51 U.S. Code § 20102 - Congressional declaration of policy and purpose

(a) Devotion of Space Activities to Peaceful Purposes for Benefit of All Humankind.— Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all humankind.
(b) Aeronautical and Space Activities for Welfare and Security of United States.— Congress declares that the general welfare and security of the United States require that adequate provision be made for aeronautical and space activities. Congress further declares that such activities shall be the responsibility of, and shall be directed by, a civilian agency exercising control over aeronautical and space activities sponsored by the United States, except that activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems, military operations, or the defense of the United States (including the research and development necessary to make effective provision for the defense of the United States) shall be the responsibility of, and shall be directed by, the Department of Defense; and that determination as to which agency has responsibility for and direction of any such activity shall be made by the President.
(c) Commercial Use of Space.— Congress declares that the general welfare of the United States requires that the Administration seek and encourage, to the maximum extent possible, the fullest commercial use of space.
(d) Objectives of Aeronautical and Space Activities.— The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives:
(1) The expansion of human knowledge of the Earth and of phenomena in the atmosphere and space.
(2) The improvement of the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical and space vehicles.
(3) The development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies, and living organisms through space.
(4) The establishment of long-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from, the opportunities for, and the problems involved in the utilization of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes.
(5) The preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere.
(6) The making available to agencies directly concerned with national defense of discoveries that have military value or significance, and the furnishing by such agencies, to the civilian agency established to direct and control nonmilitary aeronautical and space activities, of information as to discoveries which have value or significance to that agency.
(7) Cooperation by the United States with other nations and groups of nations in work done pursuant to this chapter and in the peaceful application of the results thereof.
(8) The most effective utilization of the scientific and engineering resources of the United States, with close cooperation among all interested agencies of the United States in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, facilities, and equipment.
(9) The preservation of the United States preeminent position in aeronautics and space through research and technology development related to associated manufacturing processes.
(e) Ground Propulsion Systems Research and Development.— Congress declares that the general welfare of the United States requires that the unique competence in scientific and engineering systems of the Administration also be directed toward ground propulsion systems research and development. Such development shall be conducted so as to contribute to the objectives of developing energy and petroleum-conserving ground propulsion systems, and of minimizing the environmental degradation caused by such systems.
(f) Bioengineering Research, Development, and Demonstration Programs.— Congress declares that the general welfare of the United States requires that the unique competence of the Administration in science and engineering systems be directed to assisting in bioengineering research, development, and demonstration programs designed to alleviate and minimize the effects of disability.
(g) Warning and Mitigation of Potential Hazards of Near-Earth Objects.— Congress declares that the general welfare and security of the United States require that the unique competence of the Administration be directed to detecting, tracking, cataloguing, and characterizing near-Earth asteroids and comets in order to provide warning and mitigation of the potential hazard of such near-Earth objects to the Earth.
(h) Purpose of Chapter.— It is the purpose of this chapter to carry out and effectuate the policies declared in subsections (a) to (g).

Source

(Pub. L. 111–314, § 3,Dec. 18, 2010, 124 Stat. 3330.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised Section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
20102
42 U.S.C. 2451.
Pub. L. 85–568, title I, § 102, July 29, 1958, 72 Stat. 426; Pub. L. 94–413, § 15(a), (b), Sept. 17, 1976, 90 Stat. 1270; Pub. L. 95–238, title III, § 311, Feb. 25, 1978, 92 Stat. 83; Pub. L. 95–401, § 7, Sept. 30, 1978, 92 Stat. 860; Pub. L. 98–361, title I, § 110, July 16, 1984, 98 Stat. 426; Pub. L. 100–685, title II, § 214, Nov. 17, 1988, 102 Stat. 4093; Pub. L. 106–391, title III, § 302(a), Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1591; Pub. L. 109–155, title III, § 321(d)(2), Dec. 30, 2005, 119 Stat. 2923.

In subsection (b), the words “in conformity with section 201(e)”, which appeared at the end of the subsection, are omitted as obsolete. Section 201 ofPublic Law 85–568, which was classified to former section 2471 of title 42 (last appearing in the 1970 edition of the United States Code), established the National Aeronautics and Space Council, with the functions of the Council specified in section 201(e). Those functions included advising the President “as he may request” with respect to promoting cooperation and resolving differences among agencies of the United States engaged in aeronautical and space activities. The words are obsolete because section 3(a)(4) of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1973 (5 App. U.S.C.), abolished the National Aeronautics and Space Council, including the office of Executive Secretary of the Council, together with its functions.
In subsection (c), the words “(as established by title II of this Act)”, which appeared after “Administration”, are omitted as unnecessary.
In subsection (d), the word “and”, appearing at the end of paragraph (8), is omitted as unnecessary because of the introductory words “one or more of the following”.
Congressional Findings and Policy

