviation research and development and have suggested policies to ensure continued competitiveness.

(2) CONTENT.—(A) At a minimum, the national aeronautics research and development policy shall describe for NASA—

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

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

(iii) the facilities and personnel needed to carry out the aeronautics program through fiscal year 2011; and

(iv) the budget assumptions on which the policy is based, which for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 shall be the authorized level for aeronautics provided in title II of this Act.

  (B) The policy shall be based on the premises that—

  (i) the Federal Government has an established interest in conducting research and development programs for improving the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical vehicles, as described in section 102(d)(2) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2451(d)(2)); and

  (ii) 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 aeronautical technologies and in their application, as described in section 102(d)(5) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2451(d)(5)).

  (3) CONSIDERATIONS.—In developing the national aeronautics research and development policy, the President shall consider the following issues, which shall be discussed in the transmittal under paragraph (5):

(A) The extent to which NASA should focus on long-term, high-risk research or more incremental research, and the expected impact of that decision on the United States economy, and the ability to achieve environmental and other public goals related to aeronautics.

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

(C) How NASA will coordinate its aeronautics 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 the aeronautics industry.

(E) The extent to which the priority areas of research listed pursuant to paragraph (2)(A) should include the activities authorized by title IV of this Act, the discussion of which shall include a priority ranking of all of the activities authorized in title IV and an explanation for that ranking.

  (4) CONSULTATION.—In the development of the national aeronautics research and development policy, the President 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.

  (5) SCHEDULE.—(A) Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit the national aeronautics research and development policy to the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

  (B) Not later than 60 days after the transmittal of the policy under subparagraph (A), the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report describing how NASA will carry out the policy.

  (C) At the time the President’s fiscal year 2007 budget is transmitted to the Congress, the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the proposed NASA aeronautics budget describing—

(i) the rationale for the budget levels and activities in the proposed fiscal year 2007 NASA aeronautics budget;

(ii) the extent to which the program directions proposed for fiscal year 2007 are likely to be consistent with the national policy being prepared under this section; and

(iii) the extent to which the proposed programs for fiscal year 2007 are consistent with past reports and current studies of the National Academy of Sciences, and other relevant reports and studies.

  (d) Science.—

  (1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall develop a plan to guide the science programs of NASA through 2016.

  (2) CONTENT.—At a minimum, the plan developed under paragraph (1) shall be designed to ensure that NASA has a rich and vigorous set of science activities, and shall describe—

(A) the missions NASA will initiate, design, develop, launch, or operate in space science and earth science through fiscal year 2016, including launch dates;

(B) a priority ranking of all of the missions listed under subparagraph (A), and the rationale for the ranking; and

(C) the budget assumptions on which the policy is based, which for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 shall be consistent with the authorizations provided in title II of this Act.

  (3) CONSIDERATIONS.—In developing the science plan under this subsection, the Administrator shall consider the following issues, which shall be discussed in the transmittal under paragraph (6):

(A) What the most important scientific questions in space science and earth science are.

(B) How to best benefit from the relationship between NASA’s space and earth science activities and those of other Federal agencies.

(C) Whether the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, SIM-Planet Quest, and missions under the Future Explorers Programs can be expedited to meet previous schedules.

(D) Whether any NASA Earth observing missions that have been delayed or cancelled can be restored.

(E) How to ensure the long-term vitality of Earth observation programs at NASA, including their satellite, science, and data system components.

(F) Whether current and currently planned Earth observation missions should be supplemented or replaced with new satellite architectures and instruments that enable global coverage, and all-weather, day and night imaging of the Earth’s surface features.

(G) How to integrate NASA earth science missions with the Global Earth Observing System of Systems.

  (4) CONSULTATION.—In developing the plan under this subsection, the Administrator shall draw on decadal surveys and other reports in planetary science, astronomy, solar and space physics, earth science, and any other relevant fields developed by the National Academy of Sciences. The Administrator shall also consult widely with academic and industry experts and with other Federal agencies.

