FAA wants your opinion about commercial space rules

FAA trying to get out ahead of NASA, commercial space industry

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If you have an opinion about how you think the commercial space flight world should be regulated, the FAA wants to hear from you.

On Thursday, May 26, 2011 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront in Florida it will hold a public hearing where the FAA says it wants to gather information about how to define what it calls a e regulatory framework for orbital human spaceflight.

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For example, the FAA is interested in the following topics:

  • What the appropriate mix of performance-based, process- based, and prescriptive requirements should be,
  • What the appropriate level of safety the FAA should target with its regulations,
  • What, if any, should be the medical requirements for space flight participants,
  • How best to incorporate government and industry standards into the licensing process,
  • How much flight testing should be required, and
  • How much control over a spacecraft ground personnel and flight crew should have.

Any member of the public may present oral statements at the meeting or send written statements for the record starting here.

From the FAA's Federal Register posting: Because of recent changes in US policy and the effect they have had on the commercial space transportation industry, the FAA is planning to propose regulations to protect the health and safety of crew and space flight participants for orbital human spaceflight as soon as circumstances require after December 23, 2012. This initiative is driven by the fact that the NASA is planning to contract with the private sector to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station within a few years, and is in the process of developing requirements for its procurement of such services. The FAA's role in these flights is still in work, but the transport of private individuals to Earth orbit, which would require an FAA license, is expected to use the same space transportation systems.

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