42 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2009 Edition
Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
CHAPTER 26 - NATIONAL SPACE PROGRAM
SUBCHAPTER II - COORDINATION OF AERONAUTICAL AND SPACE ACTIVITIES
Sec. 2473 - Functions of Administration
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

§2473. Functions of Administration

(a) Planning, directing and conducting aeronautical and space activities; participation by scientific community; dissemination of information

The Administration, in order to carry out the purpose of this chapter, shall—

(1) plan, direct, and conduct aeronautical and space activities;

(2) arrange for participation by the scientific community in planning scientific measurements and observations to be made through use of aeronautical and space vehicles, and conduct or arrange for the conduct of such measurements and observations;

(3) provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof;

(4) seek and encourage, to the maximum extent possible, the fullest commercial use of space; and

(5) encourage and provide for Federal Government use of commercially provided space services and hardware, consistent with the requirements of the Federal Government.

(b) Research, development, etc., in ground propulsion technologies and solar heating and cooling technologies

(1) The Administration shall, to the extent of appropriated funds, initiate, support, and carry out such research, development, demonstration, and other related activities in ground propulsion technologies as are provided for in sections 2503 through 2509 of title 15.

(2) The Administration shall initiate, support, and carry out such research, development, demonstrations, and other related activities in solar heating and cooling technologies (to the extent that funds are appropriated therefor) as are provided for in sections 5503, 5504, and 5507 of this title.

(c) Powers of Administration in performance of its functions

In the performance of its functions the Administration is authorized—

(1) to make, promulgate, issue, rescind, and amend rules and regulations governing the manner of its operations and the exercise of the powers vested in it by law;

(2) to appoint and fix the compensation of such officers and employees as may be necessary to carry out such functions. Such officers and employees shall be appointed in accordance with the civil-service laws and their compensation fixed in accordance with chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, except that (A) to the extent the Administrator deems such action necessary to the discharge of his responsibilities, he may appoint not more than four hundred and twenty-five of the scientific, engineering, and administrative personnel of the Administration without regard to such laws, and may fix the compensation of such personnel not in excess of the rate of basic pay payable for level III of the Executive Schedule, and (B) to the extent the Administrator deems such action necessary to recruit specially qualified scientific and engineering talent, he may establish the entrance grade for scientific and engineering personnel without previous service in the Federal Government at a level up to two grades higher than the grade provided for such personnel under the General Schedule, and fix their compensation accordingly;

(3) to acquire (by purchase, lease, condemnation, or otherwise), construct, improve, repair, operate, and maintain laboratories, research and testing sites and facilities, aeronautical and space vehicles, quarters and related accommodations for employees and dependents of employees of the Administration, and such other real and personal property (including patents), or any interest therein, as the Administration deems necessary within and outside the continental United States; to acquire by lease or otherwise, through the Administrator of General Services, buildings or parts of buildings in the District of Columbia for the use of the Administration for a period not to exceed ten years without regard to section 8141 of title 40; to lease to others such real and personal property; to sell and otherwise dispose of real and personal property (including patents and rights thereunder) in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended; 1 and to provide by contract or otherwise for cafeterias and other necessary facilities for the welfare of employees of the Administration at its installations and purchase and maintain equipment therefor;

(4) to accept unconditional gifts or donations of services, money, or property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible;

(5) without regard to section 3324(a) and (b) of title 31, to enter into and perform such contracts, leases, cooperative agreements, or other transactions as may be necessary in the conduct of its work and on such terms as it may deem appropriate, with any agency or instrumentality of the United States, or with any State, Territory, or possession, or with any political subdivision thereof, or with any person, firm, association, corporation, or educational institution. To the maximum extent practicable and consistent with the accomplishment of the purpose of this chapter, such contracts, leases, agreements, and other transactions shall be allocated by the Administrator in a manner which will enable small-business concerns to participate equitably and proportionately in the conduct of the work of the Administration;

