42 USC 2473 - Functions of Administration

(a) Planning, directing and conducting aeronautical and space activities; participation by scientific community; dissemination of information 
The Administration, in order to carry out the purpose of this chapter, shall
(1) plan, direct, and conduct aeronautical and space activities;
(2) arrange for participation by the scientific community in planning scientific measurements and observations to be made through use of aeronautical and space vehicles, and conduct or arrange for the conduct of such measurements and observations;
(3) provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof;

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(4) seek and encourage, to the maximum extent possible, the fullest commercial use of space; and
(5) encourage and provide for Federal Government use of commercially provided space services and hardware, consistent with the requirements of the Federal Government.
(b) Research, development, etc., in ground propulsion technologies and solar heating and cooling technologies 

(1) The Administration shall, to the extent of appropriated funds, initiate, support, and carry out such research, development, demonstration, and other related activities in ground propulsion technologies as are provided for in sections 2503 through 2509 of title 15.
(2) The Administration shall initiate, support, and carry out such research, development, demonstrations, and other related activities in solar heating and cooling technologies (to the extent that funds are appropriated therefor) as are provided for in sections 5503, 5504, and 5507 of this title.
(c) Powers of Administration in performance of its functions 
In the performance of its functions the Administration is authorized
(1) to make, promulgate, issue, rescind, and amend rules and regulations governing the manner of its operations and the exercise of the powers vested in it by law;
(2) to appoint and fix the compensation of such officers and employees as may be necessary to carry out such functions. Such officers and employees shall be appointed in accordance with the civil-service laws and their compensation fixed in accordance with chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, except that
(A)  to the extent the Administrator deems such action necessary to the discharge of his responsibilities, he may appoint not more than four hundred and twenty-five of the scientific, engineering, and administrative personnel of the Administration without regard to such laws, and may fix the compensation of such personnel not in excess of the rate of basic pay payable for level III of the Executive Schedule, and
(B)  to the extent the Administrator deems such action necessary to recruit specially qualified scientific and engineering talent, he may establish the entrance grade for scientific and engineering personnel without previous service in the Federal Government at a level up to two grades higher than the grade provided for such personnel under the General Schedule, and fix their compensation accordingly;

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(3) to acquire (by purchase, lease, condemnation, or otherwise), construct, improve, repair, operate, and maintain laboratories, research and testing sites and facilities, aeronautical and space vehicles, quarters and related accommodations for employees and dependents of employees of the Administration, and such other real and personal property (including patents), or any interest therein, as the Administration deems necessary within and outside the continental United States; to acquire by lease or otherwise, through the Administrator of General Services, buildings or parts of buildings in the District of Columbia for the use of the Administration for a period not to exceed ten years without regard to section 8141 of title 40; to lease to others such real and personal property; to sell and otherwise dispose of real and personal property (including patents and rights thereunder) in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended;[1] and to provide by contract or otherwise for cafeterias and other necessary facilities for the welfare of employees of the Administration at its installations and purchase and maintain equipment therefor;
(4) to accept unconditional gifts or donations of services, money, or property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible;
(5) without regard to section 3324 (a) and (b) of title 31, to enter into and perform such contracts, leases, cooperative agreements, or other transactions as may be necessary in the conduct of its work and on such terms as it may deem appropriate, with any agency or instrumentality of the United States, or with any State, Territory, or possession, or with any political subdivision thereof, or with any person, firm, association, corporation, or educational institution. To the maximum extent practicable and consistent with the accomplishment of the purpose of this chapter, such contracts, leases, agreements, and other transactions shall be allocated by the Administrator in a manner which will enable small-business concerns to participate equitably and proportionately in the conduct of the work of the Administration;
(6) to use, with their consent, the services, equipment, personnel, and facilities of Federal and other agencies with or without reimbursement, and on a similar basis to cooperate with other public and private agencies and instrumentalities in the use of services, equipment, and facilities. Each department and agency of the Federal Government shall cooperate fully with the Administration in making its services, equipment, personnel, and facilities available to the Administration, and any such department or agency is authorized, notwithstanding any other provision of law, to transfer to or to receive from the Administration, without reimbursement, aeronautical and space vehicles, and supplies and equipment other than administrative supplies or equipment;
(7) to appoint such advisory committees as may be appropriate for purposes of consultation and advice to the Administration in the performance of its functions;
(8) to establish within the Administration such offices and procedures as may be appropriate to provide for the greatest possible coordination of its activities under this chapter with related scientific and other activities being carried on by other public and private agencies and organizations;
(9) to obtain services as authorized by section 3109 of title 5, but at rates for individuals not to exceed the per diem rate equivalent to the rate for GS18;
(10) when determined by the Administrator to be necessary, and subject to such security investigations as he may determine to be appropriate, to employ aliens without regard to statutory provisions prohibiting payment of compensation to aliens;
(11) to provide by concession, without regard to section 1302 of title 40, on such terms as the Administrator may deem to be appropriate and to be necessary to protect the concessioner against loss of his investment in property (but not anticipated profits) resulting from the Administrations discretionary acts and decisions, for the construction, maintenance, and operation of all manner of facilities and equipment for visitors to the several installations of the Administration and, in connection therewith, to provide services incident to the dissemination of information concerning its activities to such visitors, without charge or with a reasonable charge therefor (with this authority being in addition to any other authority which the Administration may have to provide facilities, equipment, and services for visitors to its installations). A concession agreement under this paragraph may be negotiated with any qualified proposer following due consideration of all proposals received after reasonable public notice of the intention to contract. The concessioner shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to make a profit commensurate with the capital invested and the obligations assumed, and the consideration paid by him for the concession shall be based on the probable value of such opportunity and not on maximizing revenue to the United States. Each concession agreement shall specify the manner in which the concessioners records are to be maintained, and shall provide for access to any such records by the Administration and the Comptroller General of the United States for a period of five years after the close of the business year to which such records relate. A concessioner may be accorded a possessory interest, consisting of all incidents of ownership except legal title (which shall vest in the United States), in any structure, fixture, or improvement he constructs or locates upon land owned by the United States; and, with the approval of the Administration, such possessory interest may be assigned, transferred, encumbered, or relinquished by him, and, unless otherwise provided by contract, shall not be extinguished by the expiration or other termination of the concession and may not be taken for public use without just compensation;
(12) with the approval of the President, to enter into cooperative agreements under which members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps may be detailed by the appropriate Secretary for services in the performance of functions under this chapter to the same extent as that to which they might be lawfully assigned in the Department of Defense;
(A) to consider, ascertain, adjust, determine, settle, and pay, on behalf of the United States, in full satisfaction thereof, any claim for $25,000 or less against the United States for bodily injury, death, or damage to or loss of real or personal property resulting from the conduct of the Administrations functions as specified in subsection (a) of this section, where such claim is presented to the Administration in writing within two years after the accident or incident out of which the claim arises; and
(B) if the Administration considers that a claim in excess of $25,000 is meritorious and would otherwise be covered by this paragraph, to report the facts and circumstances thereof to the Congress for its consideration.
[1] See References in Text note below.