H.R. 810, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2015

H.R. 810

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2015

Date
February 10, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
David Smentek

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, the House will consider H.R 810, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2015, under a suspension of the rules.  H.R. 810 was introduced by Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) and referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Bill Summary

H.R. 810 is substantively identical to H.R. 4412, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2014, legislation that previously passed in the House on June 9, 2014 by a vote of 401-2.  (See Roll Call #272)

H.R. 810 authorizes approximately $18 billion in funding for the programs and activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), consistent with the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015.  Included in this funding is:

  • $4.4 billion for space exploration, including: $1.7 billion for the Space Launch System; $1.2 billion for the Orion crew capsule; $306 million for Exploration Research and Development; and $805 million for Commercial Crew Development Activities.
  • $3.8 billion for Space Operations, including $3 billion for the International Space Station Program.
  • $5.2 billion for Science, including: $1.8 billion for Earth Science; $1.4 billion for Planetary Science; $684 million for Astrophysics; $645 million for the James Webb Space Telescope; and $662 million for Heliophysics.
  • $651 million for Aeronautics; $596 million for Space Technology; $119 million for Education; $2.8 billion for Cross-Agency support; $419 million for Construction and Environmental Compliance and Restoration; and $37 million for the Inspector General.

This legislation reaffirms that the goal of the NASA human spaceflight program is for a human mission to Mars, and requires NASA to develop a roadmap to achieve that goal and to provide biennial updates on their progress.  Furthermore, the bill continues to provide consistent policy guidance to NASA that build upon the 2005, 2008, and 2010 Authorization Acts.  It also emphasizes the importance of completing regular scientific missions, and sets a goal of a scientific mission to Europa to be launched in 2021.  Moreover, this legislation directs NASA and the National Academy of Sciences to develop an exploration strategy for planets outside of the solar system and establishes an aeronautics research program.  This includes research efforts to integrate unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace as well as NextGen technology for air traffic management.  H.R.  810 also supports a space technology program and directs NASA to develop a plan to better position itself to have the necessary facilities and infrastructure to meet future requirements.

This legislation also directs the NASA administrator to: 1) utilize the International Space Station and commercial services for Science Mission Directorate and Space Technology Demonstration missions in low-Earth orbit; 2) enter into an arrangement with the National Academies for a review of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program; and 3) revise the NASA Supplement to the federal acquisition regulation that addresses the detection and avoidance of counterfeit electronic parts.  Overall, this legislation is intended to address NASA’s future priorities, while improving public accountability and transparency.  The legislation would ensure the development of a domestic crew transportation capability that decreases our dependence on foreign access to space, and continues to develop our nation’s ability to develop systems to explore deep space.

This legislation has received support from a number of industry and academic stakeholders, including: The Aerospace Industries Association; The Boeing Company; Exelis, Inc.; The Planetary Science Institute; The Coalition for Space Exploration; and The Planetary Society.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is currently unavailable.  This legislation authorizes approximately $18 billion for the 2015 activities of NASA.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.

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