  (5) HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE.—The plan developed under this subsection shall address plans for a human mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope consistent with section 302 of this Act.

  (6) SCHEDULE.—The Administrator shall transmit the plan developed under this subsection to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act. The Administrator shall make available to those committees any study done by a nongovernmental entity that was used in the development of the plan.

  (e) Facilities.—

  (1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall develop a plan for managing NASA’s facilities through fiscal year 2015. The plan shall be consistent with the policies and plans developed pursuant to this section.

  (2) CONTENT.—At a minimum, the plan developed under paragraph (1) shall describe—

(A) any new facilities NASA intends to acquire, whether through construction, purchase, or lease, and the expected dates for doing so;

(B) any facilities NASA intends to significantly modify, refurbish, or upgrade, and the expected dates for doing so;

(C) any facilities NASA intends to close, and the expected dates for doing so;

(D) any transactions NASA intends to conduct to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer the ownership of a facility, and the expected dates for doing so;

(E) how each of the actions described in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D) will enhance the ability of NASA to carry out its programs;

(F) the expected costs or savings expected from each of the actions described in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D);

(G) the priority order of the actions described in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D);

(H) the budget assumptions of the plan, which for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 shall be consistent with the authorizations provided in title II of this Act, including the funding levels for maintenance and repairs; and

(I) how facilities were evaluated in developing the plan.

  (3) SCHEDULE.—The Administrator shall transmit the plan developed under this subsection to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than the date on which the President submits the proposed budget for the Federal Government for fiscal year 2008 to the Congress.

  (f) Workforce.—

  (1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall develop a human capital strategy to ensure that NASA has a workforce of the appropriate size and with the appropriate skills to carry out the programs of NASA, consistent with the policies and plans developed pursuant to this section. Under the strategy, NASA shall utilize current personnel, to the maximum extent feasible, in implementing the vision for space exploration and NASA’s other programs. The strategy shall cover the period through fiscal year 2011.

  (2) CONTENT.—The strategy developed under paragraph (1) shall describe, at a minimum—

(A) any categories of employees NASA intends to reduce, the expected size and timing of those reductions, the methods NASA intends to use to make the reductions, and the reasons NASA no longer needs those employees;

(B) any categories of employees NASA intends to increase, the expected size and timing of those increases, the methods NASA intends to use to recruit the additional employees, and the reasons NASA needs those employees;

(C) the steps NASA will use to retain needed employees; and

(D) the budget assumptions of the strategy, which for fiscal years 2007 and 2008 shall be consistent with the authorizations provided in title II of this Act, and any expected additional costs or savings from the strategy by fiscal year.

  (3) SCHEDULE.—The Administrator shall transmit the strategy developed under this subsection to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than 60 days after the date on which the President submits the proposed budget for the Federal Government for fiscal year 2007 to the Congress. At least 60 days before transmitting the strategy, NASA shall provide a draft of the strategy to its Federal employee unions for a 30-day consultation period after which NASA shall respond in writing to any written concerns provided by the unions.

  (4) LIMITATION.—NASA may not implement any Reduction in Force or other involuntary separations (except for cause) prior to March 16, 2007.

  (g) Center Management.—

  (1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall conduct a study to determine whether any of NASA’s centers should be operated by or with the private sector by converting a center to a Federally Funded Research and Development Center or through any other mechanism.

  (2) CONTENT.—The study conducted under paragraph (1) shall, at a minimum—

(A) make a recommendation for the operation of each center and provide reasons for that recommendation; and

(B) describe the advantages and disadvantages of each mode of operation considered in the study.

  (3) CONSIDERATIONS.—In conducting the study, the Administrator shall take into consideration the experiences of other relevant Federal agencies in operating laboratories and centers, and any reports that have reviewed the mode of operation of those laboratories and centers, as well as any reports that have reviewed NASA’s centers.

  (4) SCHEDULE.—The Administrator shall transmit the study conducted under this subsection to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than May 31, 2006.