(6) to use, with their consent, the services, equipment, personnel, and facilities of Federal and other agencies with or without reimbursement, and on a similar basis to cooperate with other public and private agencies and instrumentalities in the use of services, equipment, and facilities. Each department and agency of the Federal Government shall cooperate fully with the Administration in making its services, equipment, personnel, and facilities available to the Administration, and any such department or agency is authorized, notwithstanding any other provision of law, to transfer to or to receive from the Administration, without reimbursement, aeronautical and space vehicles, and supplies and equipment other than administrative supplies or equipment;

(7) to appoint such advisory committees as may be appropriate for purposes of consultation and advice to the Administration in the performance of its functions;

(8) to establish within the Administration such offices and procedures as may be appropriate to provide for the greatest possible coordination of its activities under this chapter with related scientific and other activities being carried on by other public and private agencies and organizations;

(9) to obtain services as authorized by section 3109 of title 5, but at rates for individuals not to exceed the per diem rate equivalent to the rate for GS–18;

(10) when determined by the Administrator to be necessary, and subject to such security investigations as he may determine to be appropriate, to employ aliens without regard to statutory provisions prohibiting payment of compensation to aliens;

(11) to provide by concession, without regard to section 1302 of title 40, on such terms as the Administrator may deem to be appropriate and to be necessary to protect the concessioner against loss of his investment in property (but not anticipated profits) resulting from the Administration's discretionary acts and decisions, for the construction, maintenance, and operation of all manner of facilities and equipment for visitors to the several installations of the Administration and, in connection therewith, to provide services incident to the dissemination of information concerning its activities to such visitors, without charge or with a reasonable charge therefor (with this authority being in addition to any other authority which the Administration may have to provide facilities, equipment, and services for visitors to its installations). A concession agreement under this paragraph may be negotiated with any qualified proposer following due consideration of all proposals received after reasonable public notice of the intention to contract. The concessioner shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to make a profit commensurate with the capital invested and the obligations assumed, and the consideration paid by him for the concession shall be based on the probable value of such opportunity and not on maximizing revenue to the United States. Each concession agreement shall specify the manner in which the concessioner's records are to be maintained, and shall provide for access to any such records by the Administration and the Comptroller General of the United States for a period of five years after the close of the business year to which such records relate. A concessioner may be accorded a possessory interest, consisting of all incidents of ownership except legal title (which shall vest in the United States), in any structure, fixture, or improvement he constructs or locates upon land owned by the United States; and, with the approval of the Administration, such possessory interest may be assigned, transferred, encumbered, or relinquished by him, and, unless otherwise provided by contract, shall not be extinguished by the expiration or other termination of the concession and may not be taken for public use without just compensation;

(12) with the approval of the President, to enter into cooperative agreements under which members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps may be detailed by the appropriate Secretary for services in the performance of functions under this chapter to the same extent as that to which they might be lawfully assigned in the Department of Defense;

(13)(A) to consider, ascertain, adjust, determine, settle, and pay, on behalf of the United States, in full satisfaction thereof, any claim for $25,000 or less against the United States for bodily injury, death, or damage to or loss of real or personal property resulting from the conduct of the Administration's functions as specified in subsection (a) of this section, where such claim is presented to the Administration in writing within two years after the accident or incident out of which the claim arises; and

(B) if the Administration considers that a claim in excess of $25,000 is meritorious and would otherwise be covered by this paragraph, to report the facts and circumstances thereof to the Congress for its consideration.

