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H.R. 3942 (98th): Commercial Space Launch Act


The text of the bill below is as of Oct 30, 1984 (Passed Congress).

Summary of this bill

Source: Wikipedia

Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984 is a United States federal law authored to facilitate the private enterprise of the commercialization of space and space technology. The Act of Congress set forth the quest to acquire innovative equipment and services offered by entrepreneurial ventures from the information technology services, remote sensing technology, and telecommunications industries. The Act recognized the United States private sector as having the capability to develop commercial launch vehicles, orbital satellites, and operate private launch sites and services. The Act also assigned the duties of overseeing and coordinating commercial launches, issuing of licenses and permits, and promotion of safety standards to the Secretary of Department of Transportation ...


PUBLIC LAW 98-575—OCT. 30, 1984                              98 STAT. 3055
Public Law 98-575
98th Congress
                                 An Act
                                                                             Oct. 30, 1984
       To facilitate commercial space launches, and for other purposes.
                                                                              [H.R. 3942]
 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States ofAmerica in Congress assembled.                              Commercial
                                                                            Space
                               SHORT TITLE                                  Launch Act.

  SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the "Commercial Space                 49 use app. 26oi
Launch Act".                                                                "o^.
                                 FINDINGS

 SEC. 2. The Congress finds and declares that—                              49 use app.
     (1) the peaceful uses of outer space continue to be of great           260L
   value and to offer benefits to all mankind;
     (2) private applications of space technology have achieved a
   significant level of commercial and economic activity, and offer
   the potential for growth in the future, particularly in the
   United States;
     (3) new and innovative equipment and services are being
   sought, created, and offered by entrepreneurs in telecommuni-
   cations, information services, and remote sensing technology;
     (4) the private sector in the United States has the capability
   of developing and providing private satellite launching and
   associated services that would complement the launching and
   associated services now available from the United States Gov-
   ernment;
     (5) the development of commercial launch vehicles and associ-
   ated services would enable the United States to retain its
   competitive position internationally, thereby contributing to the
   national interest and economic well-being of the United States;
     (6) provision of launch services by the private sector is consist-
   ent with the national security interests and foreign policy
   interests of the United States and would be facilitated by stable,
   minimal, and appropriate regulatory guidelines that are fairly
   and expeditiously applied; and
      (7) the United States should encourage private sector
   launches and associated services and, only to the extent neces-
   sary, regulate such launches and services in order to ensure
   compliance with international obligations of the United States
   and to protect the public health and safety, safety of property,
   and national security interests and foreign policy interests of
   the United States.
                                 PURPOSES

 SEC. 3. It is therefore the purpose of this Act—                           49 use 2602.
     (1) to promote economic growth and entrepreneurial activity
   through utilization of the space environment for peaceful pur-
   poses;

98 STAT. 3056 PUBLIC LAW 98-575—OCT. 30, 1984 (2) to encourage the United States private sector to provide launch vehicles and associated launch services by simplifying and expediting the issuance and transfer of commercial launch licenses and by facilitating and encouraging the utilization of Government-developed space technology; and (3) to designate an executive department to oversee and co- ordinate the conduct of commercial launch operations, to issue and transfer commercial launch licenses authorizing such ac- tivities, and to protect the public health and safety, safety of property, and national security interests and foreign policy interests of the United States. DEFINITIONS 49 use app. SEC. 4. For purposes of this Act— 2603. (1) "agency" means an executive agency as defined by section 105 of title 5, United States Code; (2) "launch" means to place, or attempt to place, a launch vehicle and payload, if any, in a suborbital trajectory, in Earth orbit in outer space, or otherwise in outer space; (3) "launch property" means propellants, launch vehicles and components thereof, and other physical items constructed for or used in the launch preparation or launch of a launch vehicle; (4) "launch services" means those activities involved in the preparation of a launch vehicle and its payload for launch and the conduct of a launch; (5) "launch site" means the location on Earth from which a launch takes place, as defined in any license issued or trans- ferred