Michael Kelly Chief Engineer, Office of Commercial Spaceflight Federal Aviation Administration “Commercial Human Spaceflight: The Coming Safety Challenge
Changes at FAA
AST split in several offices, including chief engineer’s offic
Former astronaut Pamela Ann Melroy has been added as senior adviser for human spaceflight — flew on STS-92, 112 and 120 — previously serve as Deputy Program Manager for Space Exploration Initiatives at Lockheed Martin after leaving the astronaut corps
reorganizing field offices
adding a second position at Mojave, new positions at Wallops and JSC
Planned tech center with 50 people at KSC will not happen
Moritorium on regulations has been expanded to Oct. 1, 2015 — although FAA can propose rules if there is an accident
NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA announced today a modified competitive procurement strategy to keep on track the agency’s plan to have U.S. companies transport American astronauts into space instead of outsourcing this work to foreign governments.
Instead of awarding contracts for the next phase of the Commercial Crew Program, the agency plans to use multiple, competitively awarded Space Act Agreements. Using competitive Space Act Agreements instead of contracts will allow NASA to maintain a larger number of partners during this phase of the program, with the flexibility to adjust technical direction, milestones and funding. (more…)
Above is the third part of an interview that Robert Bigelow gave to reporters during the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, NM. Bigelow had just given an address to the conference in which he warned that China could claim the moon in the early 2020s and urged American leaders to renew their commitment to leadership in space.
If you missed any of it, Parts I and II are below.
The National Space Agency of Ukraine is looking to foster the “development of public-private partnership [and the] deepening the commercialization of space activities and international cooperation” as part of a series of changes to the nation’s space policy.
“For the first time to finance the program is envisaged to raise funds from other sources in amounts that make up about a third of the necessary funding and the development and implementation of public-private partnership,” according to a press released posted on the space agency’s website.
Commercial Spaceflight Federation Position Statement:
Commercial Spaceflight Federation Supports Use of Space Act Agreements (SAAs) for Next Phase of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program
For the next phase of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program, following CCDev Rounds 1 and 2, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation strongly supports the use of Space Act Agreements (SAAs) under NASA’s Other Transaction Agreements (OTA) authority, rather than a Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)-based approach. SAA’s are the best means for NASA to support commercial development of systems to transport crew and cargo to the Space Station.
Commercial crew system on track for operational capability in 2015
BOEING PR — HOUSTON, June 13, 2011 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] on May 19 completed the Delta System Definition Review (SDR) of the company’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 space capsule design. The milestone follows NASA’s award of a Commercial Crew Development Phase 2 (CCDev2) contract to Boeing in April.
The daylong review included representatives from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, and independent consultants. They examined the changes made to the CST-100 design since the initial SDR, which was conducted in October under the original CCDev agreement. (more…)
NASA believes that the projections described in this report are more than sufficient to justify Government support for the development and demonstration of commercial cargo and crew systems, especially considering that the U.S. Government has a demonstrated need for commercial cargo and crew transportation to/from the ISS. According to one established aerospace company involved in NASA’s commercial crew efforts, this base Government market alone is sufficient to close its business case. The commercial markets assessed in this report provide a potential upside further strengthening the potential for success. NASA also believes its approach to cargo and crew system development will be more cost effective than a more traditional approach to space system development.
Key excerpts from the report are reproduced after the break.
The House held a hearing on NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program last week. The majority Republicans and minority Democrats both expressed concerns about the schedule and reliability of cargo delivery to the International Space Station by SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corporation set to begin within the next year. Republicans seem a bit more skeptical about the effort, however, questioning market viability and other issues.
Press releases from both parties describing the hearing and their concerns follow after the break.
In a potential boost for commercial space, NASA is proposing changing its federal acquisition regulations to allow it to enter multi-year anchor tenancy contracts for commercial space goods and services.
The notice in the Federal Register states:
Anchor Tenancy is defined as “an arrangement in which the United States Government agrees to procure sufficient quantities of a commercial space product or service needed to meet Government mission requirements so that a commercial venture is made viable.” (more…)
The FAA and the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) are in discussions with the International Space University (ISU) on conducting a study on the need for beacons or transponders on commercial space vehicles, officials revealed this week.
The study is likely to be conducted as a Team Project during the 2012 Space Studies Summer Program, which is being co-housed by the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Approximately 40 students from about 20 countries cight participate in the project.
The United States and Europe are taking very different approaches to regulating the emerging commercial human spaceflight industry, a divergence that could cause headaches for spacecraft operators forced to operate in very different regulatory environments.
The European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA) plans to certify winged vehicles that will fly into space under its authority to regulate aircraft.The FAA is taking a less strict approach of licensing vehicle launches without a costly certification process.
The commercial spaceflight industry is seeking input into a European Union code of conduct for space that the Obama Administration is considering adopting due to concerns that it could negatively impact the emerging sector.
In a presentation to the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) this week, Debra Facktor Lepore of the committee’s Space Transportation Operations Working Group said that a “broader global dialogue” involving government and industry is required before the United States and other nations adopt the EU’s Code of Conduct for Space Activities.
The DoD is proposing legal changes that would allow public/private partnerships to improve and expand its space capabilities and allow the military to directly support the commercial space sector as part of its mission.
Current law “limits DoD to accepting reimbursement from commercial space companies for excess capacity in the form of launch property, facilities, or direct support services,” according to a presentation made to the FAA yesterday. “DoD is not allowed to accept non-DoD funding to enable or improve operation of commercial space launch capabilities, augmentation of DoD capabilities for commercial purposes, or adding commercial requirements to DoD contracts to extend/expand services in support of commercial Space launch activities.”
Commercial space skepticism Commercial space ventures appear to be moving forward on all fronts, with developments ranging from commercial crew funding to the testing of suborbital vehicles. However, Jeff Foust notes that some both in industry and Congress are skeptical of the long-term success of these efforts, in part because of past experience.
Public-private partnerships for space What is the future for space exploration in an era of fiscal constraints and competing priorities? Lou Friedman argues that there is an increasing role for public-private partnerships to advance space exploration initiatives more cost effectively.
India and space security In recent years India’s space program has evolved from one almost solely dedicated to serving national needs to one with a more nationalistic, even militarized bent. Victoria Samson summarizes the takeaways from a recent conference that examined India’s shifting attitudes towards space and their impact on space security.
Iraqi bird: Beyond Saddam’s space program In addition to trying to develop a launch vehicle, Iraq also worked on an its own satellite during the regime of Saddam Hussein. Dwayne Day describes that satellite effort and the country’s future satellite plans.
Review: Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) suffered a recent funding setback, but work continues to try and find evidence of other civilizations in the universe. Jeff Foust reviews a book that looks at the current state of SETI and the potential to not just listen but also transmit.