Author Topic: Commercial human spaceflight regulations  (Read 11692 times)

Offline abaddon

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #20 on: 10/17/2023 06:35 pm »
FAA needs to charge a fee per launch
That won't help if FAA does not have the resources, or is not allowed to buy-obtain the necessary resources. Déjà vu; similar issue we saw with range modernization.
Presumably Jim is suggesting that the fee would go towards an expanded FAA capability for commercial space, not to fund some other random pork barrel.  I suspect SpaceX would be happy to pay a fee if it went to funding expanded FAA capabilities allowing for more rapid turnaround on regulatory analysis/paperwork.
The issue there is that flight rate then directly supports headcount. If flight rate drops temporarily (e.g. another 6-month Falcon 9 standdown drops US flight rates to ~10% of 'normal' for those 6 months), ongoing headcount suddenly is unfunded, and if you have to let go those trained staff that you will likely not be able to easily re-hire after they have found new roles, due to the talent pool of existing trained staff being essentially non-existent.
SpaceX isn't going to be 90% of all US launches for much longer.

Also, the Space Force seems to have magically seemed to have figured this out, I don't know why the FAA can't be expected to do the same.

Offline joek

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #21 on: 10/17/2023 09:19 pm »
Also, the Space Force seems to have magically seemed to have figured this out, I don't know why the FAA can't be expected to do the same.

One reason: USFS is DoD and FAA is civil. Again, similar issue as we saw with range modernization.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #22 on: 10/17/2023 09:35 pm »
SpaceX isn't going to be 90% of all US launches for much longer.
SpaceX intend to launch about 140 times in 2024. That's 90% of 155. In your opinion, will the rest of he US launches exceed 15 in 2024? Going forward, when do you think SpaceX will fall below 90% of launches?  (not snark. This is an honest request for your opinion.)

Offline abaddon

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #23 on: 10/18/2023 01:47 am »
2025, 2026 at latest.
« Last Edit: 10/18/2023 01:48 am by abaddon »

Offline mrhuggy

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #24 on: 10/18/2023 05:05 pm »
Here's the stream for the hearing.


Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #25 on: 10/18/2023 07:30 pm »
The start of a long thread summarising testimony:

https://twitter.com/esherifftv/status/1714709242119180635

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I'm currently watching a very important Senate Subcommittee meeting for Commercial Human Space Activities. SpaceX is scheduled to talk about the FAA's struggle to keep up with the rocket launch industry.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #26 on: 10/19/2023 05:50 am »
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1714770325227909432

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A quintet of space industry executives and experts testified in a Senate hearing today that the FAA needs more resources and urgency in regulating and licensing rocket launches.

But the Senate space subcommittee didn’t invite the FAA testify:

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/10/18/spacex-blue-origin-virgin-galactic-call-for-faa-improvements.html

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SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic executives urge senators to improve the FAA
PUBLISHED WED, OCT 18 20236:19 PM EDT

Michael Sheetz

KEY POINTS

Executives from top U.S. space companies called for improvements to the Federal Aviation Administration during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

SpaceX VP Bill Gerstenmaier emphasized that the FAA’s commercial space office “needs at least twice the resources that they have today” for licensing rocket launches.

The FAA was not invited to testify.

FAA statement:

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Keeping pace with industry demand is a priority and is important for several reasons, including meeting our national security and civil exploration needs. We’re working diligently to attract, hire and retain additional staff

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #27 on: 10/19/2023 07:48 pm »
Opening remarks and submitted testimonies for yesterday’s hearing are attached.

Offline mrhuggy

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #28 on: 10/19/2023 10:22 pm »
The problem for SpaceX is they are launching Falcon 9 with the same pace as an airline flying it's plane's, this is only going to get worse in the future. Maybe once a launch system is fully matured and shows reliability like the Falcon 9 it should be certified like a aircraft and be allowed to launch without the need of getting a license every time.

They could say give SpaceX a permanent licence to launch unmanned payloads to safe orbits and only need to get a licence for manned missions and when a launch profile might be more risky like polar orbits out of the cape. The same could be done for ULA's Vulcan and Blue Origin's New Glen once they are operational with a good safety record.
« Last Edit: 10/19/2023 10:23 pm by mrhuggy »

Offline Reynold

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #29 on: 10/20/2023 06:25 pm »
I found a couple of comments from Ted Cruz, the ranking senator from TX on the committee, interesting.  Apparently he has had a tour of Starbase during the August recess (excellent idea whoever set that up) and was very impressed.  He also commented that he plans to get to the TX Blue Origin facility when he gets a chance, since there was a BO person testifying as well.  He sounds like a strong supporter of spaceflight at least in his state, which is not surprising, TX is up there with FL in terms of total space flight related economic activity, and of streamlining authorization processes. 

Certainly if BO plans to hit their projected launch cadence of 25 launches in 2025, they will need some streamlining of processes as well.  Mind you I'm not holding my breath for them doing that so quickly . .

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #30 on: 10/25/2023 08:48 pm »
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At #ascendspace, FAA's Kelvin Coleman says he expects the "learning period" limiting regs on commercial spaceflight participants to be extended beyond Jan. 1, but not sure how long. Still, time is now to start planning for future safety regulations.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1717277436453564770

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Doug Ligor of RAND reviews his recent report that concluded the learning period (aka moratorium) should be allowed to expire. Moreover, he says, there should not have been created in the first place, calling it an "aberration" not seen in other industries.

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Industry people on the panel, though, argue that commercial human spaceflight is regulated through such things like existing public safety regulations. SpaceX's Bill Gerstenmaier says the learning period is "appropriate" given current small number of crewed launches.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1717281160232120405

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Gerst describes, as part of the informed consent regime, explains how he describes all the risks of spaceflight to potential customers. He adds that he has had customers walk away from signing contracts once he explained all the risks of vehicles.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #31 on: 10/29/2023 06:33 am »
Jeff Foust’s write-up:

https://spacenews.com/faa-anticipates-extension-of-commercial-spaceflight-regulatory-learning-period/

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FAA anticipates extension of commercial spaceflight regulatory learning period
Jeff Foust
October 28, 2023

LAS VEGAS — The head of the Federal Aviation Administration’s commercial spaceflight office expects current restrictions on his ability to regulate safety of spaceflight participants to be extended past this year.

Offline TomH

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #32 on: 11/22/2023 04:09 am »
Senators Sinema and Schmitt sent a letter to the FAA asking them to accelerate the approval of commercial space launch permits.

https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/21/world/senators-faster-faa-approval-commercial-space-flight-scn/index.html
« Last Edit: 11/23/2023 12:14 am by TomH »

Offline RoadWithoutEnd

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #33 on: 12/06/2023 05:49 pm »
Shouldn't a "learning period" for a new technology (that's already regulated for third-party safety) be the default assumption, until specific legislation ends it?  The idea that it needs positive permission and regular renewal to not be strictly controlled seems a bit topsy-turvy.

Reminds me of those 19th century German road signs that declared every few kilometers, "You have permission to use this road." 
Walk the road without end, and all tomorrows unfold like music.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Commercial human spaceflight regulations
« Reply #34 on: 12/07/2023 12:03 pm »
Shouldn't a "learning period" for a new technology (that's already regulated for third-party safety) be the default assumption, until specific legislation ends it?  The idea that it needs positive permission and regular renewal to not be strictly controlled seems a bit topsy-turvy.
The 'learning period' is the exception, removing the 'third party safety' requirements that would normally apply like any other transportation system.

Just being 'new' should not confer any sort of loophole, as that would be immediately and continuously exploited - as existing loopholes already are, such as with the 737-MAX8 type certification debacle.

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