51 U.S. Code Section 20147 - Recovery and disposition authority
(a) Definitions.—In this section:
(1) Administration human space flight vehicle.—The term "Administration human space flight vehicle" means a space vehicle, as defined in section 20138(a) of this title, that—
(A) is intended to transport one or more persons;
(B) is designed to operate in outer space; and
(C) is either—
(i) owned by the Administration; or
(ii) owned by an Administration contractor or cooperating party and operated as part of an Administration mission or a joint mission with the Administration.
(2) Crewmember.—The term "crewmember" means an astronaut or other person assigned to an Administration human space flight vehicle.
(b) Control of Remains.—
(1) In general.—Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), when there is an accident or mishap resulting in the death of a crewmember of an Administration human space flight vehicle, the Administrator may take control over the remains of the crewmember and order autopsies and other scientific or medical tests.
(2) Treatment.—Each crewmember shall provide the Administrator with the crewmember's preferences regarding the treatment accorded to the crewmember's remains and the Administrator shall, to the extent possible, respect those stated preferences.
(3) Construction.—This section shall not be construed to permit the Administrator to interfere with any Federal investigation of a mishap or accident.
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