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51 U.S. Code § 70506 - Exploration technology research

The Administrator shall carry out a program of long-term exploration-related technology research and development, including such things as in-space propulsion, power systems, life support, and advanced avionics, that is not tied to specific flight projects. The program shall have the funding goal of ensuring that the technology research and development can be completed in a timely manner in order to support the safe, successful, and sustainable exploration of the solar system. In addition, in order to ensure that the broadest range of innovative concepts and technologies are captured, the long-term technology program shall have the goal of having a significant portion of its funding available for external grants and contracts with universities, research institutions, and industry.

Historical and Revision Notes



Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)


42 U.S.C. 17733(b).

Pub. L. 110–422, title IV, § 405(b), Oct. 15, 2008, 122 Stat. 4789.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Pub. L. 110–422, title IV, § 405(a), Oct. 15, 2008, 122 Stat. 4789, provided that:

“A robust program of long-term exploration-related technology research and development will be essential for the success and sustainability of any enduring initiative of human and robotic exploration of the solar system.”
Innovative Technologies for Human Space Flight

Pub. L. 106–391, title III, § 313, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1594, provided that:

“(a) Establishment of Program.—
In order to promote a ‘faster, cheaper, better’ approach to the human exploration and development of space, the Administrator [of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration] shall establish a Human Space Flight Innovative Technologies program of ground-based and space-based research and development in innovative technologies. The program shall be part of the Technology and Commercialization program.
“(b) Awards.—
At least 75 percent of the amount appropriated for Technology and Commercialization under section 101(b)(4) [114 Stat. 1581] for any fiscal year shall be awarded through broadly distributed announcements of opportunity that solicit proposals from educational institutions, industry, nonprofit institutions, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Centers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, other Federal agencies, and other interested organizations, and that allow partnerships among any combination of those entities, with evaluation, prioritization, and recommendations made by external peer review panels.
“(c) Plan.—
The Administrator shall provide to the Committee on Science [now Committee on Science, Space, and Technology] of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, not later than December 1, 2000, a plan to implement the program established under subsection (a).”