FAA, U.S. Air Force Sign Commercial Space Agreement to Streamline Launches

WASHINGTON (FAA PR) — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of the Air Force signed an agreement (PDF) aimed at eliminating red tape while protecting public safety during commercial space activities at ranges operated by the U.S. Space Force.

The agreement recognizes common safety standards for FAA-licensed launch and reentry activities that occur on, originate from, or return to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. It also removes duplicative processes and approvals for the U.S. commercial space sector.

“Assured access to space is vital to our national security,” said Acting Secretary of the Air Force John P. Roth. “The launch licensing standards provided in the agreement will support a rapidly expanding commercial launch sector and strengthen our space industrial base, bolstering our economy and enhancing our security as a nation.”

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U.S. Air Force Explores Cargo Delivery by Rocket

Cargo delivery by rocket. (Credit: U.S. Air Force)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Department of the Air Force announced June 4 the designation of Rocket Cargo as the fourth Vanguard program as part of its transformational science and technology portfolio identified in the DAF 2030 Science and Technology strategy for the next decade. Additionally, the U.S. Space Force was designated as the lead service for Rocket Cargo Vanguard, marking the service’s first such program.

Under the Rocket Cargo Vanguard, the Air Force Research Laboratory will lead a science and technology effort to determine the viability and utility of using large commercial rockets for Department of Defense global logistics, potentially expanding the portfolio of capabilities the USSF presents to combatant commanders. The Space and Missile Systems Center will serve as the Program Executive Officer.

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John Roth to Serve as Acting Secretary of the Air Force

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — John P. Roth will serve as the Acting Secretary of the Air Force as of Jan. 20, until the President nominates and the Senate confirms a permanent replacement.

Roth succeeds Barbara Barrett, who served as the 25th Secretary of the Air Force from Oct. 18, 2019, until Jan. 20.

Roth has served as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller since January 2018. From May 2019 to December 2020, he also performed the duties of Under Secretary of the Air Force, a role he held from June to October 2019.

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