Ex-SpaceX VP Bowersox on ATK’s Liberty Independent Assessment Team

U.S. astronaut Ken BowersoxFormer NASA Astronaut Ken Bowersox, who quit as SpaceX’s vice-president of Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance late last year, is now advising ATK on how to human-rate its Liberty rocket.

SALT LAKE CITY, July 2, 2012 (ATK PR) — ATK and the Liberty program announced an independent assessment team and their first tasking to advise the company on development of its commercial human certification plan for the Liberty system, which includes the launch vehicle, upper stage, abort system, composite spacecraft, ground and mission operations, crew and passenger training and a test flight crew.

The FAA is authorized by Congress to regulate commercial human spaceflight. Over the next few years, the FAA will use a phased approach to regulating the crew and passenger safety of the emerging commercial human spaceflight industry. In the meantime, and in the absence of specific government human certification standards, the developers themselves must look to NASA and International Partner human spaceflight best practices and lessons learned to develop their own design and operations criteria. Developing the Liberty-specific commercial human certification plan early in the program ensures the system will be designed from the outset to ensure flight crew and passenger safety.