[USC02] 51 USC Ch. 503: COMMERCIAL REUSABLE IN-SPACE TRANSPORTATION
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51 USC Ch. 503: COMMERCIAL REUSABLE IN-SPACE TRANSPORTATION
From Title 51—NATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL SPACE PROGRAMSSubtitle V—Programs Targeting Commercial Opportunities

CHAPTER 503—COMMERCIAL REUSABLE IN-SPACE TRANSPORTATION

Sec.
50301.
Definitions.
50302.
Loan guarantees for production of commercial reusable in-space transportation.

        

§50301. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) Commercial provider.—The term "commercial provider" means any person or entity providing commercial reusable in-orbit space transportation services or systems, primary control of which is held by persons other than the Federal Government, a State or local government, or a foreign government.

(2) In-space transportation services.—The term "in-space transportation services" means operations and activities involved in the direct transportation or attempted transportation of a payload or object from one orbit to another by means of an in-space transportation vehicle.

(3) In-space transportation system.—The term "in-space transportation system" means the space and ground elements, including in-space transportation vehicles and support space systems, and ground administration and control facilities and associated equipment, necessary for the provision of in-space transportation services.

(4) In-space transportation vehicle.—The term "in-space transportation vehicle" means a vehicle designed—

(A) to be based and operated in space;

(B) to transport various payloads or objects from one orbit to another orbit; and

(C) to be reusable and refueled in space.


(5) Secretary.—The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Defense.

(6) United states commercial provider.—The term "United States commercial provider" means any commercial provider organized under the laws of the United States that is more than 50 percent owned by United States nationals.

(Pub. L. 111–314, §3, Dec. 18, 2010, 124 Stat. 3401.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
50301 42 U.S.C. 14753. Pub. L. 107–248, title IX, §904, Oct. 23, 2002, 116 Stat. 1576.

Findings

Pub. L. 107–248, title IX, §902, Oct. 23, 2002, 116 Stat. 1573, provided that: "Congress makes the following findings:

"(1) It is in the national interest to encourage the production of cost-effective, in-space transportation systems, which would be built and operated by the private sector on a commercial basis.

"(2) The use of reusable in-space transportation systems will enhance performance levels of in-space operations, enhance efficient and safe disposal of satellites at the end of their useful lives, and increase the capability and reliability of existing ground-to-space launch vehicles.

"(3) Commercial reusable in-space transportation systems will enhance the economic well-being and national security of the United States by reducing space operations costs for commercial and national space programs and by adding new space capabilities to space operations.

"(4) Commercial reusable in-space transportation systems will provide new cost-effective space capabilities (including orbital transfers from low altitude orbits to high altitude orbits and return, the correction of erroneous satellite orbits, and the recovery, refurbishment, and refueling of satellites) and the provision of upper stage functions to increase ground-to-orbit launch vehicle payloads to geostationary and other high energy orbits.

"(5) Commercial reusable in-space transportation systems can enhance and enable the space exploration of the United States by providing lower cost trajectory injection from earth orbit, transit trajectory control, and planet arrival deceleration to support potential National Aeronautics and Space Administration missions to Mars, Pluto, and other planets.

"(6) Satellites stranded in erroneous earth orbit due to deficiencies in their launch represent substantial economic loss to the United States and present substantial concerns for the current backlog of national space assets.

"(7) Commercial reusable in-space transportation systems can provide new options for alternative planning approaches and risk management to enhance the mission assurance of national space assets.

"(8) Commercial reusable in-space transportation systems developed by the private sector can provide in-space transportation services to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Defense, the National Reconnaissance Office, and other agencies without the need for the United States to bear the cost of production of such systems.

"(9) The availability of loan guarantees, with the cost of credit risk to the United States paid by the private-sector, is an effective means by which the United States can help qualifying private-sector companies secure otherwise unattainable private financing for the production of commercial reusable in-space transportation systems, while at the same time minimizing Government commitment and involvement in the development of such systems."

§50302. Loan guarantees for production of commercial reusable in-space transportation

(a) Authority To Make Loan Guarantees.—The Secretary may guarantee loans made to eligible United States commercial providers for purposes of producing commercial reusable in-space transportation services or systems.

