WASHINGTON –U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced key additions to the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC).
“America continues to lead the way in cutting-edge space transportation technologies. I’m pleased to welcome this distinguished group to the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee and thank those members who are continuing their service,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
COMSTAC provides information, advice, and recommendations to the FAA Administrator on all matters relating to U.S. commercial space transportation industry activities. The committee provides a forum for the development and communication of information from an independent perspective. COMSTAC membership consists of members of the commercial space transportation industry; the satellite industry, manufacturers and users; state and local government officials; as well as representatives from firms providing insurance, advocacy, and from academia. (more…)
WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Penn. (ASTM PR) — With support from industry and government leaders, ASTM International will host an organizational meeting to potentially create a new technical committee that develops voluntary consensus standards for commercial spaceflight.
This meeting comes in part as a result of the updated U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 (CSLCA). The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) is recommending the organization of the new group.
The House Subcommittee on Aviation held its first hearing in seven years on the FAA’s oversight of commercial space last month. Members heard from a heavily industry-centric panel of experts who largely praised the moratorium on regulations that is in place until 2023.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s scathing criticism of the FAA’s oversight role on SpaceShipTwo prior to the accident was briefly discussed on a couple of occasions, as were the potential conflicts between FAA’s dual roles of oversight and promotion.
Taber MacCallum of World View Enterprises dismissed the criticism of FAA Associate Administrator George Nield and the FAA’s performance prior to the crash as Monday morning quarterbacking. He also called for a permanent extension of the moratorium on regulations.
Michael López-Alegría also claimed that the FAA had done its job properly. He dismissed the idea that regulating the industry would make it any safer.
Dr. George C. Nield, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration | Written Testimony
Dr. Gerald L. Dillingham, Director of Civil Aviation Issues, Government Accountability Office | Written Testimony
Mr. Michael Gold, Chair, Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee | Written Testimony
Mr. Michael López-Alegría, Vice Chair, Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee | Written Testimony
Mr. Taber MacCallum, Chief Technology Officer, World View Enterprises | Written Testimony
The FAA Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) voted last week to recommend that the U.S. government maintain its ban on the use of excess ICBM motors for launching commercial satellites. The recommendation to the FAA is a non-binding one.
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is reviewing a 10-year old policy that has largely kept U.S.-built satellites from being launched aboard Indian launch vehicles.
Last week, USTR official Samuel duPont made a presentation about the review to a working group of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). Growing demand by American satellite makers for commercial launch services is the reason behind the review.
WASHINGTON (FAA PR) — After working closely with NASA, industry, and other key stakeholders, the FAA has issued its “Recommended Practices for Human Space Flight Occupant Safety.”
This document is the culmination of a 3-year effort which involved researching existing human space flight standards, conducting a series of public teleconferences to gather recommendations, and soliciting feedback from the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC).
This week on The Space Show with David Livingston:
1. Monday, June 30, 2014: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): DR. DOUG PLATA returns with more on his Lunar Cots & cislunar work, including ISDC presentations and upcoming AIAA Space 2014 presentations.
2. SPECIAL TIME: Tuesday, July 1, 2014:, 2-3 PM PDT (5-6 PM EDT, 4-5 PM CDT): We welcome back MIKE GOLD, the Chair of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (“COMSTAC”) . Mr. Gold is also the Bigelow Aerospace’s director of D.C. Operations and Business Growth. Mr. Gold’s focus for this program is COMSTAC.
3. Friday, July 4, 2014, 9:30 -11 AM PDT (12;30-2 PM EDT; 11:30-1 PM CDT): No show today due to the start of the July 4th holiday weekend. .
4. Sunday, July 6, 2014, 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT). No show today due to the July 4th holiday weekend.
October 12, 2013 (FSDC PR) — The Florida Space Development Council’s Bumper Award, named after the first rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in 1950, is designed to recognize an individual or organization that has had the biggest impact on Florida’s space industry, or a Floridian that has had the biggest national impact in space. The 2013 Bumper recipient will be selected from a list of finalists that were identified by a panel of nine FSDC member volunteers.
The 2013 finalists include (in alphabetical order): Frank DiBello, president of Space Florida; Dr. John Johnson, president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX; and Will Trafton, chairman of COMSTAC.
The FSDC board of directors will now select the winner and present the award during an upcoming event before the end of the year.
Space News reports on a draft report on safety practices for keeping commercial spaceflight participants safe:
In an attempt to forestall congressional direction of the process, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation has produced a 50-page list of safety practices that could serve as the cornerstone for future commercial human spaceflight safety regulations.
The U.S. Air Force is moving ahead with two initiatives designed to make their launch ranges more user friendly and to facilitate partnerships with private sector and state entities, according to presentations given at a recent FAA Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) meeting.
A provision in the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act allows private-sector and non-federal contributions to and cost sharing for federal launch ranges, Maj. Justin Sutherland told attendees. “Contributions may include funds, services, equipment and requests for range support and services in DoD contractual requirements,” according to the presentation.
November 20 (FAA PR) –– The Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation has added eight new members to its Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) to provide recommendations about the agency’s oversight and regulation of the commercial space transportation industry.
In addition to the new appointments, FAA has also announced that Michael N. Gold will serve as the new chairperson of COMSTAC. Gold is currently Bigelow Aerospace’s director of D.C. Operations and Business Growth.
Washington D.C. (CSF PR) – On Monday, November 19, the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation announced that Michael Lopez-Alegria, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation would be the vice-chair of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC).
COMSTAC provides information, advice and recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration on all matters related to U.S. commercial space transportation.
FAA Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee Teleconferences
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 Tuesday, September 18, 2012 Tuesday, October 23, 2012 1 p.m. EDT
Length: Approximately 1 hour
The purpose of these three teleconferences is to assist the FAA early in its development of regulations to protect occupants of commercial suborbital and orbital spacecraft. Although the FAA has not yet targeted a date for proposing regulations to protect the health and safety of crew and space flight participants, the FAA believes that the development of sound and appropriate regulations for human space flight can only be achieved with a deliberate, multi-year effort. Moreover, the FAA believes that early industry input into this regulatory effort before any formal proposal by the FAA is critical.
“The key to achieving our goal of facilitating a strong commercial space industry is adequate funding and good old-fashioned American competition. We are working hard to maintain both. NASA’s 2013 request for commercial crew development is $830 million. Despite a bi-partisan agreement to ensure American astronauts are traveling into space on U.S. built spacecraft as soon as possible, some want to short-change this job-creating initiative and limit competition in the commercial space arena.
“I think we all agree: competition is a basic tenet of American democracy and the very cornerstone of America’s technological excellence. Competition promotes innovation. Competition enhances our ability to identify the absolute best commercial partners. Ending competition by down-selecting to a sole commercial space company could double the cost of developing a privately built human spaceflight system and it will leave us in the same position we find ourselves today – having only one option for getting our astronauts to the space station. We are hopeful we can work to resolve these issues and keep this important initiative on track.
We are on the brink of a milestone moment in NASA space history, all part of a long-term strategy that will create well paying, high quality jobs here in America. With your help, we are making progress, and we intend to stay on track.”
— Charles Bolden Remarks to the FAA Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) May 10, 2012