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H.R. 3853 (111th): Commercial Space Transportation Cooperative Research and Development Centers of Excellence Act of 2009

The text of the bill below is as of Oct 20, 2009 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. R. 3853


October 20, 2009

(for herself and Mr. Posey) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology


To provide for the establishment of Commercial Space Transportation Cooperative Research and Development Centers of Excellence, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Commercial Space Transportation Cooperative Research and Development Centers of Excellence Act of 2009.



In this Act:



The term Administrator means the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Institution of higher education

The term institution of higher education has the meaning given that term in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).



The Administrator shall make grants to consortia of 2 or more institutions of higher education, at least 1 of which shall be located within 100 miles of an active commercial spaceport, to establish and operate Commercial Space Transportation Cooperative Research and Development Centers of Excellence.




Enhanced Development

The Centers established under section 3 shall leverage the resources of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, academia, and industry through public-private partnerships to enhance the development of commercial space transportation through research and development activities in the following areas:


Space transportation policy analysis.


Spaceport safety, including range system development, testing, simulation, and qualification, and spaceport instrumentation, technologies, and processes.


Spaceflight passenger and crew training and qualification.


Spaceflight biomedical countermeasures.


Aerospace workforce technical training and certification.


Space vehicle design, including materials and engineering research and development, launch vehicle flight safety analysis, and design of passenger-carrying spaceflight vehicles to maximize safety and functionality.


Space weather interactions with space transportation systems.


Aviation and space transportation system convergence planning and analysis.



The Centers established under section 3 shall provide educational, technical, and analytical assistance to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other Federal agencies with research and development and operational responsibilities that have applicability to commercial space transportation.


Program Implementation



Any institution of higher education interested in receiving a grant under this Act shall submit to the Administrator an application in such form and containing such information as the Administrator may require.


Selection criteria

The Administrator shall select recipients of grants under this Act on the basis of the following criteria:


Demonstrated research and development capabilities necessary for carrying out the program.


The extent to which the members of the consortium seeking a grant have established space transportation or aerospace research and development programs.


The demonstrated ability of the applicant to disseminate results of commercial space transportation research and development widely to appropriate stakeholders.


Authorization of appropriations

Such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2012 are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator to carry out this Act. No more than 5 percent of the funds appropriated under this section for a fiscal year may be used by the Administrator to cover administrative costs associated with the implementation and maintenance of the program established under this Act.