by the Secretary under this Act, and includes all facilities located on a launch site which are necessary to conduct a launch; (6) "launch vehicle" means any vehicle constructed for the purpose of operating in, or placing a payload in, outer space and any suborbital rocket; (7) "payload" means an object which a person undertakes to place in outer space by means of a launch vehicle, and includes subcomponents of the launch vehicle specifically designed or adapted for that object; (8) "person" means any individual and any corporation, part- nership, joint venture, association, or other entity organized or existing under the laws of any State or any nation; (9) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Transportation; (10) "State", and "United States" when used in a geographical sense, mean the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States; and (11) "United States citizen" means— (A) any individual who is a citizen of the United States; (B) any corporation, partnership, joint venture, associa- tion, or other entity organized or existing under the laws of the United States or any State; and (C) any corporation, partnership, joint venture, associa- tion, or other entity which is organized or exists under the laws of a foreign nation, if the controlling interest (as defined by the Secretary in regulations) in such entity is
PUBLIC LAW 98-575—OCT. 30, 1984 98 STAT. 3057 held by an individual or entity described in subparagraph (A)or(B). GENERAL RESPONSIBIUTIES OF THE SECRETARY AND OTHER AGENCIES SEC. 5. (a) The Secretary shall be responsible for carrying out this 49 use app. Act, and in doing so shall— 2604. (1) encourage, facilitate, and promote commercial space launches by the private sector; and (2) consult with other agencies to provide consistent applica- tion of licensing requirements under this Act and to ensure fair and equitable treatment for all license applicants. 0)) To the extent permitted by law, Federal agencies shall assist the Secretary, as necessary, in carrjdng out this Act. REQUIREMENT OF UCENSE FOR PRIVATE SPACE LAUNCH OPERATIONS SEC. 6. (a)(1) No person shall launch a launch vehicle or operate a 49 use app. launch site within the United States, unless authorized by a license 2605. issued or transferred under this Act. (2) No United States citizen described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 4(11) shall launch a launch vehicle or operate a launch site outside the United States, unless authorized by a license issued or transferred under this Act. (3)(A) No United States citizen described in subparagraph (C) of section 4(11) shall launch a launch vehicle or operate a launch site at any place which is both outside the United States and outside the territory of any foreign nation, unless authorized by a license issued or transferred under this Act. The preceding sentence shall not apply with respect to a launch or operation of a launch site if there is an agreement in force between the United States and a foreign nation which provides that such foreign nation shall exercise juris- diction over such launch or operation. (B)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii) of this subparagraph, this Act shall not apply to the launch of a launch vehicle or the operation of a launch site in the territory of a foreign nation by a United States citizen described in subparagraph (C) of section 4(11). (ii) If there is an agreement in force between the United States international and a foreign nation which provides that the United States shall agreements. exercise jurisdiction over the launch of a launch vehicle or operation of a launch site in the territory of such nation by a United States citizen described in subparagraph (C) of section 4(11), no such United States citizen shall launch a launch vehicle or operate a launch site in the territory of such nation, unless authorized by a license issued or transferred under this Act. (b)(1) The holder of a launch license under this Act shall not launch a payload unless that payload complies with all require- ments of Federal law that relate to the launch of a payload. The Secretary shall ascertain whether any license, authorization, or other permit required by Federal law for a payload which is to be launched has been obtained. (2) If no payload license, authorization, or permit is required by any Federal law, the Secretary may take such action under this Act as the Secretary deems necessary to prevent the launch of a payload by a holder of a launch license under this Act if the Secretary determines that the launch of such payload would jeopardize the
98 STAT. 3058 PUBLIC LAW 98-575—OCT. 30, 1984 public health and safety, safety of property, or any national security interest or foreign policy interest of the United States. (c)(1) Except as provided in this Act, no person shall be required to obtain from any agency a license, approval, waiver, or exemption for the launch of a launch vehicle or the operation of a launch site. (2) Nothing in this Act shall affect the authority of the Federal Communications Commission under the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.) or the authority of the Secretary of Commerce under the Land Remote-Sensing Commercialization Act of 1984 (15 U.S.C. 4201 et seq.). AUTHORITY TO ISSUE AND TRANSFER LICENSES 49 use app. SEC. 7. The Secretary may, consistent with the public health and 2606. safety, safety of property, and national security interests and foreign policy interests of the United States, issue or transfer a license for launching