(Pub. L. 85–568, title II, §203, July 29, 1958, 72 Stat. 429; Pub. L. 86–20, May 13, 1959, 73 Stat. 21; Pub. L. 86–481, §5, June 1, 1960, 74 Stat. 153; Pub. L. 87–367, title II, §206(a), Oct. 4, 1961, 75 Stat. 791; Pub. L. 87–584, §6, Aug. 14, 1962, 76 Stat. 384; Pub. L. 87–793, §1001(f), Oct. 11, 1962, 76 Stat. 864; Pub. L. 88–426, title III, §306(d), Aug. 14, 1964, 78 Stat. 429; Pub. L. 88–448, title IV, §402(a)(34), Aug. 10, 1964, 78 Stat. 495; Pub. L. 91–646, title II, §220(a)(2), Jan. 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1903; Pub. L. 93–74, §6, July 23, 1973, 87 Stat. 174; Pub. L. 93–316, §6, June 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 243; Pub. L. 93–409, §4, Sept. 3, 1974, 88 Stat. 1070; Pub. L. 94–413, §15(c), Sept. 17, 1976, 90 Stat. 1270; Pub. L. 95–401, §6, Sept. 30, 1978, 92 Stat. 860; Pub. L. 96–48, §6(a), Aug. 8, 1979, 93 Stat. 348; Pub. L. 101–611, title I, §107, Nov. 16, 1990, 104 Stat. 3197; Pub. L. 108–201, §2(a), Feb. 24, 2004, 118 Stat. 461.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (c)(5), (8), (12), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 85–568, July 29, 1958, 72 Stat. 426, as amended, known as the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2451 of this title and Tables.

The civil-service laws, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), are set forth in Title 5, Government Organization and Employees. See, particularly, section 3301 et seq. of Title 5.

Level III of the Executive Schedule, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), is set out in section 5314 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

The General Schedule, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), is set out under section 5332 of Title 5.

The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended, referred to in subsec. (c)(3), is act June 30, 1949, ch. 288, 63 Stat. 377, as amended. Except for title III of the Act, which is classified generally to subchapter IV (§251 et seq.) of chapter 4 of Title 41, Public Contracts, the Act was repealed and reenacted by Pub. L. 107–217, §§1, 6(b), Aug. 21, 2002, 116 Stat. 1062, 1304, as chapters 1 to 11 of Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works.

Codification

In subsec. (c)(2), “chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5” substituted for “the Classification Act of 1949, as amended” on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

In subsec. (c)(3), “section 8141 of title 40” substituted for “the Act of March 3, 1877 (40 U.S.C. 34)” and, in subsec. (c)(11), “section 1302 of title 40” substituted for “section 321 of the Act of June 30, 1932 (47 Stat. 412; 40 U.S.C. 303b)”, on authority of Pub. L. 107–217, §5(c), Aug. 21, 2002, 116 Stat. 1303, the first section of which enacted Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works.

In subsec. (c)(5), “section 3324(a) and (b) of title 31” substituted for “section 3648 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (31 U.S.C. 529)” on authority of Pub. L. 97–258, §4(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1067, the first section of which enacted Title 31, Money and Finance.

Amendments

2004—Subsec. (c)(2)(A). Pub. L. 108–201 substituted “the rate of basic pay payable for level III of the Executive Schedule,” for “the highest rate of grade 18 of the General Schedule,”.

1990—Subsec. (a)(4), (5). Pub. L. 101–611 added pars. (4) and (5).

1979—Subsec. (c)(13). Pub. L. 96–48 substituted “$25,000” for “$5,000”.

1978—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–401 designated existing provisions as par. (1) and redesignated provisions set out in text as the second subsec. (c), relating to research, development, etc., in solar heating and cooling technologies, as par. (2).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 95–401 redesignated subsec. (c), relating to research, development, etc., in solar heating and cooling technologies, as subsec. (b)(2).

1976—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–413 added subsec. (b). Former subsec. (b) was redesignated (c) and was set out in text as the second subsec. (c).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 94–413 redesignated former subsec. (b), relating to research, development, etc., in solar heating and cooling technologies, as (c) set out in text as the second subsec. (c).

1974—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 93–409 added subsec. (b), and redesignated former subsec. (b) as (c) set out first.

Subsec. (b)(9). Pub. L. 93–316 substituted “section 3109 of title 5, but at rates for individuals not to exceed the per diem rate equivalent to the rate for GS–18” for “section 15 of the Act of August 2, 1946 (5 U.S.C. 55a), at rates not to exceed $100 per diem for individuals”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 93–409 redesignated former subsec. (b) as (c).

1973—Subsec. (b)(11). Pub. L. 93–74 added par. (11).

