“What would that do to a private company?” – that is the question posed by National Public Radio by Nell Greenfieldboyce today, . Linked are a list of private space launch firms, the spacecraft names, launcher, maximum reach, passenger capacity, and status that are looking to place humans into space in this decade.
With the dreams and aspirations of leaders of the commercial space sector at stake, the question of Greenfieldboyce is quite legitimate. Commercial spaceports are being readied for suborbital and orbital human spaceflight in California, New Mexico, Florida and, perhaps, Virginia.
Three of the aforementioned states have passed spaceflight liability and immunity laws. Nonetheless, the FAA and NASA will play a significant regulatory role in the near-term future. How should the private sector, government and regulatory agencies respond to the barnstorming days of the space in this decade?
Morton Thiokol engineer Allan McDonald, a key figure in space shuttle accident history, lectures at Auburn University yesterday.