  (h) Budgets.—

  (1) CATEGORIES.—The proposed budget for NASA submitted by the President for each fiscal year shall be accompanied by documents showing—

  (A) by program—

(i) the budget for space operations, including the ISS and the Space Shuttle;

(ii) the budget for exploration systems;

(iii) the budget for aeronautics;

(iv) the budget for space science;

(v) the budget for earth science;

(vi) the budget for microgravity science;

(vii) the budget for education;

(viii) the budget for safety oversight; and

(ix) the budget for public relations;

(B) the budget for technology transfer programs;

(C) the budget for the Integrated Enterprise Management Program, by individual element;

(D) the budget for the Independent Technical Authority, both total and by center;

(E) the total budget for the prize program under section 104, and the administrative budget for that program; and

(F) the comparable figures for at least the 2 previous fiscal years for each item in the proposed budget.

  (2) SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR BUDGET REQUESTS.—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.

  (i) Additional Budget Information.—NASA shall make available, upon request from the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives or the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate—

  (1) information on corporate and center general and administrative costs and service pool costs, including—

(A) the total amount of funds being allocated for those purposes for any fiscal year for which the President has submitted an annual budget request to Congress;

(B) the amount of funds being allocated for those purposes for each center, for headquarters, and for each directorate; and

(C) the major activities included in each cost category; and

  (2) the figures on the amount of unobligated funds and unexpended funds, by appropriations account—

(A) that remained at the end of the fiscal year prior to the fiscal year in which the budget is being presented that were carried over into the fiscal year in which the budget is being presented;

(B) that are estimated will remain at the end of the fiscal year in which the budget is being presented that are proposed to be carried over into the fiscal year for which the budget is being presented; and

(C) that are estimated will remain at the end of the fiscal year for which the budget is being presented.

  (j) NASA Aeronautics Test Facilities and Simulators.—

  (1) REVIEW.—The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall commission an independent review of the Nation’s long-term strategic needs for aeronautics test facilities and shall submit the review to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate. The review shall include an evaluation of the facility needs described pursuant to subsection (c)(2)(A)(iii). The review shall take into consideration the results of the study conducted pursuant to the instructions on page 582 of the conference report (H. Rept. 108-767) to accompany the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (P.L. 108-375).

  (2) LIMITATION.—The Administrator shall not close or mothball any aeronautics test facilities identified in the 2003 independent assessment by the RAND Corporation titled “Wind Tunnel and Propulsion Test Facilities: An Assessment of NASA’s Capabilities to Serve National Needs” as being part of the minimum set of those facilities necessary to retain and manage to serve national needs, or any aeronautics simulators, that were in use as of January 1, 2004, with the exception of the already closed 16-foot transonic tunnel, until—

(A) the review conducted under paragraph (1) has been transmitted to the Congress; and

(B) 60 days after the Administrator has transmitted to the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a written certification that the proposed closure will not have an adverse impact on NASA’s ability to execute the national policy developed under subsection (c) and to achieve the goals described in that policy.

Subparagraph (B) shall cease to be effective five years after the date the study required by this section has been transmitted to the Congress.

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TITLE III—SCIENCE

Subtitle A—General Provisions

SEC. 301. PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS.

  (a) In General.—The performance of each division in the Science directorate of NASA shall be reviewed and assessed by the National Academy of Sciences at 5-year intervals.

  (b) Timing.—Beginning with the first fiscal year following the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall select at least one division for review under this section. The Administrator shall select divisions so that all disciplines will have received their first review within six fiscal years of the date of enactment of this Act.

  (c) Reports.—Not later than March 1 of each year, beginning with the first fiscal year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit a report to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate—

(1) setting forth in detail the results of any external review under subsection (a);

(2) setting forth in detail actions taken by NASA in response to any external review; and

(3) including a summary of findings and recommendations from any other relevant external reviews of NASA’s science mission priorities and programs.

SEC. 302. STATUS ON HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE SERVICING MISSION.

