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H.R. 4158 (112th): To confirm full ownership rights for certain United States astronauts to artifacts from the astronauts’ space missions.


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


9/25/2012--Public Law. Grants a U.S. astronaut who participated in any of the Mercury, Gemini, or Apollo programs through the completion of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, and who received an artifact during his participation, full ownership of and clear title to that artifact.

Defines "artifact" as any expendable item utilized in missions for the Mercury, Gemini, or Apollo programs through the completion of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project not expressly required to be returned to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at the completion of the mission and other expendable, disposable, or personal-use items utilized by such an astronaut during participation in any such program, excluding lunar rocks and other lunar material.

Prohibits the federal government from having any claim or right to ownership, control, or use of: (1) any artifact in the possession of such an astronaut; or (2) any such artifact that was subsequently transferred, sold, or assigned to a third party by such an astronaut.