one or more launch vehicles or for operating one or more launch sites, or both, to an applicant who meets the requirements for a license under section 8 of this Act. Any license issued or transferred under this section shall be in effect for such period of time as the Secretary may specify, in accordance with regulations issued under this Act. LICENSING R E Q U I R E M E N T S 49 use app. SEC. 8. (a)(1) All requirements of Federal law which apply to the 2607. launch of a launch vehicle or the operation of a launch site shall be requirements for a license under this Act for the launch of a launch vehicle or the operation of a launch site, respectively, except to the extent provided in paragraph (2). (2) If the Secretary determines, in consultation with appropriate agencies, that any requirement of Federal law that would otherwise apply to the launch of a launch vehicle or the operation of a launch site is not necessary to protect the public health and safety, safety of property, and national security interests and foreign policy interests of the United States, the Secretary may by regulation provide that such requirement shall not be a requirement for a license under this Act. (b) The Secretary may, with respect to launches and the operation of launch sites, prescribe such additional requirements as are neces- sary to protect the public health and safety, safety of property, and national security interests and foreign policy interests of the United States. (c) The Secretary may, in individual cases, waive the application of any requirement for a license under this section if the Secretary determines that such waiver is in the public interest and will not jeopardize the public health and safety, safety of property, or any national security interest or foreign policy interest of the United States. LICENSE APPLICATION AND APPROVAL 49 use app. SEC. 9. (a) Any person may apply to the Secretary for issuance or 2608. transfer of a license under this Act, in such form and manner as the Secretary may prescribe. The Secretary shall establish procedures and timetables to expedite review of applications under this section and to reduce regulatory burdens for applicants.
PUBLIC LAW 98-575—OCT. 30, 1984 98 STAT. 3059 (b) The Secretary shall issue or transfer a license to an applicant if the Secretary determines in writing that the applicant complies and will continue to comply with the requirements of this Act and any regulation issued under this Act. The Secretary shall include in such license such conditions as may be necessary to ensure compliance with this Act, including an effective means of on-site verification that a launch or operation of a launch site conforms to representa- tions made in the application for a license or transfer of a license. The Secretary shall make a determination on any application not later than 180 days after receipt of such application. If the Secretary has not made a determination within 120 days after receipt of such application, the Secretary shall inform the applicant of any pending issues and of actions required to resolve such issues. (c) The Secretary, any officer or employee of the United States, or any person with whom the Secretary has entered into a contract under section 140)) of this Act may not disclose any data or informa- tion under this Act which qualifies for exemption under section 55203X4) of title 5, United States Code, or is designated as confiden- tial by the person or agency furnishing such data or information, unless the Secretary determines that the withholding of such data or information is contrary to the public or national interest. SUSPENSION, REVOCATION, AND MODIFICATION OF UCENSES SEC. 10. (a) The Secretary may suspend or revoke any license 49 use app. issued or transferred under this Act if the Secretary finds that the 2609. licensee has substantially failed to comply with any requirement of this Act, the license, or any regulation issued under this Act, or that the suspension or revocation is necessary to protect the public health and safety, safety of property, or any national security interest or foreign policy interest of the United States. 0)) Upon application by the licensee or upon the Secretary's own initiative, the Secretary may modify a license issued or transferred under this Act, if the Secretary finds that the modification will comply with the requirements of this Act. (c) Unless otherwise specified by the Secretary, any suspension, revocation, or modification by the Secretary under this section— (1) shall take effect immediately; and (2) shall continue in effect during any review of such action under section 12 of this Act. (d) Whenever the Secretary takes any action under this section, the Secretary shall notify the licensee in writing of the Secretary's finding and the action which the Secretary has taken or proposes to take regarding such finding. EMERGENCY ORDERS SEC. 11. (a) The Secretary may terminate, prohibit, or suspend Prohibition. immediately the launch of a launch vehicle or the operation of a ^9 use app. launch site which is licensed under this Act if the Secretary deter- 2610. mines that such launch or operation is detrimental to the public health and safety, safety of property, or any national security interest or foreign policy interest of the United States. Ob) An order terminating, prohibiting, or suspending any launch or operation of a launch site licensed by the Secretary under this Act shall take effect immediately and shall continue in effect during any review of such order under section 12.
