Wyle to Play Key Role in New FAA Commercial Space Transportation Center


Wyle is part of an academic-industry team that has been selected to support a new Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation.

The center is a partnership of academia, industry, and government, developed for the purpose of creating a world-class consortium that will address current and future challenges for commercial space transportation.

Wyle, with a long history of supporting manned spaceflights, is an industry affiliate of the team led by Stanford University, University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. More than two-thirds of all people who have traveled in space have been assisted by Wyle’s technical, medical and engineering staffs.

Wyle will provide subject matter expertise in the areas of space medicine, human spaceflight training and human spaceflight operations in support of a variety of research projects intended to assist the FAA’s Office of Commercial Spaceflight in its role as the regulator for commercial spaceflight operations in the United States.

“Commercial space flight is ready to play a greater role in the nation’s space program,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “Universities working with industry partners will fuel the research necessary to help keep us in the forefront of both technology and safety in space.”

Called the Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation, the new center is expected to begin operations this month. The research and development efforts will include four major research areas: space launch operations and traffic management; launch vehicle systems, payloads, technologies, and operations; commercial human space flight; and space commerce (including space law, space insurance, space policy and space regulation).

The FAA will enter into 50-50 cost-sharing cooperative agreements to establish the partnerships, with plans to invest at least $1 million per year for the initial five years of the center’s operations.

The U.S. space program has three sectors – civil, military and commercial. The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation is responsible for licensing, regulating and promoting the commercial sector space industry.

Since the office was created in 1984, the FAA has issued licenses for more than 200 launches, has licensed the operation of eight FAA-approved launch sites known as spaceports and has helped ensure that no loss of life or serious injury has been associated with these efforts.

Wyle, a privately held company, is a leading provider of high tech aerospace engineering and information technology services to the federal government on long-term outsourcing contracts. The company also provides test and evaluation of aircraft, weapon systems, networks, and other government assets; and other engineering services to the aerospace, defense, and nuclear power industries.