(b) Eligible United States Commercial Providers.—The Secretary shall prescribe requirements for the eligibility of United States commercial providers for loan guarantees under this section. Such requirements shall ensure that eligible providers are financially capable of undertaking a loan guaranteed under this section.

(c) Limitation on Loans Guaranteed.—The Secretary may not guarantee a loan for a United States commercial provider under this section unless the Secretary determines that credit would not otherwise be reasonably available at the time of the guarantee for the commercial reusable in-space transportation service or system to be produced utilizing the proceeds of the loan.

(d) Credit Subsidy.—

(1) Collection required.—The Secretary shall collect from each United States commercial provider receiving a loan guarantee under this section an amount equal to the amount, as determined by the Secretary, to cover the cost, as defined in section 502(5) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661a(5)), of the loan guarantee.

(2) Periodic disbursements.—In the case of a loan guarantee in which proceeds of the loan are disbursed over time, the Secretary shall collect the amount required under this subsection on a pro rata basis, as determined by the Secretary, at the time of each disbursement.


(e) Other Terms and Conditions.—

(1) Prohibition on subordination.—A loan guaranteed under this section may not be subordinated to another debt contracted by the United States commercial provider concerned, or to any other claims against such provider.

(2) Restriction on income.—A loan guaranteed under this section may not—

(A) provide income which is excluded from gross income for purposes of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.); or

(B) provide significant collateral or security, as determined by the Secretary, for other obligations the income from which is so excluded.


(3) Treatment of guarantee.—The guarantee of a loan under this section shall be conclusive evidence of the following:

(A) That the guarantee has been properly obtained.

(B) That the loan qualifies for the guarantee.

(C) That, but for fraud or material misrepresentation by the holder of the loan, the guarantee is valid, legal, and enforceable.


(4) Other terms and conditions.—The Secretary may establish any other terms and conditions for a guarantee of a loan under this section as the Secretary considers appropriate to protect the financial interests of the United States.


(f) Enforcement of Rights.—

(1) In general.—The Attorney General may take any action the Attorney General considers appropriate to enforce any right accruing to the United States under a loan guarantee under this section.

(2) Forbearance.—The Attorney General may, with the approval of the parties concerned, forbear from enforcing any right of the United States under a loan guaranteed under this section for the benefit of a United States commercial provider if such forbearance will not result in any cost, as defined in section 502(5) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661a(5)), to the United States.

(3) Utilization of property.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and subject to the terms of a loan guaranteed under this section, upon the default of a United States commercial provider under the loan, the Secretary may, at the election of the Secretary—

(A) assume control of the physical asset financed by the loan; and

(B) complete, recondition, reconstruct, renovate, repair, maintain, operate, or sell the physical asset.


(g) Credit Instruments.—

(1) Authority to issue instruments.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may, subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary considers appropriate, issue credit instruments to United States commercial providers of in-space transportation services or systems, with the aggregate cost (as determined under the provisions of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661 et seq.)) of such instruments not to exceed $1,500,000,000, but only to the extent that new budget authority to cover such costs is provided in subsequent appropriations Acts or authority is otherwise provided in subsequent appropriations Acts.

(2) Credit subsidy.—The Secretary shall provide a credit subsidy for any credit instrument issued under this subsection in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (2 U.S.C. 661 et seq.).

(3) Construction.—The eligibility of a United States commercial provider of in-space transportation services or systems for a credit instrument under this subsection is in addition to any eligibility of such provider for a loan guarantee under other provisions of this section.

(Pub. L. 111–314, §3, Dec. 18, 2010, 124 Stat. 3402.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
50302 42 U.S.C. 14752. Pub. L. 107–248, title IX, §903, Oct. 23, 2002, 116 Stat. 1574.

In subsection (f)(2), the word "forbear" is substituted for "forebear" to correct an error in the law.

In subsection (g)(1), the words "services or systems" are substituted for "services or system" to correct an error in the law.

References in Text

The Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, referred to in subsec. (g)(1), (2), is title V of Pub. L. 93–344, as added by Pub. L. 101–508, title XIII, §13201(a), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–609, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§661 et seq.) of chapter 17A of Title 2, The Congress. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 621 of Title 2 and Tables.