51 U.S. Code § 50101 - Definitions

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§ 50101.
In this chapter:
(1)Commercial provider.—
The term “commercial provider” means any person providing space transportation services or other space-related activities, primary control of which is held by persons other than Federal, State, local, and foreign governments.
The term “payload” means anything that a person undertakes to transport to, from, or within outer space, or in suborbital trajectory, by means of a space transportation vehicle, but does not include the space transportation vehicle itself except for its components which are specifically designed or adapted for that payload.
(3)Space-related activities.—
The term “space-related activities” includes research and development, manufacturing, processing, service, and other associated and support activities.
(4)Space transportation services.—
The term “space transportation services” means the preparation of a space transportation vehicle and its payloads for transportation to, from, or within outer space, or in suborbital trajectory, and the conduct of transporting a payload to, from, or within outer space, or in suborbital trajectory.
(5)Space transportation vehicle.—
The term “space transportation vehicle” means any vehicle constructed for the purpose of operating in, or transporting a payload to, from, or within, outer space, or in suborbital trajectory, and includes any component of such vehicle not specifically designed or adapted for a payload.
The term “State” means each of the several States of the Union, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.
(7)United states commercial provider.—The term “United States commercial provider” means a commercial provider, organized under the laws of the United States or of a State, that is—
more than 50 percent owned by United States nationals; or
(B) a subsidiary of a foreign company and the Secretary of Transportation finds that—
(i) such subsidiary has in the past evidenced a substantial commitment to the United States market through—
investments in the United States in long-term research, development, and manufacturing (including the manufacture of major components and subassemblies); and
significant contributions to employment in the United States; and
(ii) the country or countries in which such foreign company is incorporated or organized, and, if appropriate, in which it principally conducts its business, affords reciprocal treatment to companies described in subparagraph (A) comparable to that afforded to such foreign company’s subsidiary in the United States, as evidenced by—
providing comparable opportunities for companies described in subparagraph (A) to participate in Government-sponsored research and development similar to that authorized under this chapter;
providing no barriers, to companies described in subparagraph (A) with respect to local investment opportunities, that are not provided to foreign companies in the United States; and
providing adequate and effective protection for the intellectual property rights of companies described in subparagraph (A).
(Pub. L. 111–314, § 3, Dec. 18, 2010, 124 Stat. 3394.)

Historical and Revision Notes



Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)


42 U.S.C. 14701.

Pub. L. 105–303, § 2, Oct. 28, 1998, 112 Stat. 2843.

The definition of “Administrator” in section 2 of the Commercial Space Act of 1998 (Public Law 105–303, 112 Stat. 2843) is omitted as unnecessary because of the definition added by section 10101 of title 51.


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