skip to main content

S. 3158 (117th): Space Technology Advisory Committee Act of 2021


The text of the bill below is as of Nov 3, 2021 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 3158

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 3, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

A BILL

To establish a committee to advise space licensing authorities, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Space Technology Advisory Committee Act of 2021.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(2)

Application

The term application means an application, petition, or other request for a license, including an application, petition, or other request to transfer a license that has already been issued.

(3)

Commission

The term Commission means the Federal Communications Commission.

(4)

Committee

The term Committee means the committee established by section 3(a).

(5)

Committee advisor

The term Committee advisor means an individual described in section 3(b)(2).

(6)

Committee member

The term Committee member means an individual described in section 3(b)(1).

(7)

Lead member

The term lead member means a Committee member designated under section 3(d) to carry out a specific duty of the Committee.

(8)

License

The term license means a license for—

(A)

a launch site;

(B)

a launch and reentry vehicle;

(C)

a commercial spaceport;

(D)

a commercial Earth remote sensing satellite; or

(E)

commercial satellite communications.

(9)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce.

3.

Committee to advise space licensing authorities

(a)

Establishment

There is established a committee to assist the Administrator, the Secretary, and the Commission in conducting reviews of applications and licenses for the purpose of determining whether granting the applications or maintaining the licenses poses a risk to the national security or law enforcement or public safety interests of the United States.

(b)

Membership

(1)

In general

The Committee shall be comprised of the following Committee members:

(A)

The head, or a senior executive-level designee of the head, of each of the following:

(i)

The Department of Defense.

(ii)

The Department of Homeland Security.

(iii)

The Department of Justice.

(iv)

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

(v)

The Federal Aviation Administration.

(vi)

The National Space Council.

(vii)

The Department of Commerce.

(B)

The head of any other executive department or agency, or any Assistant to the President, as the President considers appropriate.

(2)

Advisory members

In addition to the Committee members, the following individuals shall serve as Committee advisors:

(A)

The head, or a senior executive-level designee of the head, of each of the following:

(i)

The Department of State.

(ii)

The Office of the United States Trade Representative.

(iii)

The Department of the Treasury.

(iv)

The Securities and Exchange Commission.

(v)

The Federal Communications Commission.

(vi)

The Environmental Protection Agency.

(vii)

The Department of the Interior.

(viii)

The Office of Science and Technology Policy.

(ix)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(B)

The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

(c)

Chairperson

(1)

In general

The Secretary of Defense shall serve as the chairperson of the Committee.

(2)

Exclusive authority

The chairperson shall have the exclusive authority to act, or to authorize any other Committee member to act, on behalf of the Committee, including by communicating with the Administrator, the Secretary, the Commission, and applicants and licensees.

(d)

Lead members

The chairperson shall designate one or more Committee members to serve as a lead member for carrying out a Committee duty, consistent with the Committee member's statutory authority.

(e)

Assistant Secretary for Space Review

(1)

In general

The chairperson shall establish within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment the position of Assistant Secretary for Space Review, which position shall be principally related to the Committee, as delegated by the Secretary of Defense.

(2)

Duties

The duties of the Assistant Secretary for Space Review shall be—

(A)

to prioritize the organization and management of Committee meetings; and

(B)

to produce written archival records of Committee actions.

(f)

Information sharing and consultation

The chairperson and each lead member shall—

(1)

keep the Committee fully informed of their respective activities on behalf of the Committee; and

(2)

consult the Committee before taking any material action under this Act.

(g)

Duties

(1)

Receipt of applications and licenses

The Administrator, the Secretary, and the Commission shall refer all applications and licenses to the Committee, and the Committee shall receive such applications and licenses, for review and determination.