Pub. L. 110–422, § 2,Oct. 15, 2008, 122 Stat. 4781, provided that: “The Congress finds, on this, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the following:
“(1) NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] is and should remain a multimission agency with a balanced and robust set of core missions in science, aeronautics, and human space flight and exploration.
“(2) Investment in NASA’s programs will promote innovation through research and development, and will improve the competitiveness of the United States.
“(3) Investment in NASA’s programs, like investments in other Federal science and technology activities, is an investment in our future.
“(4) Properly structured, NASA’s activities can contribute to an improved quality of life, economic vitality, United States leadership in peaceful cooperation with other nations on challenging undertakings in science and technology, national security, and the advancement of knowledge.
“(5) NASA should assume a leadership role in a cooperative international Earth observations and research effort to address key research issues associated with climate change and its impacts on the Earth system.
“(6) NASA should undertake a program of aeronautical research, development, and where appropriate demonstration activities with the overarching goals of—
“(A) ensuring that the Nation’s future air transportation system can handle up to 3 times the current travel demand and incorporate new vehicle types with no degradation in safety or adverse environmental impact on local communities;
“(B) protecting the environment;
“(C) promoting the security of the Nation; and
“(D) retaining the leadership of the United States in global aviation.
“(7) Human and robotic exploration of the solar system will be a significant long-term undertaking of humanity in the 21st century and beyond, and it is in the national interest that the United States should assume a leadership role in a cooperative international exploration initiative.
“(8) Developing United States human space flight capabilities to allow independent American access to the International Space Station, and to explore beyond low Earth orbit, is a strategically important national imperative, and all prudent steps should thus be taken to bring the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle to full operational capability as soon as possible and to ensure the effective development of a United States heavy lift launch capability for missions beyond low Earth orbit.
“(9) NASA’s scientific research activities have contributed much to the advancement of knowledge, provided societal benefits, and helped train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and those activities should continue to be an important priority.
“(10) NASA should make a sustained commitment to a robust long-term technology development activity. Such investments represent the critically important ‘seed corn’ on which NASA’s ability to carry out challenging and productive missions in the future will depend.
“(11) NASA, through its pursuit of challenging and relevant activities, can provide an important stimulus to the next generation to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
“(12) Commercial activities have substantially contributed to the strength of both the United States space program and the national economy, and the development of a healthy and robust United States commercial space sector should continue to be encouraged.
“(13) It is in the national interest for the United States to have an export control policy that protects the national security while also enabling the United States aerospace industry to compete effectively in the global market place and the United States to undertake cooperative programs in science and human space flight in an effective and efficient manner.”
Pub. L. 102–195, §§ 2, 3,Dec. 9, 1991, 105 Stat. 1605, 1606, provided that:
“SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
“Congress finds that—
“(1) the report of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the United States Space Program has provided a framework within which a consensus on the goals of the space program can be developed;
“(2) a balanced civil space science program should be funded at a level of at least 20 percent of the aggregate amount in the budget of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for ‘Research and development’ and ‘Space flight, control, and data communications’;
“(3) development of an adequate data base for life sciences in space will be greatly enhanced through closer scientific cooperation with the Soviet Union, including active use of manned Soviet space stations;
“(4) the space program can make substantial contributions to health-related research and should be an integral part of the Nation’s health research and development program;
“(5) Landsat data and the continuation of the Landsat system beyond Landsat 6 are essential to the Mission to Planet Earth and other long-term environmental research programs;
“(6) increased use of defense-related remote sensing data and data technology by civilian agencies and the scientific community can benefit national environmental study and monitoring programs;
“(7) the generation of trained scientists and engineers through educational initiatives and academic research programs outside of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is essential to the future of the United States civil space program;
“(8) the strengthening and expansion of the Nation’s space transportation infrastructure, including the enhancement of launch sites and launch site support facilities, are essential to support the full range of the Nation’s space-related activities;
“(9) the aeronautical program contributes to the Nation’s technological competitive advantage, and it has been a key factor in maintaining preeminence in aviation over many decades; and
“(10) the National Aero Space Plane program can have benefits to the military and civilian aviation programs from the new and innovative technologies developed in propulsion systems, aerodynamics, and control systems that could be enormous, especially for high-speed aeronautical and space flight.
“SEC. 3. POLICY.
“It is the policy of the United States that—
“(1) the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Administrator’), in planning for national programs in environmental study and human space flight and exploration, should ensure the resiliency of the space infrastructure;
“(2) a stable and balanced program of civil space science should be planned to minimize future year funding requirements in order to accommodate a steady stream of new initiatives;
