Big US-Euro Divide on Commercial Spaceflight Regulations

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.

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PA’s Readers Not Optimistic on SpaceLinq


Parabolic Arc’s readers are not optimistic about Chuck Lauer’s latest space tourism venture. Last month, the Rocketplane Global veteran resurfaced in Holland with a new plan to build a suborbital space plane under a new name, Spacelinq, with European partners. It’s the same design and basic plan, only without Rocketplane Global, which declared bankruptcy last year.

Asked about the outcome of this effort, voters in our very unscientific poll were clear:

OutcomeVotesPercent
Putter around for a couple of years before resurfacing somewhere else4554.88
Fail2226.83
Succeed1518.29
TOTAL82100

I would like to thank everyone for participating. And please cast your votes in our new poll on who has bought the first space tourism ticket around the moon. And remember: Vote early! Vote often!

Rocketplane’s Chuck Lauer Resurfaces in European Commercial Suborbital Project

While I’ve been out here at Space Access ’11, I was curious about the whereabouts of Chuck Lauer, late of the dearly departed Rocketplane Global and a fixture at these annual gatherings. This morning I found out: he’s 9 time zones away in Holland, announcing another suborbital spaceflight venture. The vehicle looks and sounds a lot like Rocketplane’s project and will fly from a new Dutch spaceport.

I’ve combined two press releases from the International Space Transportation Association describing SpaceLinq and plans for EU Spaceport Lelystad.

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