  It is the sense of the Congress that the Hubble Space Telescope is an extraordinary instrument that has provided, and should continue to provide, answers to profound scientific questions. In accordance with the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences study titled “Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope”, all appropriate efforts should be expended to complete the Space Shuttle servicing mission. Upon successful completion of the planned return-to-flight schedule of the Space Shuttle, the Administrator shall determine the schedule for a Space Shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, unless such a mission would compromise astronaut safety. Not later than 60 days after the landing of the second Space Shuttle mission for return-to-flight certification, the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a status report on plans for a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.

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Subtitle B—High Priority Aeronautics Research and Development Programs

SEC. 421. FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH PROGRAM.

  (a) Objective.—In order to ensure that the Nation maintains needed capabilities in fundamental areas of aeronautics research, the Administrator shall establish a program of long-term fundamental research in aeronautical sciences and technologies that is not tied to specific development projects.

  (b) Operation.—The Administrator shall conduct the program under this section, in part by awarding grants to institutions of higher education. The Administrator shall encourage the participation of institutions of higher education located in States that participate in the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. All grants to institutions of higher education under this section shall be awarded through merit review.

  (c) Assessment.—The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement with the National Research Council for an assessment of the Nation’s future requirements for fundamental aeronautics research and whether the Nation will have a skilled research workforce and research facilities commensurate with those requirements. The assessment shall include an identification of any projected gaps, and recommendations for what steps should be taken by the Federal Government to eliminate those gaps.

  (d) Report.—The Administrator shall transmit the assessment, along with NASA’s response to the assessment, to Congress not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

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Subtitle B—Education

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SEC. 614. REVIEW OF EDUCATION PROGRAMS.

  (a) In General.—The Administrator shall enter into an arrangement with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a review and evaluation of NASA’s precollege science, technology, and mathematics education program. The review and evaluation shall be documented in a report to the Administrator and shall include such recommendations as the National Research Council determines will improve the effectiveness of the program.

  (b) Review.—The review and evaluation under subsection (a) shall include—

(1) an evaluation of the effectiveness of the overall program in meeting its defined goals and objectives;

(2) an assessment of the quality and educational effectiveness of the major components of the program, including an evaluation of the adequacy of assessment metrics and data collection requirements available for determining the effectiveness of individual projects;

(3) an evaluation of the funding priorities in the program, including a review of the funding level and funding trend for each major component of the program and an assessment of whether the resources made available are consistent with meeting identified goals and priorities; and

(4) a determination of the extent and the effectiveness of coordination and collaboration between NASA and other Federal agencies that sponsor science, technology, and mathematics education activities.

  (c) Report to Congress.—Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall transmit to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate the results of the review and evaluation required under subsection (a).

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Subtitle B—National Science Foundation

SEC. 721. DATA ON SPECIFIC FIELDS OF STUDY.

  The National Science Foundation shall continue to collect statistically reliable data on the field of degree of college-educated individuals to fulfill obligations under section 4(j)(1) of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1863(j)(1)) and the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885 et. seq.). If the Director of the Foundation determines that there is a legal impediment to the continued collection of this data, he shall inform the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 722. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION MAJOR RESEARCH EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES.

  (a) Astronomical Sciences Senior Review.—

  (1) REVIEW.—The Director of the National Science Foundation shall charge the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee with conducting a review of the astronomical facilities supported by the Foundation to determine the appropriate balance between supporting the operation of existing facilities and supporting the design, development, and eventual operation of new facilities. The review shall recommend actions that would enable the Foundation to support priorities recommended in the National Academy of Sciences reports “Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium” and “Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos”.

  (2) TRANSMITTAL.—The Director shall transmit the review, along with a schedule for implementing any recommendations the Director accepts and an explanation for rejecting any recommendations, to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee of Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate no later than June 30, 2006.

  (b) Plan for Funding Design and Development for Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction Projects.—

  (1) IN GENERAL.—The Director of the National Science Foundation shall develop a plan to facilitate more thorough design and development of facilities that can be considered for funding through the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction account.

