Launch Services Policies

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Launch Services Policies


Effective Date


Public Law 42 U.S.C. 2473(c)(1), Section 203(c)(1)
National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended

July 29, 1958

An Act to provide for research into problems of flight within and outside the earth's atmosphere, and for other purposes.

Public Law 42 U.S.C., Chapter 26, Subchapter I, § 2459c
Contracts Regarding Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELVs)

October 30, 1987

Authorization for NASA to enter into contracts for ELV services that are for periods in excess of the period for which funds are otherwise available for obligation.

Public Law 42 U.S.C., 14701 et seq.
Commercial Space Act of 1998, as amended

January 27, 1998

To encourage the development of a commercial space industry in the United States (U.S.), and for other purposes.

Public Law 42 U.S.C. 17701 et seq.
NASA Authorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 110-422), as amended

July 15, 2010

To authorize appropriations to NASA for research and development, space flight, control, and data communications, construction of facilities, research and program management, and Inspector General, and for other purposes.

Public Law
Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000

January 24, 2000

To provide for the application of measures to foreign persons who transfer to Iran certain goods, services, or technology, and for other purposes.

National Policy
U.S. Space Transportation Policy

December 21, 2004

Establishes national policy, guidelines, and implementation actions for U.S. space transportation programs and activities to ensure the Nation's ability to maintain access to and use space for U.S. national and homeland security, and civil, scientific, and commercial purposes.

National Policy
U.S. National Space Policy

June 28, 2010

Overarching national policy that governs the conduct of U.S. space activities.

NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 8610.12G
Office of Space Operations (OSO) Space Transportation Services for NASA and NASA-Sponsored Payloads

February 23, 2005

Consistent with law and national policy, this policy ensures that NASA payloads are flown on launch vehicles manufactured in the U.S., unless otherwise approved by the Administrator in coordination with the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

NPD 8610.24C
Launch Services Program (LSP) Pre-Launch Readiness Reviews

May 12, 2005

This directive standardizes the LSP prelaunch review process for all NASA acquired/managed launch services missions deemed necessary to fulfill Space Operations responsibilities for assuring launch readiness certification for NASA payloads/missions and fulfills the requirements of NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 7120.5 (section 2.0, Program Management and Functional Requirements) for the launch phase of the mission.

NPD 8610.23C
Launch Vehicle Technical Oversight Policy

August 18, 2006

This directive establishes the NASA policy for Government technical oversight of launch services provided by commercial launch service providers.  NASA remains accountable for the success of its missions launched with commercially provided launch services, since launch remains a high-risk element affecting mission success.

NPD 8610.7D
Launch Services Risk Mitigation Policy for NASA-Owned and/or NASA-Sponsored Payloads/Missions

January 31, 2008

In compliance with NPR 7120.5D, this directive addresses the process that enables NASA to take advantage of the full range of available launch capability while ensuring that the risks associated with access to space are consistent with the risk classification approved for individual payloads and missions.

NASA Headquarters Work Instruction (HQOWI) 8682 – M012 Rev. B
ELV Manifest Process

June 27, 2000

The purpose of this OWI is to prescribe the process steps to develop and document a manifest for NASA missions utilizing ELVs.

NC 1000-15A
Expendable Launch Vehicle Flight Planning Board Charter

October 14, 2011

This charter defines the FPB and sets forth its functions, membership, meetings, duration and records retention.  The function of the FPB is to provide a forum for addressing NASA orbital space launch requirements and issues and priorities for all NASA and NASA-sponsored payloads.

Launch Services Program (LSP)-Program Commitment Agreement
(PCA)-110.01, Rev. B

August 15, 2012

Agreement between the Space Operations Associate Administrator (AA) and the NASA AA (Decision Authority) documenting the requirements, program objectives, management and technical approach to provide expendable launch services for NASA and Government-sponsored payloads.  This includes associated architecture, technical performance, schedule, cost, safety and risk factors, internal and external agreements, independent reviews, and all attendant top-level program requirements.  It is an Executive Summary to the LSP Program Plan.

LSP-PLN-110.01, LSP Program Plan

September 2, 2008

An agreement between the Space Operations AA (who has approval authority for the plan), the KSC Center Director, and the LSP Program Manager documenting at a high level the program's objectives and requirements, scope, implementation approach, interfaces with other programs, the environment within which the program operates, budget by fiscal year, and the commitments of the program.

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the United States Air Force (USAF) and NASA for Transition of the Delta Space Launch Vehicle Program.

July 1, 1988

Agreement to coordinate the timely and orderly transition of the Delta launch vehicle program from NASA to the USAF, while maintaining current delta production and launch commitments and meeting the Delta II development, production, and launch schedule. 

Sub-Agreement:  Implementation Plan Between NASA and the Western Space and Missile Center Regarding Accountability for the Delta Space Launch Complex and Related Facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB).

