Space

June 18, 2012

NASA, FAA advance national goals in commercial human space transportation with landmark agreement

The Federal Aviation Administration and NASA have signed a historic agreement to coordinate standards for commercial space travel of government and non-government astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station.

The two agencies will collaborate to expand efforts that provide a stable framework for the U.S. space industry, avoid conflicting requirements and multiple sets of standards, and advance both public and crew safety.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two agencies establishes policy for operational missions to the space station. Commercial providers will be required to obtain a license from the FAA for public safety. Crew safety and mission assurance will be NASA’s responsibility. This approach allows both agencies to incorporate experience and lessons learned as progress is made.

“This important agreement between the FAA and NASA will advance our shared goals in commercial space travel,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Working together, we will assure clear, consistent standards for the industry.”

“This agreement is the next step in bringing the business of launching Americans back to American soil,” Charles Bolden, NASA administrator said. “We are fostering private sector innovation while maintaining high standards of safety and reliability to re-establish U.S.-crewed access to low-Earth orbit, in-sourcing work to American companies and encouraging the development of dynamic and cost-effective spaceflight capabilities built to last.”

“The Obama administration recognizes the scientific, technological and economic benefits of maintaining the United States’ leadership in space travel and exploration,” said FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta. “This agreement between the FAA and NASA continues and advances those vital national interests.”

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program aims to facilitate development of a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station. The policy established in the MOU clarifies for potential commercial providers the regulatory environment for operational missions to the orbiting laboratory. It also ensures that the two agencies will have compatible processes for ensuring public safety.

The FAA is responsible for regulating and licensing all U.S. private companies and individuals involved in commercial space transportation. To date, the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation has licensed 207 successful launches, including two non-orbital commercial human space flights in 2004 and the recent first launch to the ISS and re-entry of a non-manned commercial spacecraft.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

NASA seeks proposals for extreme environment solar arrays

NASA’s space technology program is seeking proposals to develop solar array systems for space power in high radiation and low solar energy environments. In the near future, NASA will need solar cells and arrays for multiple applications in robotic and human space exploration missions. Because these systems were traditionally developed for operation near Earth, there...
 
 

NASA awards contract for construction of new mission launch command center

NASA has awarded a contract to Harkins Contracting Inc. of Salisbury, Maryland, for the construction of a new Mission Launch Command Center at the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va. The new 14,174 square-foot facility will serve as the hub for interfacing with and controlling rockets, their payloads and associated launch pad support...
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA concludes series of engine tests for next-gen rocket

NASA photograph The RS-25 engine fires up for a 535-second test Aug. 27, 2015 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss. This is the final in a series of seven tests for the development engine, which will pr...
 
 
LM-satellite

Lockheed Martin makes tiny satellite cooling system

Lockheed Martin scientists are packing three times the power density into a key satellite cooling system whose previous design is already the lightest in its class. This project continues the company’s effort to reduce co...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph by Bob Brown

Northrop Grumman delivers telescope structure for James Webb Space Telescope

Northrop Grumman photograph by Bob Brown Northrop Grumman employees preparing the telescope structure, for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope for shipment to Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. REDONDO BEACH, Cal...
 




One Comment


  1. Dave

    Charles Bolden, NASA administrator said. “We are fostering private sector innovation while maintaining high standards of safety and reliability to re-establish U.S.-crewed access to low-Earth orbit, in-sourcing work to American companies and encouraging the development of dynamic and cost-effective spaceflight capabilities built to last.”

    Regretably NASA has never “fostered” anything. They have become the opposite of what everyone epected them to be. While standards are good they can always be used for bad. They continue to be pushed around by ATK and other vested interests.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>