  (2) CONSIDERATIONS.—In developing the plan, the Director shall consider—

(A) steps to encourage and ease cross-directorate collaboration;

(B) ways to ensure that a Directorate that will eventually support the operation of a facility is fully committed to that facility from the outset;

(C) providing funding for the design and development of facilities from new sources within the Foundation; and

(D) ways to enable and encourage entities proposing facilities projects to receive design and development funding from nongovernmental sources.

  (3) TRANSMITTAL.—No later than June 30, 2006, the Director of the National Science Foundation shall transmit to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate the plan, along with a statement from the Director describing how the plan addresses the considerations described in paragraph (2).

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TITLE VIII—TASK FORCE AND COMMISSION

Subtitle A—International Space Station Independent Safety Task Force

SEC. 801. ESTABLISHMENT OF TASK FORCE.

  (a) Establishment.—The Administrator shall establish an independent task force to review the International Space Station program with the objective of discovering and assessing any vulnerabilities of the International Space Station that could lead to its destruction, compromise the health of its crew, or necessitate its premature abandonment.

  (b) Deadline for Establishment.—The Administrator shall establish the independent task force within 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 802. TASKS OF THE TASK FORCE.

The independent task force established under section 801 shall, to the extent possible, undertake the following tasks:

(1) Catalogue threats to and vulnerabilities of the ISS, including design flaws, natural phenomena, computer software or hardware flaws, sabotage or terrorist attack, number of crewmembers, inability to adequately deliver replacement parts and supplies, and management or procedural deficiencies.

(2) Make recommendations for corrective actions.

(3) Provide any additional findings or recommendations related to ISS safety.

(4) Prepare a report to the Administrator, Congress, and the public.

SEC. 803. COMPOSITION OF THE TASK FORCE.

  (a) External Organizations.—The independent task force shall include at least one representative from each of the following external organizations:

(1) The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel.

(2) The Task Force on International Space Station Operational Readiness of the NASA Advisory Council, or its successor.

(3) The Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council.

  (c) Independent Organizations Within NASA.—The independent task force shall also include at least the following individuals from within NASA:

(1) NASA’s Chief Engineer.

(2) The head of the Independent Technical Authority.

(3) The head of the Safety and Mission Assurance Office.

(4) The head of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center.

SEC. 804. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

  (a) Interim Reports.—The independent task force may transmit to the Administrator and Congress, and make concurrently available to the public, interim reports containing such findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective actions as have been agreed to by a majority of the task force members.

  (b) Final Report.—The task force shall transmit to the Administrator and Congress, and make concurrently available to the public, a final report containing such findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective actions as have been agreed to by a majority of task force members. Such report shall include any minority views or opinions not reflected in the majority report.

  (c) Approval.—The independent task force shall not be required to seek the approval of the contents of any of the reports submitted under subsection (a) or (b) by the Administrator or by any person designated by the Administrator prior to the submission of the reports to the Administrator and Congress and to their being made concurrently available to the public.

SEC. 805. SUNSET.

  The independent task force established under this subtitle shall transmit its final report to the Administrator and to Congress and make it available to the public not later than 1 year after the independent task force is established and shall cease to exist after the transmittal.

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EXPLANATION OF SELECTED PROVISIONS

Sec. 101(d). Science

  Section 101(d) directs the Administrator to develop a plan to guide the space science and earth science programs of NASA through 2016. The priority ranking required by this subsection is a single ranking of all the missions that NASA lists pursuant to paragraph (2)(A), not a ranking categorized by theme or any other category.

  The conferees understand that NASA will have to update and revise the plans and priorities periodically. The conferees do not intend that NASA be bound by this plan until 2016. But the plan should be based on the best possible current assessment of what NASA will be able to do between now and 2016.

  The conferees are aware that the National Academy of Sciences is continuing to work on an Earth Science and Applications from Space Decadal Survey which is due to be completed in 2006. In preparing the science plan, NASA should, to the greatest extent possible, take into consideration information available from the Decadal Survey. The conferees expect NASA to notify the authorizing committees if the completed Decadal Survey would change any of the information provided in the science plan.

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