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51 U.S. Code § 50910 - Preemption of scheduled launches or reentries

(a) General.—
With the cooperation of the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Secretary of Transportation shall act to ensure that a launch or reentry of a payload is not preempted from access to a United States Government launch site, reentry site, or launch property, except for imperative national need, when a launch date commitment or reentry date commitment from the Government has been obtained for a launch or reentry licensed under this chapter. A licensee or transferee preempted from access to a launch site, reentry site, or launch property does not have to pay the Government any amount for launch services, or services related to a reentry, attributable only to the scheduled launch or reentry prevented by the preemption.
(b) Imperative National Need Decisions.—
In consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Defense or the Administrator shall decide when an imperative national need requires preemption under subsection (a) of this section. That decision may not be delegated.
(c) Reports.—
In cooperation with the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Defense or the Administrator, as appropriate, shall submit to Congress not later than 7 days after a decision to preempt under subsection (a) of this section, a report that includes an explanation of the circumstances justifying the decision and a schedule for ensuring the prompt launching or reentry of a preempted payload.

Historical and Revision Notes



Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)


49 App.:2614(b)(4)(A) (1st, last sentences).

Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–575, 98 Stat. 3055, § 15(b)(4); added Nov. 15, 1988, Pub. L. 100–657, § 7, 102 Stat. 3906.


49 App.:2614(b)(4)(A) (2d sentence).


49 App.:2614(b)(4)(B).

Editorial Notes

2010—Pub. L. 111–314 successively renumbered section 70109 of title 49 and section 70109 of this title as this section.

1998—Pub. L. 105–303, § 102(a)(9)(A), substituted “Preemption of scheduled launches or reentries” for “Preemption of scheduled launches” in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–303, § 102(a)(9)(B), inserted “or reentry” after “ensure that a launch”, “, reentry site,” after “United States Government launch site”, “or reentry date commitment” after “launch date commitment”, “or reentry” after “obtained for a launch”, “, reentry site,” after “access to a launch site”, “, or services related to a reentry,” after “amount for launch services”, and “or reentry” after “the scheduled launch”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 105–303, § 102(a)(9)(C), inserted “or reentry” after “prompt launching”.