Safety criteria for the private spaceflight industry

Andy Quinn, Paul Maropoulos

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) has set specific rules and generic guidelines to cover experimental and operational flights by industry forerunners such as Virgin Galactic and XCOR. One such guideline Advisory Circular (AC) 437.55-1[1] contains exemplar hazard analyses for spacecraft designers and operators to follow under an experimental permit. The FAA's rules and guidelines have also been ratified in a report to the United States Congress, Analysis of Human Space Flight Safety[2] which cites that the industry is too immature and has 'insufficient data' to be proscriptive and that 'defining a minimum set of criteria for human spaceflight service providers is potentially problematic' in order not to 'stifle the emerging industry'. The authors of this paper acknowledge the immaturity of the industry and discuss the problematic issues that Design Organisations and Operators now face.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th IAASS Conference - Making Safety Matter
PublisherEuropean Space Agency
Number of pages12
Volume680 SP
ISBN (Print)9789292212445
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Event4th IAASS Conference 'Making Safety Matter', May 19, 2010 - May 21, 2010 - Huntsville, AL, USA United States
Duration: 1 May 2010 → …


Conference4th IAASS Conference 'Making Safety Matter', May 19, 2010 - May 21, 2010
Country/TerritoryUSA United States
CityHuntsville, AL
Period1/05/10 → …


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