1971—Subsec. (b)(14). Pub. L. 91–646 repealed provisions of paragraph for Administration authorization for reimbursement of owners and tenants of land and interests in land acquired on or after Nov. 1, 1961, by the United States for Administration use for expenses and damages incurred by such owners and tenants as result of moving themselves, their families, and their possessions because of said acquisition, limitation on amount, and time for submission of applications. See section 4601 et seq. of this title.

1964—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 88–426 struck out provisions from cl. (A) which permitted the Administrator to fix compensation at not more than $21,000 for a maximum of thirty positions and provisions which related to the filling of positions prior to Mar. 1, 1962, and July 1, 1962.

Subsec. (b)(11). Pub. L. 88–448 repealed former par. (11) which authorized the employment of retired commissioned officers.

1962—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 87–793 substituted “(at not to exceed the highest rate of grade 18 of the General Schedule, or for a maximum of thirty positions, not to exceed $21,000 a year) of” for “(up to a limit of $19,000 a year, or up to a limit of $21,000 a year for a maximum of thirty positions) of”, in par (2).

Subsec. (b)(14). Pub. L. 87–584 added par. (14).

1961—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 87–367 substituted “thirty” for “thirteen” and “four hundred and twenty-five (of which not to exceed three hundred and fifty-five may be filled prior to March 1, 1962 and not to exceed three hundred and ninety may be filed prior to July 1, 1962)” for “two hundred and ninety”.

1960—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 86–481 substituted “thirteen” for “ten” and “two hundred and ninety” for “two hundred and sixty”.

1959—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 86–20 authorized the Administration to acquire, by lease or otherwise, buildings or parts of buildings in the District of Columbia for a period of not more than 10 years.

Effective Date of 2004 Amendment

Pub. L. 108–201, §2(b), Feb. 24, 2004, 118 Stat. 461, provided that: “The amendment made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after the date of enactment of this Act [Feb. 24, 2004].”

Effective Date of 1979 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–48 effective Oct. 1, 1979, see section 6(c) of Pub. L. 96–48, set out as an Effective Date note under section 2458b of this title.

Effective Date of 1971 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 91–646 effective Jan. 2, 1971, see section 221 of Pub. L. 91–646, set out as an Effective Date note under section 4601 of this title.

Effective Date of 1964 Amendments

Amendment by Pub. L. 88–448 effective on first day of first month which begins later than the ninetieth day following Aug. 19, 1964, see section 403 of Pub. L. 88–448.

Amendment by Pub. L. 88–426 effective on first day of first pay period which begins on or after July 1, 1964, except to the extent provided in section 501(c) of Pub. L. 88–426, see section 501 of Pub. L. 88–426.

Effective Date of 1962 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 87–793 effective on first day of first pay period which begins on or after Oct. 11, 1962, see section 1008 of Pub. L. 87–793.

Savings Provision

Any rights or liabilities existing under provisions repealed by section 220(a) of Pub. L. 91–646 as not affected by such repeal, see section 220(b) of Pub. L. 91–646, set out as a note under section 4621 of this title.

Office of Inspector General

Functions, powers, and duties of Management Audit Office and Office of Inspections and Security in National Aeronautics and Space Administration transferred to Office of Inspector General in National Aeronautics and Space Administration by section 9(a)(1)(L) of the Inspector General Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95–452, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, section 2 of which established such Office of Inspector General.

Notice of Reprogramming or Reorganization

Pub. L. 106–391, title III, §311, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1594, provided that:

“(a) Notice of Reprogramming.—If any funds authorized by this Act [see Tables for classification] are subject to a reprogramming action that requires notice to be provided to the Appropriations Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate, notice of such action shall concurrently be provided to the Committee on Science [now Committee on Science and Technology] of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

“(b) Notice of Reorganization.—The Administrator [of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration] shall provide notice to the Committees on Science [now Science and Technology] and Appropriations of the House of Representatives, and the Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and Appropriations of the Senate, not later than 30 days before any major reorganization of any program, project, or activity of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.”

