Summary: H.R.1759 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/21/1989)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Multiyear Authorization Act of 1989 - Authorizes FY 1990 appropriations to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for specified activities relating to: (1) research and development; (2) space flight, control, and data communications; (3) construction of facilities; (4) research and program management; and (5) the Inspector General. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 or 1992 (or both) for: (1) most programs under research and development; (2) most programs under space flight, control, and data communications; and (3) the Inspector General.

Permits appropriations for the first two numbered categories to be used for certain items of a capital nature (other than land acquisition) required for the performance of research and development contracts, and for grants to nonprofit educational and research organizations to augment their research facilities. Prohibits the use of these funds for the construction of any major facility whose estimated cost exceeds $500,000, unless the Administrator of NASA notifies specified congressional committees.

Authorizes use of funds from one or more of the numbered categories, subject to limitations, for scientific consultations or extraordinary expenses, for facilities construction, repair, or modification, and for unforeseen programmatic facility project needs.

Permits reprogramming of funds for facilities construction, subject to conditions outlined in this Act.

Authorizes certain fund transfers and makes available specified funds for the construction and modification of laboratories and other installations. Requires the Administrator to notify specified congressional committees of the nature, cost, and need for such construction before expending the funds in question.

Prohibits, until 30 days following congressional receipt of the Administrator's full explanation, the use of funds appropriated pursuant to this Act for any program: (1) not authorized by the Congress; or (2) in excess of the amount actually authorized for the particular program.

Authorizes and encourages the Administrator to use up to a specified amount of funds appropriated for orbiter production by a specified law to procure shuttle structural spare parts.

Prohibits the Administrator from entering into any agreement providing for non-Federal financing of any facility unless specific authority is provided by law. Authorizes such agreements for a neutral buoyancy facility and a payload processing facility, but prohibits those agreements until 30 days after the Administrator certifies to the Congress that such agreement is in the best interests of the United States, considering specified factors. Requires annual updating and resubmission to the Congress of each such certification along with the President's NASA budget request. Requires the Administrator to give preference to arrangements that may reduce U.S. cost, but prohibits agreements that would substantially impair NASA's program schedule. Allows the Administrator to provide in any agreement for contingent liability in the event the Government for its convenience terminates the agreement.

Requires the Administrator to distribute research and development funds geographically in order to provide the broadest practicable participation in NASA programs.

Directs the Administrator to award to a domestic firm a contract that, under the use of competitive procedures, would be awarded to a foreign firm, if certain conditions exist.

Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 to add to the functions of the Administration those of: (1) seeking and encouraging the fullest commercial use of space; and (2) encouraging and providing for Federal Government use of commercially provided space services and hardware. Authorizes the Administration to take certain steps toward those ends.

Amends the Commercial Space Launch Act to authorize appropriations to carry out the Act for FY 1990.

Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1989 to provide, with respect to the National Space Council, for terms and conditions for employment of staff, experts, and consultants. Authorizes appropriations for the Council for FY 1990. Amends Federal law relating to pay rates to add the Executive Secretary of the Council to the list of positions to which level III of the Executive Schedule applies.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should take specified actions with respect to the International Space Year (ISY), including: (1) declaring a World Space Congress to be convened in 1992; and (2) directing NASA to continue to develop ISY activities with a primary emphasis on Mission to Planet Earth.

Allows the Administrator, if the Administrator selects a proposal for an Advanced Solid Rocket Motor (ASRM) offering a privately financed production facility to be constructed on a Government site, to provide in any agreement contingent liability in the event the Government for its convenience terminates the agreement. Limits payments to amounts appropriated to NASA in advance. Sets forth reporting requirements.

Declares it to be U.S. policy to use the space shuttle for purposes that require the presence of man or the unique capabilities of the shuttle. Requires the Administrator to: (1) submit to the Congress a plan for implementing the policy; and (2) certify to specified congressional committees when the Administrator determines that compelling circumstances exist that warrant shuttle use for purposes that do not require the presence of man. Prohibits expenditure of funds for a mission not requiring the presence of man until 30 days after certification. States that the policy does not preclude carrying secondary payloads that do not require the presence of man. Limits secondary payloads to those consistent with requirements for authorized research, development, demonstration, scientific, and commercial programs.

Declares: (1) it is U.S. policy that the U.S. Trade Representative should enter into negotiations for fair pricing agreements, supporting free and fair competition, for international trade in commercial launch services; (2) the policy shall not apply if the President certifies that the price for launch services offered by the Australians utilizing Soviet Union launch vehicles is not more than 25 percent below the price of a comparable launch vehicle built in a market-based economy; and (3) in the absence of an agreement or a certification, U.S. policy is that the export of U.S. manufactured satellites for launch on Soviet Union manufactured vehicles should be prohibited.

Continues the suspension of any license for the export of a satellite of U.S. origin that is intended for launch from a launch vehicle owned by the People's Republic of China, unless the President reports to the Congress that: (1) that country has made progress on political reform, including human rights, throughout the country, including Tibet; and (2) it is in the U.S. national security interest to terminate a suspension.

Directs the Administrator to: (1) review proposed manned space flight missions with regard to identifying the human factors knowledge base necessary and developing a schedule of when specified components of information will need to be acquired or developed; (2) develop a strategic plan for life sciences research and technology development, including a crew certification plan and a life sciences implementation plan; and (3) verify the physiological and technical feasibility of the life sciences implementation plan.

Commission for International Cooperation in Planetary Exploration Act - Establishes the Commission for International Cooperation in Planetary Exploration to: (1) develop an inventory of intentions of all national space agencies; (2) seek ways to enhance the planning and exchange of information; (3) prepare a proposal for efficient use of resources; (4) develop priority goals for needs that could not be achieved by any individual country; (5) explore the possibilities of international unmanned probes and international manned missions; and (6) devise strategies for cooperation that would prevent unwanted transfer of technology. Requires the Commission, within one year of the enactment of this Act, to submit a report with specified contents to the President and the Congress. Terminates the Commission 30 days after submitting its report, unless the President or the Congress have requested further revisions to the report.

Establishes within the Department of Commerce an Office of Space Commerce to: (1) promote private sector investment in space activities; (2) assist commercial space companies in their efforts to do business with the U.S. Government and act as an industry advocate with regard to Government use of commercially available goods and services; (3) ensure that the Government does not compete with the private sector; (4) promote space goods and services export; (5) represent the Department of Commerce in the development of U.S. policies and in negotiations with foreign countries to ensure free and fair trade; and (6) seek the removal of impediments to space commerce.

Directs the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of NASA to establish a joint National Aero-Space Plane program to develop a long-range hypersonic cruise research flight vehicle. Prescribes the respective funding and administrative responsibilities of the Department of Defense and NASA. Directs the Secretary and the Administrator to develop and submit to the Congress a management plan that includes goals, tasks, schedules, and resource procurement strategies.

Mandates that the Administrator require random drug testing of officers and employees of NASA.