August 3, 1990

This document sets forth the plan to allow NASA to retain accountability for the Delta space launch vehicle launch site (Space Launch Complex 2 and Delta related facilities), operations and facilities at VAFB.  This document is a subordinate agreement to the NASA/USAF MOA for Transfer of Accountability of the Delta Launch Vehicle Program. 

MOA between NASA and USAF on Launch Services and Range Support to Government ELV Programs.

February 1, 1994

This MOA defines the policies, principles and responsibilities that will govern the relationship between NASA and the USAF in the provision of launch services and range support to each other in order to implement their respective ELV Programs.  This MOA provides guidance for consistent application of these principles by affected U.S. Government field installations and contractors responsible for provision of launch services and range support.

MOA among the Department of Defense (DoD), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA on Federal Interaction With Launch Site Operators.

August 21, 1997

This MOA explains the respective roles and responsibilities of DoD, FAA and NASA, in their interactions with launch site operators including state Government agencies, state-chartered entities, state-sponsored entities, and commercial entities.

MOA between the 45th Space Wing (45 SW) and the John F. Kennedy Space Center (JFKSC) Concerning Investigation of Environmental Contamination at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) and KSC.

November 25, 1997

This MOA defines the roles and responsibilities of the 45SW and JFKSC with respect to site assessment and investigation of past waste disposal or release sites on CCAFS and KSC. This document establishes the basis for a consistent program between JFKSC and the 45 SW for environmental investigation work at CCAFS and KSC.

MOA between the Department of Commerce (DoC), FAA, and the Department of the Air Force on a Spacelift Range Commercial Requirements Process.

February 4, 2002

Agreement to outline a cooperative management between the DoC, FAA on behalf of the Department of Transportation, and the USAF on behalf of the DoD to establish a Spacelift Range Commercial Requirements Process. The process is defined as a formal, repeatable process for collecting commercial sector range support and modernization requirements, communicating these requirements to the USAF, and considering these requirements in the existing USAF requirements process.

MOA among the USAF, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and NASA on Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELVs)

March 10, 2011

Documents the responsibilities among the USAF , NRO, and NASA to stabilize the current EELV industrial base, while recognizing the need for future entrants, to ensure long-term, viable, assured access to space.

Agreement 3224-001-000 between the U.S. NASA and the E'Prime Aerospace Corporation for Support to Commercial Launch Vehicle Programs.

February 14, 2001

Agreement to support E'Prime Aerospace Corporation's commercial launch vehicle programs.

Agreement 1100-003-003  (Amendment 2) between the U.S. NASA and Lockheed Martin Corporation for Support to Commercial Launch Vehicle Programs.

April 22, 2004

Agreement to support Lockheed Martin's commercial launch vehicle programs, including the launch of commercial payloads and the launch of non-NASA Government payloads.

Agreement 1100-003-004 between the U.S. NASA and Space Exploration Technologies Corporation for Support to Commercial Launch Vehicle Programs.

May 19, 2004

Agreement to support Space Exploration Technologies Corporation's commercial launch vehicle programs.

Agreement 1042-007-008  (Amendment 1) between the U.S. NASA and The Boeing Company for Support to Commercial Launch Vehicle Programs.

May 26, 2005

Amendment I of the commercial launch vehicle support agreement to support Boeing's commercial launch vehicle programs, including the launch of commercial payloads and the launch of non-NASA Government payloads.

Agreement 1566-001-00  (Amendment 1) between the U.S. NASA and Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) for Support to Commercial Launch Vehicle Programs.

June 6, 2005

Agreement to support OSC's commercial launch vehicle programs, including the launch of commercial payloads and the launch of non-NASA Government payloads.

Coordinated Strategy among The United States Air Force, The National Reconnaissance Office, and The National Aeronautics and Space Administration for New Entrant Launch Vehicle Certification

October 12, 2011

This document defines the coordinated certification strategy for commercial new entrant launch vehicles. This strategy implements the action directed in the MOU among the USAF, NRO, and NASA on EELVs in which the three agencies agreed to develop a coordinated strategy for new entrant launch vehicle certification. This strategy is intended to further enable competition and provide a consistent path for new entrants to compete for U.S. Government missions.

Reimbursable Agreement Under the Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA) between NASA and Alliant Techsystems, Inc. (ATK) Launch Systems for Support to ATK's Commercial Launch or Reentry Efforts

April 22, 2013

This agreement is to provide assistance, services, and facilities as may be available to support ATK's commercial launch and reentry efforts.

Reimbursable Agreement Under the CSLA between NASA and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) for Support to SNC’s Commercial Launch or Reentry Efforts

May 24, 2013

This agreement is to provide assistance, services, and facilities as may be available to support SNC’s commercial launch and reentry efforts.


Page Last Updated: September 30th, 2013
Page Editor: Jennifer Wiles