“(3) any new launch system undertaken or jointly undertaken by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should be based on defined mission and program requirements or national policies established by Congress;
“(4) in fulfilling the mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to improve the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of space vehicles, the Administrator should establish a program of research and development to enhance the competitiveness and cost effectiveness of commercial expendable launch vehicles; and
“(5) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should promote and support efforts to advance scientific understanding by conducting or otherwise providing for research on environmental problems, including global change, ozone depletion, acid precipitation, deforestation, and smog.”
Pub. L. 101–611, title I, §§ 101, 102,Nov. 16, 1990, 104 Stat. 3188, 3189, provided that:
“SEC. 101. FINDINGS.
“The Congress finds that—
“(1) over the next decade, the United States aeronautics and space program will be directed toward major national priorities of understanding, preserving, and enhancing our global environment, hypersonic transportation, human exploration, and emerging technology commercialization;
“(2) the United States aeronautics and space program is supported by an overwhelming majority of the American people;
“(3) the United States aeronautics and space program genuinely reflects our Nation’s pioneer heritage and demonstrates our quest for leadership, economic growth, and human understanding;
“(4) the United States space program is based on a solid record of achievement and continues to promote the objective of international cooperation in the exploration of the planets and the universe;
“(5) the United States aeronautics and space program generates critical technology breakthroughs that benefit our economy through new products and processes that significantly improve our standard of living;
“(6) the United States aeronautics and space program excites the imagination of every generation and can stimulate the youth of our Nation toward the pursuit of excellence in the fields of science, engineering, and mathematics;
“(7) the United States aeronautics and space program contributes to the Nation’s technological competitive advantage;
“(8) the United States aeronautics and space program requires a sustained commitment of financial and human resources as a share of the Nation’s Gross National Product;
“(9) the United States space transportation system will depend upon a robust fleet of space shuttle orbiters and expendable and reusable launch vehicles and services;
“(10) the United States space program will be advanced with an assured funding stream for the development of a permanently manned space station with research, experimentation, observation, servicing, manufacturing, and staging capabilities for lunar and Mars missions;
“(11) the United States aeronautics program has been a key factor in maintaining preeminence in aviation over many decades;
“(12) the United States needs to maintain a strong program with respect to transatmospheric research and technology by developing and demonstrating National Aero-Space Plane technology by a mid-decade date certain;
“(13) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is primarily responsible for formulating and implementing policy that supports and encourages civil aeronautics and space activities in the United States; and
“(14) commercial activities of the private sector will substantially and increasingly contribute to the strength of both the United States space program and the national economy.
“SEC. 102. POLICY.
“It is declared to be national policy that the United States should—
“(1) rededicate itself to the goal of leadership in critical areas of space science, space exploration, and space commercialization;
“(2) increase its commitment of budgetary resources for the space program to reverse the dramatic decline in real spending for such program since the achievements of the Apollo moon program;
“(3) ensure that the long-range environmental impact of all activities carried out under this title [see Tables for classification] are fully understood and considered;
“(4) promote and support efforts to advance scientific understanding by conducting or otherwise providing for research on environmental problems, including global change, ozone depletion, acid precipitation, deforestation, and smog;
“(5) forge a robust national space program that maintains a healthy balance between manned and unmanned space activities and recognizes the mutually reinforcing benefits of both;
“(6) maintain an active fleet of space shuttle orbiters, including an adequate provision of structural spare parts, and evolve the orbiter design to improve safety and performance, and reduce operational costs;
“(7) sustain a mixed fleet by utilizing commercial expendable launch vehicle services to the fullest extent practicable;
“(8) support an aggressive program of research and development designed to enhance the United States preeminence in launch vehicles;
“(9) continue and complete on schedule the development and deployment of a permanently manned, fully capable, space station;
“(10) develop an advanced, high pressure space suit to support extravehicular activity that will be required for Space Station Freedom when Assembly Complete is reached;
“(11) establish a dual capability for logistics and resupply of the space station utilizing the space shuttle and expendable launch vehicles, including commercial services if available;
“(12) continue to seek opportunities for international cooperation in space and fully support international cooperative agreements;
“(13) maintain an aggressive program of aeronautical research and technology development designed to enhance the United States preeminence in civil and military aviation and improve the safety and efficiency of the United States air transportation system;
“(14) conduct a program of technology maturation, including flight demonstration in 1997, to prove the feasibility of an air-breathing, hypersonic aerospace plane capable of single-stage-to-orbit operation and hypersonic cruise in the atmosphere;
“(15) seek innovative technologies that will make possible advanced human exploration initiatives, such as the establishment of a lunar base and the succeeding mission to Mars, and provide high yield technology advancements for the national economy; and
“(16) enhance the human resources of the Nation and the quality of education.”
National Aeronautics and Space Capital Development Program

