FAA COMSTAC Meeting Agenda Released

Federal Aviation Administration
Commercial Space Transportation
Advisory Committee Public Meeting

National Housing Center
1201 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
Thursday, October 7, 2010
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

The proposed agenda for this meeting will feature discussions on:

  • Orbital debris and related issues;
  • The issues the working groups propose to address; and
  • The role of commercial space as part of the United States’ Space


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.


FSU to Play Major Role in New Commercial Space Transportation Center

A Boeing CST-100 crew module docks at Bigelow Aerospace's Sundancer space station. (Credit: Boeing)


The Florida State University will play a key role in a world-class consortium assembled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that joins academia, industry and government to address the present and future challenges of commercial space transportation.


FAA Moves Closer to Creating Center for Commercial Space Transportation

Organizations hoping to land the FAA’s new Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation (CST) face a Friday deadline for proposal submissions.

The CST is designed as a central hub that will link universities, government agencies and private companies to conduct joint research and development in commercial space technologies. The FAA plans to award contracts for the center this year.


FAA to Hold Meeting on Space Transportation Center of Excellence on Feb. 25

A public meeting will be held on February 25, 2010 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia to discuss the FAA COE for Commercial Space Transportation. This meeting is being held as a follow-on meeting for all interested parties unable to attend the public meeting held on February 9th due to weather conditions.


Kristen Piotrowski
FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center
Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405
Telephone: (609) 485-5163

Slide presentations (PDF) from the Feb. 9 meeting.

FAA’s Babbitt: Safety Must Come First in Commercial Spaceflight

FAA Administrator Bruce Babbitt
Prepared Remarks
13th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference

Good morning, and thank you, George [Nield].

Sometimes, it’s kind of fun to look way back to those old news reels of the early pilots willing to take a chance on the first steps in aviation. They were the ones who blazed the trail that we still follow today. The commercial space arena has a bit of a different twist:  First of all, the grainy news reels are in Hi Def. And the trail that’s being blazed has fresh tracks on it. For commercial space, if you want to see the “early” trailblazers, look around this room right now. You are taking ideas and concepts that are still getting their sea legs and you’re creating an industry that by all accounts has a tremendous future in store.


FAA Commercial Space Transporation Conference Set for February



The 13th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference will be held on Wednesday–Thursday, 10–11 February 2010, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

Conference panel sessions, designed to amplify the conference theme of “Igniting the Space Economy,” have been categorized into three tracks: Commercial Space Technologies, Commercial Space Business, and Commercial Space Regulatory Concerns.


NASA, FAA Fund Commercial Space Initiatives



December 22, 2009

NASA’s Centennial Challenges prize program, FAA’s Spaceports Infrastructure Grants initiative, and the new NASA Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research program (CRuSR) gained momentum after receiving funding in the NASA and FAA appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2010, passed by Congress and signed by the President last week. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation conducted advocacy efforts for these NASA and FAA programs as part of the CSF’s legislative agenda for this year:

GAO: FAA Facing Oversight Challenges as Commercial Space Sector Grows


The Federal Aviation Administration faces a number of key challenges in overseeing the growing commercial space launch industry, according to a Government Accountability report released last week.

These include maintaining a sufficient number of staff with the necessary expertise to oversee the safety of launches and spaceport operations; determining whether FAA’s current safety regulations are appropriate for all types of commercial space vehicles, operations, and launch sites; developing information to help FAA decide when to regulate crew and passenger safety after 2012; and continuing to avoid conflicts between FAA’s regulatory and promotional roles.


Embry-Riddle to Collaborate with FAA on Space Transportation Research


November 2, 2009

The Space Shuttle’s fast-approaching retirement is opening up new opportunities for commercial space transportation, and Embry-Riddle is making strides to support the industry’s growth under a new collaboration with the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation. A new agreement with the agency identifies five space transportation topics that can be supported by Embry-Riddle faculty and student researchers:


FAA Streamlines Environment Review for Commercial Spaceflight

XCOR's Lynx suborbital vehicle
XCOR's Lynx suborbital vehicle

FAA streamlines experimental space flight access

The Federal Aviation Administration today said it would streamline the environmental review part of permit applications for the launch and/or reentry of reusable suborbital rockets to help bolster a fledgling commercial space market.


FAA Explains Role in Promoting Commercial Space


The following is an essay from the FAA’s website. It discusses the agency’s effort to both promote and regulate the emerging commercial space industry.


It’s Next

“Leaving Earth” is a five-part series that examines the role FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation plays in the fast-growing and exciting field of commercial space. Its mission, similar to what FAA’s mission was up until 1996 when it promoted the airline industry, is to encourage, facilitate, and promote U.S. commercial space transportation. Each part of this series will discuss important factors that will shape the future of the commercial space industry.

[Editor’s Note: The FAA got out of the business of promoting the airline industry after ValuJet flight 592 caught on fire and slammed into the Everglades, killing all 110 people on board. The subsequent investigation revealed lax safety standards at ValuJet, weak safety oversight by the FAA, and a tendency to put industry concerns above passenger safety. Read more here.]


Space Florida Seeks Consolidated License for Launch Pads from FAA

Space Florida


Space Florida’s ongoing work with the FAA includes a request that the FAA issue a consolidated, multi-site license to Space Florida that encompasses both SLC-36 and SLC-46. This first-ever consolidated license request by Space Florida is an innovative, streamlined approach for the Commercial Launch Zone (CLZ) since having a consolidated license will reduce duplicative efforts and facilitate future FAA licensing by Space Florida’s CLZ launch customers.