Staralexi
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:27 pm

Certification of space craft.

Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:17 pm

Normal certification of new aircraft requires at least 5000 hours of certification flying. Does anyone know whether this level of testing is going to be required by Branson, Musk et all for their space tourism machines. If so how is this going to be accomplished by 2020?
 
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atcsundevil
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:22 pm

Re: Certification of space craft.

Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:30 pm

Staralexi wrote:
Normal certification of new aircraft requires at least 5000 hours of certification flying. Does anyone know whether this level of testing is going to be required by Branson, Musk et all for their space tourism machines. If so how is this going to be accomplished by 2020?

I have moved your thread to the more applicable forum.

While I don't know a whole lot on the subject, I do know that the FAA has been working on the subject for many years. There are still a lot of regulations to be worked out, which was hampered by delays in funding. Unfortunately this and UAVs are both cases where the industry and technology have developed much faster than the Agency's ability to regulate. It will take some time to catch up, but then again, the early days of aviation teethed in a similar fashion, and things have turned out pretty well on that front.
 
mxaxai
Posts: 1091
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: Certification of space craft.

Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:50 pm

There is no procedure for certification of spacecraft for passenger transport. However, there are standards and regulations for human spaceflight in general, and I'd assume that these can be extended to such vehicles. In Europe, ECSS can give you an overview of what ESA would like to see (https://ecss.nl/standards/ecss-document ... nd-status/). NASA has rules for the Shuttle and ISS programs, and Crew Dragon, StarLiner and Orion are also being tested against some set of requirements.

I'm not sure what the FAA's stance is regarding suborbital vehicles like SpaceShip 2, but I would expect that it can be certified as experimental aircraft. It does have a N* reg. Passengers may need to sign a waiver that they understand and accept the risks.

In general, space law is lacking. The most important thing to prove currently is that your spacecraft will not harm third parties (debris, interference, hazardous contamination). Anything else is on you.

Examples:
ECSS-E-ST-32-10C Rev.2 – Structural factors of safety for spaceflight hardware wrote:
The choice of a factor of safety for a program is directly linked to the rationale retained for designing, dimensioning and testing within the program. Therefore, as the development logic and the associated reliability objectives are different for:

- unmanned scientific or commercial satellite,
- expendable launch vehicles,
- man-rated spacecraft, and
- any other unmanned space vehicle (e.g. transfer vehicle, planetary probe)
specific values are presented for each of them.

Factors of safety for re-usable launch vehicles and man-rated commercial spacecraft are not addressed in this document.

For all of these space products, factors of safety are defined hereafter in the document whatever the adopted qualification logic: proto-flight or prototype model.

ECSS-Q-ST-40-02C – Hazard analysis wrote:
This Standard details the hazard analysis requirements of ECSS-Q-ST-40; it defines the principles, process, implementation, and requirements of hazard analysis.

It is applicable to all European space projects where during any project phase there exists the potential for hazards to personnel or the general public, space flight systems, ground support equipment, facilities, public or private property or the environment.
 
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kc135topboom
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

Re: Certification of space craft.

Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:18 am

The FAA is ill equipped to regulate or certify space travel. They have zero experience with space travel and don't have any engineers if that field. The FAA isn't even equipped to regulate very high altitude air travel above FL-600. They have no pilots with that kind of experience.

In the US there are only two agencies that have very high altitude and space travel experience, NASA and the USAF. It was years ago the FAA claimed to be the sole US agency with regulatory responsibilities for space travel. If the FAA wants to do that they will need years of training from both NASA and the USAF.

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