51 U.S. Code § 50905 - License applications and requirements

(a) Applications.—
(1) A person may apply to the Secretary of Transportation for a license or transfer of a license under this chapter in the form and way the Secretary prescribes. Consistent with the public health and safety, safety of property, and national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, the Secretary, not later than 180 days after accepting an application in accordance with criteria established pursuant to subsection (b)(2)(D), [1] shall issue or transfer a license if the Secretary decides in writing that the applicant complies, and will continue to comply, with this chapter and regulations prescribed under this chapter. The Secretary shall inform the applicant of any pending issue and action required to resolve the issue if the Secretary has not made a decision not later than 120 days after accepting an application in accordance with criteria established pursuant to subsection (b)(2)(D). [1] The Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a written notice not later than 30 days after any occurrence when the Secretary has not taken action on a license application within the deadline established by this subsection.
(2) In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary may establish procedures for safety approvals of launch vehicles, reentry vehicles, safety systems, processes, services, or personnel (including approval procedures for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of crews and space flight participants, to the extent permitted by subsections (b) and (c)) that may be used in conducting licensed commercial space launch or reentry activities.
(b) Requirements.—
(1) Except as provided in this subsection, all requirements of the laws of the United States applicable to the launch of a launch vehicle or the operation of a launch site or a reentry site, or the reentry of a reentry vehicle, are requirements for a license or permit under this chapter.
(2) The Secretary may prescribe—
(A) any term necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter, including on-site verification that a launch, operation, or reentry complies with representations stated in the application;
(B) any additional requirement necessary to protect the public health and safety, safety of property, national security interests, and foreign policy interests of the United States;
(C) by regulation that a requirement of a law of the United States not be a requirement for a license or permit if the Secretary, after consulting with the head of the appropriate executive agency, decides that the requirement is not necessary to protect the public health and safety, safety of property, and national security and foreign policy interests of the United States;
(D) additional license requirements, for a launch vehicle carrying a human being for compensation or hire, necessary to protect the health and safety of crew or space flight participants, only if such requirements are imposed pursuant to final regulations issued in accordance with subsection (c); and
(E) regulations establishing criteria for accepting or rejecting an application for a license or permit under this chapter within 60 days after receipt of such application.
(3) The Secretary may waive a requirement, including the requirement to obtain a license, for an individual applicant if the Secretary decides that the waiver is in the public interest and will not jeopardize the public health and safety, safety of property, and national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. The Secretary may not grant a waiver under this paragraph that would permit the launch or reentry of a launch vehicle or a reentry vehicle without a license or permit if a human being will be on board.
(4) The holder of a license or a permit under this chapter may launch or reenter crew only if—
(A) the crew has received training and has satisfied medical or other standards specified in the license or permit in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary;
(B) the holder of the license or permit has informed any individual serving as crew in writing, prior to executing any contract or other arrangement to employ that individual (or, in the case of an individual already employed as of the date of enactment of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, as early as possible, but in any event prior to any launch in which the individual will participate as crew), that the United States Government has not certified the launch vehicle as safe for carrying crew or space flight participants; and
(C) the holder of the license or permit and crew have complied with all requirements of the laws of the United States that apply to crew.
(5) The holder of a license or a permit under this chapter may launch or reenter a space flight participant only if—
(A) in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary, the holder of the license or permit has informed the space flight participant in writing about the risks of the launch and reentry, including the safety record of the launch or reentry vehicle type, and the Secretary has informed the space flight participant in writing of any relevant information related to risk or probable loss during each phase of flight gathered by the Secretary in making the determination required by section 50914 (a)(2) and (c);
(B) the holder of the license or permit has informed any space flight participant in writing, prior to receiving any compensation from that space flight participant or (in the case of a space flight participant not providing compensation) otherwise concluding any agreement to fly that space flight participant, that the United States Government has not certified the launch vehicle as safe for carrying crew or space flight participants;
(C) in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary, the space flight participant has provided written informed consent to participate in the launch and reentry and written certification of compliance with any regulations promulgated under paragraph (6)(A); and
(D) the holder of the license or permit has complied with any regulations promulgated by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (6).
(6)
(A) The Secretary may issue regulations requiring space flight participants to undergo an appropriate physical examination prior to a launch or reentry under this chapter. This subparagraph shall cease to be in effect three years after the date of enactment of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.
(B) The Secretary may issue additional regulations setting reasonable requirements for space flight participants, including medical and training requirements. Such regulations shall not be effective before the expiration of 3 years after the date of enactment of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.
(c) Safety Regulations.—
(1) The Secretary may issue regulations governing the design or operation of a launch vehicle to protect the health and safety of crew and space flight participants.
(2) Regulations issued under this subsection shall—
(A) describe how such regulations would be applied when the Secretary is determining whether to issue a license under this chapter;
(B) apply only to launches in which a vehicle will be carrying a human being for compensation or hire;
(C) be limited to restricting or prohibiting design features or operating practices that—
(i) have resulted in a serious or fatal injury (as defined in 49 CFR 830, as in effect on November 10, 2004) to crew or space flight participants during a licensed or permitted commercial human space flight; or
(ii) contributed to an unplanned event or series of events during a licensed or permitted commercial human space flight that posed a high risk of causing a serious or fatal injury (as defined in 49 CFR 830, as in effect on November 10, 2004) to crew or space flight participants; and
(D) be issued with a description of the instance or instances when the design feature or operating practice being restricted or prohibited contributed to a result or event described in subparagraph (C).
(3) Beginning on October 1, 2015, the Secretary may propose regulations under this subsection without regard to paragraph (2)(C) and (D). Any such regulations shall take into consideration the evolving standards of safety in the commercial space flight industry.
(4) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of the Secretary to issue requirements or regulations to protect the public health and safety, safety of property, national security interests, and foreign policy interests of the United States.
(d) Procedures and Timetables.— The Secretary shall establish procedures and timetables that expedite review of a license or permit application and reduce the regulatory burden for an applicant.


