This bill would aim to reform U.S. space policy by setting goals for the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and other relevant federal agencies. Among the things NASA would be asked to do include a 20-year plan with broad goals (including a five-year window for astronauts to go to Mars), and a 10-year plan that addresses the feasibility of the Asteroid Redirect Mission. It would also task the president with developing a doctrine to ensure the U.S., its allies, and partners can maintain access to space in the face of adversaries trying to deny access or destroy space assets, and give the military rules of engagement for space forces.
In general, U.S. aeronautical and space activities would be required to:
Make contributions to the expansion of mankind’s sphere of influence throughout the solar system;
Involve being among the first to arrive at a destination in space and open it for subsequent use and development;
Create an infrastructure of precursors to support future use and development of space.
NASA would be required to develop the following:
A 20-year plan that outlines broad goals and includes a designated five-year range for American astronauts to land on Mars;
A 10-year plan that, in part, addresses the feasibility of the Asteroid Redirect Mission;
Multi-year budgets for NASA operations starting with its fiscal year 2018 budge;
A plan for the remaining life of the International Space Station to keep a continued human presence in low-Earth orbit;
A Commercial Habitat Pilot Program to demonstrate the viability of using commercially built on-orbit habitats to meet NASA human exploration and science missions.
The president would be required to develop two doctrines related to U.S. space policy:
A doctrine for the response of the U.S. Armed Forces and intelligence community to attempts by foreign government and nonstate actors to deny the U.S. and its partners access to space, or to damage or destroy government or commercial space assets.
A doctrine for the Armed Forces that articulates rules of engagement for space forces.
The Dept. of Defense (DOD) would be required to develop a strategy for its space and cyberspace operations can electronically share situational awareness data and assess how that data is protected to better integrate commercial space systems into national security space systems.
A new federal entity would be established within the Dept. of Transportation (DOT), known as the Office of Commercial Space Transportation to support and establish commercial spaceports in the U.S. The DOT would also designate a lead government agency that’s responsible for space traffic management activities and services.
The Dept. of Commerce would report to Congress about the benefits and practicality of reorganizing its activities to better support its space-related economic and regulatory activities. It would also make loan guarantees to a domestic commercial space business or a Federal Aviation Administration-licensed spaceport to promote the growth of the U.S. space sector.