Purchase of American-Made Equipment and Products

Pub. L. 106–391, title III, §319, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1597, provided that:

“(a) Purchase of American-Made Equipment and Products.—In the case of any equipment or products that may be authorized to be purchased with financial assistance provided under this Act [see Tables for classification], it is the sense of the Congress that entities receiving such assistance should, in expending the assistance, purchase only American-made equipment and products.

“(b) Notice to Recipients of Assistance.—In providing financial assistance under this Act, the Administrator [of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration] shall provide to each recipient of the assistance a notice describing the statement made in subsection (a) by the Congress.”

Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Programs

Pub. L. 106–391, title III, §321, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1597, provided that:

“(a) Definitions.—In this section:

“(1) Educationally useful federal equipment.—The term ‘educationally useful Federal equipment’ means computers and related peripheral tools and research equipment that is appropriate for use in schools.

“(2) School.—The term ‘school’ means a public or private educational institution that serves any of the grades of kindergarten through grade 12.

“(b) Sense of the Congress.—

“(1) In general.—It is the sense of the Congress that the Administrator [of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration] should, to the greatest extent practicable and in a manner consistent with applicable Federal law (including Executive Order No. 12999 [40 U.S.C. 549 note]), donate educationally useful Federal equipment to schools in order to enhance the science and mathematics programs of those schools.

“(2) Reports.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 30, 2000], and annually thereafter, the Administrator shall prepare and submit to Congress a report describing any donations of educationally useful Federal equipment to schools made during the period covered by the report.”

NASA Mid-Range Procurement Test Program

Pub. L. 103–355, title V, §5062, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3356, provided that:

“(a) In General.—The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (in this section referred to as the ‘Administrator’) may conduct a test of alternative notice and publication requirements for procurements conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. To the extent consistent with this section, such program shall be conducted consistent with section 15 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 413).

“(b) Applicability.—The test conducted under subsection (a) shall apply to acquisitions with an estimated annual total obligation of funds of $500,000 or less.

“(c) Limitation on Total Cost.—The total estimated life-cycle cost to the Federal Government for the test conducted under subsection (a) may not exceed $100,000,000.

“(d) Waiver of Procurement Regulations.—(1) In conducting the test under this section, the Administrator, with the approval of the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, may waive—

“(A) any provision of the Federal Acquisition Regulation that is not required by statute; and

“(B) any provision of the Federal Acquisition Regulation that is required by a provision of law described in paragraph (2), the waiver of which the Administrator determines in writing to be necessary to conduct the test.

“(2) The provisions of law referred to in paragraph (1) are as follows:

“(A) Subsections (e), (f), and (g) of section 8 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637).

“(B) Section 18 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 416).

“(e) Report.—Not later than 6 months after completion of the test conducted under subsection (a), the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report for the test setting forth in detail the results of the test, including such recommendations as the Comptroller General considers appropriate.

“(f) Expiration of Authority.—The authority to conduct the test under subsection (a) and to award contracts under such test shall expire 4 years after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 13, 1994]. Contracts entered into before such authority expires shall remain in effect, notwithstanding the expiration of the authority to conduct the test under this section.

“(g) Rule of Construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing the appropriation or obligation of funds for the test conducted pursuant to subsection (a).”

Transmission of Budget Estimates

Pub. L. 102–588, title II, §210, Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 5115, provided that: “The Administrator [of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration] shall, at the time of submission of the President's annual budget, transmit to the Congress—

“(1) a five-year budget detailing the estimated development costs for each individual program under the jurisdiction of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for which development costs are expected to exceed $200,000,000; and

“(2) an estimate of the life-cycle costs associated with each such program.”

Similar provisions were contained in the following prior appropriation authorization act:

Pub. L. 102–195, §11, Dec. 9, 1991, 105 Stat. 1612.

References in Other Laws to GS–16, 17, or 18 Pay Rates

References in laws to the rates of pay for GS–16, 17, or 18, or to maximum rates of pay under the General Schedule, to be considered references to rates payable under specified sections of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, see section 529 [title I, §101(c)(1)] of Pub. L. 101–509, set out in a note under section 5376 of Title 5.

1 See References in Text note below.