98 STAT. 3060 PUBLIC LAW 98-575—OCT. 30, 1984 ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL REVIEW 49 u s e app. SEC. 12. (a)(1) An applicant for a license a n d a proposed transferee 2611 of a license u n d e r this Act shall be entitled to a d e t e r m i n a t i o n on t h e record after a n opportunity for a h e a r i n g in accordance w i t h section 554 of title 5, U n i t e d States Code, of a n y decision of t h e Secretary u n d e r section 9(b) to issue or transfer a license w i t h conditions or to deny t h e issuance or transfer of such license. A n owner or operator of a payload shall be entitled to a d e t e r m i n a t i o n on t h e record after a n opportunity for a h e a r i n g in accordance w i t h section 554 of title 5, United States Code, of a n y decision of t h e Secretary u n d e r section 6(b)(2) to p r e v e n t t h e l a u n c h of such pay- load. (2) A licensee u n d e r t h i s Act shall be entitled to a d e t e r m i n a t i o n on t h e record after a n opportunity for a h e a r i n g in accordance with section 554 of title 5, U n i t e d States Code, of a n y decision of t h e Secretary— (A) under section 10 to suspend, revoke, or modify a license; or (B) under section 11 to terminate, prohibit, or suspend any launch or operation of a launch site licensed by the Secretary. (b) Any final action of the Secretary under this Act to issue, transfer, deny the issuance or transfer of, suspend, revoke, or modify a license or to terminate, prohibit, or suspend any launch or oper- ation of a launch site licensed by the Secretary or to prevent the launch of a payload shall be subject to judicial review as provided in chapter 7 of title 5, United States Code. REGULATIONS 49 use app. SEC. 13. The Secretary may issue such regulations, after notice 2612. a n d c o m m e n t in accordance with section 553 of title 5, United States Code, as m a y be necessary to c a r r y out t h i s Act. MONITORING OF ACTIVITIES OF LICENSEES 49 use app. S E C 14. (a) Each license issued or transferred under this Act shall 2613. require t h e licensee— (1) to allow the Secretary to place Federal officers or em- ployees or other individuals as observers at any launch site used by the licensee, at any production facility or assembly site used by a contractor of the licensee in the production or assembly of a launch vehicle, or at any site where a payload is integrated with a launch vehicle, in order to monitor the activities of the licensee or contractor at such time and to such extent as the Secretary considers reasonable and necessary to determine com- pliance with the license or to carry out the responsibilities of the Secretary under section 6(b) of this Act; and (2) to cooperate with such observers in the performance of monitoring functions. (b) The Secretary may, to the extent provided in advance by appropriation Acts, enter into a contract with any person to carry out subsection (a)(1) of this section. USE OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY 49 use app. SEC. 15. (a) The Secretary shall take such actions as may be 2614. necessary to facilitate a n d encourage t h e acquisition (by lease, sale, t r a n s a c t i o n in lieu of sale, or otherwise) by t h e private sector of
PUBLIC LAW 98-575—OCT. 30, 1984 98 STAT. 3061 launch property of the United States which is excess or is otherwise not needed for public use and of launch services, including utilities, of the United States which are otherwise not needed for public use. 03)(1) The amount to be paid to the United States by any person who acquires launch property or launch services, including utilities, shall be established by the agency providing the property or service, in consultation with the Secretary. In the case of acquisition of launch property by sale or transaction in lieu of sale, the amount of such payment shall be the fair market value. In the case of any other tjrpe of acquisition of launch property, the amount of such payment shall be an amount equal to the direct costs (including any specific wear and tear and damage to the property) incurred by the United States as a result of the acquisition of such launch property. In the case of any acquisition of launch services, including utilities, the amount of such pajmient shall be an amount equal to the direct costs (including salaries of United States civilian and contractor personnel) incurred by the United States as a result of the acquisi- tion of such launch services. (2) The Secretary may collect any payment for launch property or launch services, with the consent of the agency establishing such payment under paragraph (1). (3) The amount of any payment received by the United States for launch property or launch services, including utilities, under this subsection shall be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury, and the amount of a