51 U.S. Code § 70102 - Space shuttle use policy
Space shuttle use policy
(a) Use Policy.—
(1) In general.—
(A)Policy.—It shall be the policy of the United States to use the space shuttle—
(B)Definition of compelling circumstances.—
In this paragraph, the term “compelling circumstances” includes, but is not limited to, occasions when the Administrator determines, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State, that important national security or foreign policy interests would be served by a shuttle launch.
(2)Using available cargo space for secondary payloads.—
The policy stated in paragraph (1) shall not preclude the use of available cargo space, on a space shuttle mission otherwise consistent with the policy described in paragraph (1), for the purpose of carrying secondary payloads (as defined by the Administrator) that do not require a human presence if such payloads are consistent with the requirements of research, development, demonstration, scientific, commercial, and educational programs authorized by the Administrator.
At least annually, the Administrator shall submit to Congress a report certifying that the payloads scheduled to be launched on the space shuttle for the next 4 years are consistent with the policy set forth in subsection (a)(1). For each payload scheduled to be launched from the space shuttle that does not require a human presence, the Administrator shall, in the certified report to Congress, state the specific circumstances that justified the use of the space shuttle. If, during the period between scheduled reports to Congress, any additions are made to the list of certified payloads intended to be launched from the shuttle, the Administrator shall inform Congress of the additions and the reasons therefor within 45 days of the change.
The report described in subsection (b) shall also include those Administration payloads designed solely to fly on the space shuttle which have begun the phase C/D of its development cycle.