42 U.S. Code § 18354 - Management of the ISS national laboratory
The Administrator shall provide initial financial assistance and enter into a cooperative agreement with an appropriate organization that is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of title 26 to manage the activities of the ISS national laboratory in accordance with this section.
The organization with which the Administrator enters into the cooperative agreement shall develop the capabilities to implement research and development projects utilizing the ISS national laboratory and to otherwise manage the activities of the ISS national laboratory.
The cooperative agreement shall require the organization entering into the agreement to engage exclusively in activities relating to the management of the ISS national laboratory and activities that promote its long term research and development mission as required by this section, without any other organizational objectives or responsibilities on behalf of the organization or any parent organization or other entity.
The Administrator shall designate an official or employee of the Space Operations Mission Directorate of NASA to act as liaison between NASA and the organization with which the Administrator enters into a cooperative agreement under subsection (a) with regard to the management of the ISS national laboratory.
As soon as practicable after October 11, 2010, but not later than October 1, 2011, ISS national laboratory managed experiments shall be guaranteed access to, and utilization of, not less than 50 percent of the United States research capacity allocation, including power, cold stowage, and requisite crew time onboard the ISS through September 30, 2020. Access to the ISS research capacity includes provision for the adequate upmass and downmass capabilities to utilize the ISS research capacity, as available. The Administrator may allocate additional capacity to the ISS national laboratory should such capacity be in excess of NASA research requirements.
If any NASA research plan is determined to require research capacity onboard the ISS beyond the percentage allocated under paragraph (1), such research plan shall be prepared in the form of a requested research opportunity to be submitted to the process established under this section for the consideration of proposed research within the capacity allocated to the ISS national laboratory. A proposal for such a research plan may include the establishment of partnerships with non-NASA institutions eligible to propose research to be conducted within the ISS national laboratory capacity. Until September 30, 2020, the official or employee designated under subsection (b) may grant an exception to this requirement in the case of a proposed experiment considered essential for purposes of preparing for exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, as determined by joint agreement between the organization with which the Administrator enters into a cooperative agreement under subsection (a) and the official or employee designated under subsection (b).
The organization with which the Administrator enters into the cooperative agreement shall consider recommendations of the National Academies Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space in establishing research priorities and in developing proposed enhancements of research capacity and opportunities for the ISS national laboratory.
NASA shall retain its roles and responsibilities in providing research payload physical, analytical, and operations integration during pre-flight, post-flight, transportation, and orbital phases essential to ensure safe and effective flight readiness and vehicle integration of research activities approved and prioritized by the organization with which the Administrator enters into the cooperative agreement and the official or employee designated under subsection (b).
In subsec. (c)(3), “section 70906 of title 51” substituted for “section 602 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008 (42 U.S.C. 17752)” on authority of Pub. L. 111–314, § 5(e), Dec. 18, 2010, 124 Stat. 3443, which Act enacted Title 51, National and Commercial Space Programs.