payment for launch property (other than launch property which is excess) and launch services (including utilities) shall be credited to the appropriation from which the cost of providing such property or services was paid. (c) The Secretary may establish requirements for liability insur- ance, hold harmless agreements, proof of financial responsibility, and such other assurances as may be needed to protect the United States and its agencies and personnel from liability, loss, or injury as a result of a launch or operation of a launch site involving Government facilities or personnel. LIABIUTY INSURANCE SEC. 16. Each person who launches a launch vehicle or operates a 49 use app. launch site under a license issued or transferred under this Act 2615. shall have in effect liability insurance at least in such £imount as is considered by the Secretary to be necessary for such launch or operation, considering the international obligations of the United States. The Secretary shall prescribe such amount after consultation with the Attorney General and other appropriate agencies. ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY SEC. 17. (a) The Secretary shall enforce this Act. The Secretary 49 use app. may delegate the exercise of any enforcement authority under this 2616. Act to any officer or employee of the Department of Transportation or, with the approval of the head of another agency, any officer or employee of such agency. (b) In carrying out this section, the Secretary may— (1) make investigations and inquiries, and administer to or take from any person an oath, affirmation, or affidavit, concern- ing any matter relating to enforcement of this Act; and (2) pursuant to any lawful process—
98 STAT. 3062 PUBLIC LAW 98-575—OCT. 30, 1984 (A) enter at any reasonable time any launch site, produc- tion facility, or assembly site of a launch vehicle, or any site where a payload is integrated with a launch vehicle, for the purpose of inspecting any object which is subject to this Act and any records or reports required by the Secretary to be made or kept under this Act; and (B) seize any such object, record, or report where there is probable cause to believe that such object, record, or report was used, is being used, or is likely to be used in violation of this Act. PROHIBITED ACTS 49 use app. SEC. 18. It is unlawful for any person to violate a requirement of 26i'7- this Act, a regulation issued under this Act, or any term, condition, or restriction of any license issued or transferred by the Secretary under this Act. CIVIL PENALTIES 49 use app. SEC. 19. (a) Any person who is found by the Secretary, after notice 2618. and opportunity to be heard on the record in accordance with section 554 of title 5, United States Code, to have committed any act prohibited by section 18 shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 for each violation. Each day of a continuing violation shall constitute a separate violation. The amount of such civil penalty shall be assessed by the Secretary by written notice. The Secretary may compromise, modify, or remit, with or without conditions, any civil penalty which is subject to imposition or which has been imposed under this section. (b) If any person fails to pay a civil penalty assessed against such person after the penalty has become final or if such person appeals an order of the Secretary and the appropriate court has entered final judgment in favor of the Secretary, the Secretary shall recover the civil penalty assessed in any appropriate district court of the United States. (c) For purposes of conducting any hearing under this section, the Secretary may (1) issue subpoenas for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of relevant papers, books, docu- ments, and other records, (2) seek enforcement of such subpoenzis in the appropriate district court of the United States, and (3) adminis- ter oaths and affirmations. CONSULTATION Defense and SEC. 20. (a) The Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of national Defense on all matters, including the issuance or transfer of each security. license, under this Act affecting national security. The Secretary of ^^ use app. Defense shall be responsible for identifying and notifying the Secre- tary of those national security interests of the United States which are relevant to activities under this Act. (b) The Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of State on all matters, including the issuance or transfer of each license, under this Act affecting foreign policy. The Secretary of State shall be responsible for identifying and notifying the Secretary of those foreign policy interests or obligations of the United States which are relevant to activities under this Act. (c) The Secretary shall consult with other agencies, as appropri- ate, in order to carry out the provisions of this Act.