Pub. L. 100–685, title I, § 101, Nov. 17, 1988, 102 Stat 4083, provided that: “Congress finds that—
“(1) in accordance with section 106 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 1988 (Public Law 100–147) [set out as a note under section 70901 of this title], a space station, hereafter referred to as the United States International Space Station, shall be constructed in order to establish a permanent presence for man in space for the following purposes—
“(A) the conduct of scientific experiments, applications experiments, and engineering experiments;
“(B) the servicing, rehabilitation, and construction of satellites and space vehicles;
“(C) the development and demonstration of commercial products and processes; and
“(D) the establishment of a space base for other civilian and commercial space activities including an outpost for further exploration of the solar system;
“(2) expendable launch vehicles should be used to launch those payloads that do not require the presence of man;
“(3) the space shuttle launches should be used to fulfill the Nation’s needs for manned access to space;
“(4) preeminence in space and aeronautics is key to the national security and economic well being of the United States;
“(5) United States space policy needs long-range goals and direction in order to provide understanding for near-term space projects and programs;
“(6) over the next five years the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, hereafter referred to as the ‘Administration’, should pursue leadership in science through an aggressive set of major and moderate missions while maintaining a robust series of cost effective missions that can provide frequent flight opportunities to the scientific community[;]
“(7) over the next five years the Administration should prepare for the transition to the United States International Space Station of those science and technology programs that can be most efficiently and effectively conducted on that facility;
“(8) the Administration should encourage the United States private sector investment in space and, to the maximum extent practicable provide frequent flight opportunities for the development of technologies, processes and products that benefit from the space environment;
“(9) the Administration should enhance the existing space transportation capability through a robust mixed fleet of manned and unmanned vehicles in order to increase the reliability, productivity, and efficiency and reduce the cost of the Nation’s access to space;
“(10) the United States faces an increasingly successful foreign challenge to its traditional preeminent position in aeronautics which is rapidly reducing its lead in both civil and military aircraft;
“(11) NASA’s personnel are an integral component and resource for the Nation’s space program, and an innovative personnel system should be developed;
“(12) the establishment of a permanent presence in space leading ultimately to space settlements is fully consistent with the goals of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 [see 51 U.S.C. 20101 et seq.];
“(13) the United States civil space activities should contribute significantly to enhancing the Nation’s scientific and technological leadership, economy, pride, and sense of well-being, as well as United States world prestige and leadership;
“(14) civil sector activities should be comprised of a balanced strategy of research, development, operations, and technology for science, exploration, and appropriate applications;
“(15) assured access to space, sufficient to achieve all United States space goals, is an essential element of United States space policy, and the United States space transportation systems must provide a balanced, robust, and flexible capability with sufficient resiliency to allow continued operation despite failures in any single system;
“(16) the goals of the United States space transportation system are—
“(A) to achieve and maintain safe and reliable access to, transportation in, and return from, space;
“(B) to exploit the unique attributes of manned and unmanned launch and recovery systems;
“(C) to encourage, to the maximum extent feasible, the development and use of United States private sector space transportation capabilities; and
“(D) to reduce the costs of space transportation and related services;
“(17) recognizing that communications advancements are critical to all United States space activities, the Administration should continue research and development efforts for future advances in space communications technologies;
“(18) the goal of aeronautical research and technology development and validation activities should be to contribute to a national technology base that will enhance United States preeminence in civil and military aviation and improve the safety and efficiency of the United States air transportation system; and
“(19) aeronautical research and technology development and validation activities should—
“(A) emphasize emerging technologies with potential for breakthrough advances;
“(B) consist of—
“(i) fundamental research in all aeronautical disciplines, aimed at greater understanding of aeronautical phenomena and development of new aeronautical concepts; and
“(ii) technology development and validation activities aimed at laboratory-scale development and proof-of-concept demonstration of selected concepts with high payoff potential;
“(C) assure maintenance of robust aeronautical laboratories, including a first-rate technical staff and modern national facilities for the conduct of research and testing activities;
“(D) be conducted with the close, active participation of the United States aircraft industry so as to accelerate the transfer of research results to aviation products;
“(E) include providing technical assistance and facility support to other government agencies and United States industry;
“(F) include conducting joint projects with other government agencies where such projects contribute materially to the goals set forth in this section;
“(G) assure strong participation of United States universities both in carrying out aeronautical research and training future aeronautical research personnel; and
“(H) be conducted, where practical, so that United States industry receives research results before foreign competitors.”

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51 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

This is a list of parts within the Code of Federal Regulations for which this US Code section provides rulemaking authority.

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14 CFR - Aeronautics and Space

14 CFR Part 1212 - PRIVACY ACT—NASA REGULATIONS

 

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