Legislative Summary: Space


Aeronautics and Space Council 
H.R. 6169 — Public Law 87-26, approved April 25, 1961 
This is an administration proposal to make certain changed in section 201 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, which established the National Aeronautics and Space Council to advise the President on space matters. The Council is composed of the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of NASA, and the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission; and authority is reposed in the President to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a member from the Federal departments and agencies of the Government and three civilian members.

The President, in his request to Congress, stated that he contemplated making the Council an active and useful instrumentality. He further stated that he desired to place the Council under the chairmanship of the Vice President. The present measure would amend the law so as to replace the President by the Vice President, as Chairman of the Council. It would also repeal the existing authority of the President to appoint a member from the Federal departments and agencies of the Government and three members from civilian life, and would make certain conforming changes. There are no changes which would affect the present concept of the Council, which was established as an advisory body to the President. 

NASA Authorization for 1962 
H.R. 6874 — Public Law 87-98, approved July 21, 1961 
This measure authorizes a total appropriation of $1,784,300,000 to the National Aeronautical and Space Administration for fiscal 1962 as follows:

 Salaries and expenses $226,686,000
 Research and development $1,305,359,000
Construction of facilities $252,075,000



Communications Satellite Act of 1962  
H.R. 11040 — Public Law 87-624, approved August 31, 1962  
Enacted a bill which would
Create a private communications satellite corporation for profit but subject to Government regulation to operate a worldwide commercial communications satellite system.

Permit the corporation to plan, establish, and operate with other foreign governments and businesses a commercial communications satellite system; however, its use must conform to this Nation's foreign policy. Corporation's authority extends to operating satellite terminal stations when licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.

Permit voting stock, eligible for dividends, to be sold half to the communications companies and half to the public, issued initially not more than $100 a share.

Require 6 of the corporation's 15 directors be elected by the communications companies, with no company voting for more than 3. Six to be elected by other stockholders and three appointed by the President with Senate approval.

Require the President to coordinate activities of the various Government agencies, supervise the corporation's relations with foreign governments, enter into plans for the system, and permit the President to exercise his authority to help attain coordinated and efficient use of the spectrum.

Require FCC to regulate the corporation, with advice from NASA on technical aspects of the system.

Permit the corporation to negotiate with foreign governments, entities, or international agencies, but the corporation must notify the Department of State when entering into negotiations so the Department can advise the corporation of relevant foreign policy considerations.

Subject the corporation to the provisions of the District of Columbia Business Corporation Act unless inconsistent with this act. Reserve the right to repeal, alter, or amend this act. 

Space Authorization Act 
H.R. 11737 — Public Law 87-584, approved August 14, 1962 
Authorized an appropriation of $3,744,115,250 in fiscal 1963 for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Of the total $2,957,878,000 is for research, development, and operations, $786,237,250 for construction of facilities including $55 million for land purchases at Cape Kennedy, and $16 million for land purchases at Mississippi Test Facility. 


Space Authorization Act  
H.R. 7500 — Public Law 88-113, approved September 6, 1963 
Authorizes appropriations totaling $5,350,820,400 for National Aeronautics and Space Agency for fiscal 1964 as follows:

 Research and development $4,119,575,000
 Construction of facilities $713,060,400
 Administrative operations $518,185,000


Of the research and development fund, $42,175,000 was earmarked for the communications satellite program with the proviso that scientific or technological services could not be for the exclusive benefit of any private organization except on a reimbursable cost basis.