42 USC 14715 - Sources of Earth Science data

(a) Acquisition 
The Administrator shall, to the extent possible and while satisfying the scientific or educational requirements of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and where appropriate, of other Federal agencies and scientific researchers, acquire, where cost-effective, space-based and airborne Earth remote sensing data, services, distribution, and applications from a commercial provider.
(b) Treatment as commercial item under acquisition laws 
Acquisitions by the Administrator of the data, services, distribution, and applications referred to in subsection (a) of this section shall be carried out in accordance with applicable acquisition laws and regulations (including chapters 137 and 140 of title 10). For purposes of such law and regulations, such data, services, distribution, and applications shall be considered to be a commercial item. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude the United States from acquiring, through contracts with commercial providers, sufficient rights in data to meet the needs of the scientific and educational community or the needs of other government activities.
(c) Study 

(1) The Administrator shall conduct a study to determine the extent to which the baseline scientific requirements of Earth Science can be met by commercial providers, and how the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will meet such requirements which cannot be met by commercial providers.

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(2) The study conducted under this subsection shall
(A) make recommendations to promote the availability of information from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to commercial providers to enable commercial providers to better meet the baseline scientific requirements of Earth Science;
(B) make recommendations to promote the dissemination to commercial providers of information on advanced technology research and development performed by or for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and
(C) identify policy, regulatory, and legislative barriers to the implementation of the recommendations made under this subsection.
(3) The results of the study conducted under this subsection shall be transmitted to the Congress within 6 months after October 28, 1998.
(d) Safety standards 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Federal Government from requiring compliance with applicable safety standards.
(e) Administration and execution 
This section shall be carried out as part of the Commercial Remote Sensing Program at the Stennis Space Center.