Requirement to procure commercial space transportation services
Except as otherwise provided in this section or in section 70102, the Federal Government shall acquire space transportation services from United States commercial providers whenever such services are required in the course of its activities. To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers.
(b)Exceptions.—The Federal Government shall not be required to acquire space transportation services under subsection (a) if, on a case-by-case basis, the Administrator or, in the case of a national security issue, the Secretary of the Air Force, determines that—
a payload requires the unique capabilities of the space shuttle;
cost effective space transportation services that meet specific mission requirements would not be reasonably available from United States commercial providers when required;
the use of space transportation services from United States commercial providers poses an unacceptable risk of loss of a unique scientific opportunity;
the use of space transportation services from United States commercial providers is inconsistent with national security objectives;
the use of space transportation services from United States commercial providers is inconsistent with international agreements for international collaborative efforts relating to science and technology;
it is more cost effective to transport a payload in conjunction with a test or demonstration of a space transportation vehicle owned by the Federal Government; or
a payload can make use of the available cargo space on a space shuttle mission as a secondary payload, and such payload is consistent with the requirements of research, development, demonstration, scientific, commercial, and educational programs authorized by the Administrator.
(c)Agreements With Foreign Entities.—
Nothing in this section shall prevent the Administrator from planning or negotiating agreements with foreign entities for the launch of Federal Government payloads for international collaborative efforts relating to science and technology.
Subsection (a) shall not apply to space transportation services and space transportation vehicles acquired or owned by the Federal Government before October 28, 1998, or with respect to which a contract for such acquisition or ownership has been entered into before October 28, 1998.
This section shall not be construed to prohibit the Federal Government from acquiring, owning, or maintaining space transportation vehicles solely for historical display purposes.
In subsection (d), the date “October 28, 1998” is substituted for “the date of the enactment of this Act” and for “such date” to reflect the date of enactment of the Commercial Space Act of 1998 (Public Law 105–303, 112 Stat. 2843).
2015—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 114–90 inserted “or in section 70102” after “in this section”.
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