(a) General.–A sponsor may submit to the Secretary of Transportation an application for a project grant. The application must state the project to be undertaken and be in the form and contain the information the Secretary requires.

(b) Considerations and Consultation.–(1) In selecting proposed projects for grants under this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall consider–

(A) the contribution of the project to industry capabilities that serve the United States Government’s space transportation needs;

(B) the extent of industry’s financial contribution to the project;

(C) the extent of industry’s participation in the project;

(D) the positive impact of the project on the international competitiveness of the United States space transportation industry;

(E) the extent of State contributions to the project; and

(F) the impact of the project on launch operations and other activities at Government launch ranges.

(2) The Secretary of Transportation shall consult with the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of the National Space and Aeronautics Administration, and the heads of other appropriate agencies of the Government about paragraph (1)(A) and (F) of this subsection.

(c) Requirements.–The Secretary of Transportation may approve an application only if the Secretary is satisfied that–

(1) the project will contribute to the purposes of this chapter;

(2) the project is reasonably consistent with plans (existing at the time of approval of the project) of public agencies that are–

(A) authorized by the State in which the project is located; and

(B) responsible for the development of the area surrounding the project site;

(3) if the application proposes to use Government property, the specific consent of the head of the appropriate agency has been obtained;

(4) the project will be completed without unreasonable delay;

(5) the sponsor submitting the application has the legal authority to engage in the project; and

(6) any additional requirements prescribed by the Secretary have been met.

(d) Preference for Industry Contributions.–The Secretary of Transportation shall give preference to applications for projects for which there will be greater industry financial contributions, all other factors being equal.