[1]  See References in Text note below.

Source

(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e),July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1333, § 70105 of title 49; Pub. L. 105–303, title I, § 102(a)(6),Oct. 28, 1998, 112 Stat. 2848; Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(6)–(15), Dec. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 3976–3979; renumbered § 70105 then § 50905 of title 51 and amended Pub. L. 111–314, § 4(d)(2), (3)(E), (5)(F),Dec. 18, 2010, 124 Stat. 3440, 3441; Pub. L. 112–95, title VIII, § 827,Feb. 14, 2012, 126 Stat. 133.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised Section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
70105(a)
49 App.:2606 (1st sentence).
Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–575, §§ 7 (1st sentence), 8, 9(a), (b), 98 Stat. 3058.
49 App.:2608(a) (1st sentence), (b) (1st, 3d, last sentences).
70105(b)(1)
49 App.:2607(a)(1).
70105(b) (2)(A)
49 App.:2608(b) (2d sentence).
70105(b) (2)(B)
49 App.:2607(b).
70105(b) (2)(C)
49 App.:2607(a)(2).
70105(b)(3)
49 App.:2607(c).
70105(c)
49 App.:2608(a) (last sentence).

In subsection (a), the words “for launching one or more launch vehicles or for operating one or more launch sites, or both” in 49 App.:2606 are omitted as surplus.
In subsection (b)(2)(C), the words “that would otherwise apply to the launch of a launch vehicle or the operation of a launch site” are omitted as surplus. The words “the head of” are added for consistency in the revised title and with other titles of the United States Code.
References in Text

Subsection (b)(2)(D), referred to in subsec. (a)(1), was redesignated subsection (b)(2)(E) by Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(10),Dec. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 3977.
The date of enactment of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, referred to in subsec. (b)(4)(B), (6), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 108–492, which was approved Dec. 23, 2004.
Amendments

2012—Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 112–95substituted “Beginning on October 1, 2015,” for “Beginning 8 years after the date of enactment of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004,”.
2010—Pub. L. 111–314, § 4(d)(2), (3)(E), successively renumbered section 70105 of title 49 and section 70105 of this title as this section.
Subsec. (b)(5)(A). Pub. L. 111–314, § 4(d)(5)(F), substituted “section 50914 (a)(2) and (c)” for “section 70112(a)(2) and (c)”.
2004—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(6)(A), substituted “the Secretary has not taken action on a license application” for “a license is not issued”.
Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(6)(B), inserted “(including approval procedures for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of crews and space flight participants, to the extent permitted by subsections (b) and (c))” after “or personnel”.
Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(7), inserted “or permit” after “for a license”.
Subsec. (b)(2)(B). Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(8), substituted “any” for “an”.
Subsec. (b)(2)(C). Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(9), inserted “or permit” after “for a license” and struck out “and” at end.
Subsec. (b)(2)(D). Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(10), added subpar. (D). Former subpar. (D) redesignated (E).
Subsec. (b)(2)(E). Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(10), (11), redesignated subpar. (D) as (E) and inserted “or permit” after “for a license”.
Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(12), inserted at end “The Secretary may not grant a waiver under this paragraph that would permit the launch or reentry of a launch vehicle or a reentry vehicle without a license or permit if a human being will be on board.”
Subsec. (b)(4) to (6). Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(13), added pars. (4) to (6).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(14), added subsec. (c). Former subsec. (c) redesignated (d).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 108–492, § 2(c)(14), (15), redesignatedsubsec. (c) as (d) and inserted “or permit” after “of a license”.
1998—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–303, § 102(a)(6)(B), substituted “accepting an application in accordance with criteria established pursuant to subsection (b)(2)(D)” for “receiving an application” in two places.
Pub. L. 105–303, § 102(a)(6)(A), (C), designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted “The Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a written notice not later than 30 days after any occurrence when a license is not issued within the deadline established by this subsection.” at end of par. (1), and added par. (2).
Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 105–303, § 102(a)(6)(D), inserted “or a reentry site, or the reentry of a reentry vehicle,” after “operation of a launch site”.
Subsec. (b)(2)(A). Pub. L. 105–303, § 102(a)(6)(E), substituted “, operation, or reentry” for “or operation”.
Subsec. (b)(2)(D). Pub. L. 105–303, § 102(a)(6)(F)–(H), added subpar. (D).
Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 105–303, § 102(a)(6)(I), inserted “, including the requirement to obtain a license,” after “waive a requirement”.
Change of Name

Committee on Science of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Science and Technology of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Jan. 5, 2007. Committee on Science and Technology of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 5, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, Jan. 5, 2011.

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14 CFR - Aeronautics and Space

14 CFR Part 417 - LAUNCH SAFETY

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14 CFR Part 1204 - ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY AND POLICY

 

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