The FAA today published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Human Space Flight Requirements for Crew and Space Flight Participants. The NPRM “proposes requirements for human space flight of crew and space flight participants as required by the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.” If adopted, the NPRM would establish requirements for crew qualifications, training, and notification, as well as training and informed consent requirements for space flight participants. The FAA’s intent is “to provide an acceptable level of safety to the general public, and to notify individuals on board of the risks associated with a launch or reentry.”
The twenty-nine page NPRM contains a discussion of the background of private space flight programs, a summary of the proposed requirements and draft rules. Since it is an initial NPRM for an industry that is still in its infancy, I would expect an exhaustive discussion of the proposed rules and their likely impact on the private space flight industry. I would also hope that the eventual final rule would appropriately address the comments received in order to ensure safety without unnecessarily impeding the growth of private space flight.
Comments to the NPRM are due on or before February 27, 2006 and may be sent [identified by Docket Number FAA-2005-23449] via the usual methods. If you would like further information, you can contact the following: For technical information, contact Kenneth Wong, Deputy Manager, Licensing and Safety Division, Commercial Space Transportation, AST-200, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-8465; facsimile (202) 267-3686, e-mail email@example.com. For legal information, contact Laura Montgomery, Senior Attorney, Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3150; facsimile (202) 267-7971, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.