42 U.S. Code § 18401 - Aeronautics research goals
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The Administrator should ensure that NASA maintains a strong aeronautics research portfolio ranging from fundamental research through systems research with specific research goals, including the following:
(1) Airspace capacity
NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate shall address research needs of the Next Generation Air Transportation System, including the ability of the National Airspace System to handle up to 3 times the current travel demand by 2025.
(2) Environmental sustainability
The Directorate shall consider and pursue concepts to reduce noise, emissions, and fuel consumption while maintaining high safety standards and shall pursue research related to alternative fuels.