(2)

Review of applications and licenses

(A)

In general

The Committee shall—

(i)

conduct a review and assessment of each application and license received; and

(ii)

with respect to each such application and license—

(I)

submit questions or requests for information to the applicant, licensee, or any other entity for purposes of the assessment under subclause (II);

(II)

assess whether granting the application or maintaining the license would pose a risk to the national security or law enforcement or public safety interests of the United States;

(III)

in the case of an application or a license with respect to which the Committee determines such a risk exists, determine whether, as applicable—

(aa)

the application should be granted or denied; or

(bb)

the license should be maintained or revoked; and

(IV)

in the case of an application or license determined to pose such a risk that may be addressed through approval with conditions—

(aa)

not later than 30 days after the date on which the Committee receives such application or license for review, propose to the Administrator, the Secretary, or the Commission, as applicable, the measures necessary to address the risk, and recommend that the application only be granted, or the license only maintained, on the condition of compliance by the applicant or licensee with such measures;

(bb)

if the Administrator, the Secretary, or the Commission approves the measures proposed under item (aa) and grants the application, or maintains the license, communicate with the applicant or licensee with respect to such measures; and

(cc)

monitor compliance with such measures.

(B)

Timeline

Not later than 30 days after the date on which the chairperson determines under paragraph (4) that the response of the applicant or licensee to any question or information request is complete, the Committee shall complete the review under this paragraph.

(C)

Notification

The chairperson shall notify the Administrator, the Secretary, or the Commission, as applicable, of any application or license determined by the Committee to warrant a secondary assessment.

(3)

Secondary assessment of applications and licenses

(A)

In general

The Committee shall—

(i)

conduct a secondary assessment of any application or license determined by the Committee to pose a risk to the national security or law enforcement or public safety interests of the United States that cannot be addressed through standard mitigation measures; and

(ii)

with respect to each such application or license—

(I)

submit additional questions or requests for information to the applicant, licensee, or any other entity to determine whether there are unresolved concerns; and

(II)

make a recommendation to the Administrator, the Secretary, or the Commission, as applicable, on whether the application should be denied or the license should be revoked.

(B)

Timeline

Not later than 90 days after the date on which the Committee determines that a secondary assessment under this paragraph is warranted, the Committee shall complete the assessment.

(C)

Notification

The chairperson, in coordination with the Administrator, the Secretary, or the Commission, as applicable, shall notify the National Security Council and the President of any application or license with respect to which the Committee recommends a denial or revocation.

(4)

Requests for additional information

(A)

In general

Not later than 15 days after receiving a response to questions or requests for additional information submitted to an applicant, licensee, or any other entity pursuant to an review under paragraph (2) or a secondary assessment under paragraph (3), the Committee shall—

(i)

make a determination as to whether such response is complete; and

(ii)

notify the Administrator, the Secretary, or the Commission, as applicable, of such determination.

(B)

Failure to respond

(i)

In general

In the case of an applicant, licensee, or other entity that fails to respond to such questions or requests for additional information, the Committee may make a recommendation to the Administrator, the Secretary, or the Commission, as applicable—

(I)

to deny the application concerned without prejudice; or

(II)

to rescind the license concerned.

(ii)

Notification

(I)

Extension

The chairperson shall notify the Administrator, the Secretary, or the Commission, as applicable, of any extension of the review or secondary assessment period.

(II)

Denial

The chairperson, in coordination with the Administrator, the Secretary, or the Commission, as applicable, shall notify the National Security Council and the President of any recommendation by the Committee to deny an application or rescind a license.

(C)

Confidentiality

Information submitted to the Committee shall not be disclosed to any individual or entity outside the departments or agencies of Committee members and Committee advisors, except as appropriate and consistent with procedures governing the handling of classified or otherwise privileged information.

(5)

Notification of no objections

If the Committee does not have a recommendation or an objection to granting an application or maintaining a license, the Committee shall so notify the Administrator, the Secretary, or the Commission, as applicable.

(6)

Other duties

The Committees shall conduct other related duties, as the chairperson considers appropriate.

4.

Threat analysis

With respect to each application and license reviewed by the Committee, the Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the intelligence community (as defined in section 3 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3003)), shall issue a written assessment of any threat to the national security interests of the United States posed by granting the application or maintaining the license.