PUBLIC LAW 98-575—OCT. 30, 1984 98 STAT. 3063 RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER LAWS AND INTERNATIONAL OBUGATIONS SEC. 2 L (a) No State or political subdivision of a State may adopt Prohibitions. or have in effect any law, rule, regulation, standard, or order which 49 u s e app. 2620. is inconsistent with the provisions of this Act. Nothing in this Act shall preclude a State or a political subdivision of a State from adopting or putting into effect any law, rule, regulation, standard, or order which is consistent with this Act and is in addition to or more stringent than any requirement of or regulation issued under this Act. The Secretary may, and is encouraged to, consult with the States to simplify and expedite the approval of space launch activi- ties. (b) A launch vehicle or payload shall not, by reason of the launch- ing of such vehicle or payload, be considered an export for purposes of any law controlling exports. (c) Nothing in this Act shall apply to— (1) any— (A) launch or operation of a launch vehicle, (B) operation of a launch site, or (C) other space activity, carried out by the United States on behalf of the United States; or (2) any planning or policies relating to any such launch, operation, or activity. (d) The Secretary shall carry out this Act consistent with any obligation assumed by the United States in any treaty, convention, or agreement that may be in force between the United States and any foreign nation. In carrying out this Act, the Secretary shall consider applicable laws and requirements of any foreign nation. REPORT ON LEGISLATION SEC. 22. (a) Not later than the last day of each fiscal year ending Report. after the date of enactment of this Act and before October 1, 1989, 49 u s e app. 2621. the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Science and Tech- nology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report describing all activities undertaken under this Act, including a description of the process for the application for and approval of licenses under this Act and recommendations for legislation that may further commercial launches. (b) Not later than July 1, 1985, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representa- tives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report which identifies Federal statutes, treaties, regulations, and policies which may have an adverse effect on commercial launches and include recommendations on appropriate changes thereto. SEVERABILITY SEC. 23. If any provision of this Act, or the application of such 49 u s e app. provision to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remain- 2622. der of this Act and the application of such provision to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected by such invalidation.
98 STAT. 3064 PUBLIC LAW 98-575—OCT. 30, 1984 AUTHORIZED APPROPRIATIONS 49 use app. SEC. 24. There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary 2623. $4,000,000 for fiscal year 1985. EFFECTIVE DATE 49 use app. 2601 SEC. 25. (a) Except for section 15 and the authority to issue note. regulations, this Act shall take effect 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act. Ob) Section 15 shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act, except that nothing in this Act shall affect any agreement, including negotiations which are substantially completed, relating to the acquisition of launch property or launch services of the United States entered into on or before the date of enactment of this Act between the United States and any private party. Regulations. (c) Regulations to implement this Act shall be promulgated not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act. Approved October 30, 1984. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY—H.R. 3942: HOUSE REPORT No. 98-816 (Comm. on Science and Technology). SENATE REPORT No. 98-656 (Comm. on eommerce, Science, and Transportation). CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 130 (1984): June 5, considered and passed House. Oct. 9, considered and passed Senate, amended; House concurred in Senate amendment. WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 20, No. 44 (1984): Oct. 30, Presidential statement.