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“space commercialization”
Space Access 12: FAA AST Chief Engineer Mike Kelly

Michael Kelly
Chief Engineer, Office of Commercial Spaceflight
Federal Aviation Administration
“Commercial Human Spaceflight: The Coming Safety Challenge

Changes at FAA

  • AST split in several offices, including chief engineer’s offic
  • Former astronaut Pamela Ann Melroy has been added as senior adviser for human spaceflight — flew on STS-92, 112 and 120 — previously serve as Deputy Program Manager for Space Exploration Initiatives at Lockheed Martin after leaving the astronaut corps
  • reorganizing field offices
  • adding a second position at Mojave, new positions at Wallops and JSC
  • Planned tech center with 50 people at KSC will not happen
  • Moritorium on regulations has been expanded to Oct. 1, 2015 — although FAA can propose rules if there is an accident


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  • April 14, 2012
NASA to Continue Using Space Act Agreements for Commercial Crew

NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA announced today a modified competitive procurement strategy to keep on track the agency’s plan to have U.S. companies transport American astronauts into space instead of outsourcing this work to foreign governments.

Instead of awarding contracts for the next phase of the Commercial Crew Program, the agency plans to use multiple, competitively awarded Space Act Agreements. Using competitive Space Act Agreements instead of contracts will allow NASA to maintain a larger number of partners during this phase of the program, with the flexibility to adjust technical direction, milestones and funding.

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  • December 15, 2011
Exclusive Video: Robert Bigelow Talks Space and More — Part III

Above is the third part of an interview that Robert Bigelow gave to reporters during the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, NM. Bigelow had just given an address to the conference in which he warned that China could claim the moon in the early 2020s and urged American leaders to renew their commitment to leadership in space. If you missed any of it, Parts I […]

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  • December 2, 2011
Ukraine Looks to Commercial Partnerships to Boost Space Program

Ukraine's Cyclone rocket

The National Space Agency of Ukraine is looking to foster the “development of public-private partnership [and the] deepening the commercialization of space activities and international cooperation” as part of a series of changes to the nation’s space policy.

“For the first time to finance the program is envisaged to raise funds from other sources in amounts that make up about a third of the necessary funding and the development and implementation of public-private partnership,” according to a press released posted on the space agency’s website.


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  • November 18, 2011
CSF Says: Space Act Agreements are Rad!

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Position Statement:

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Supports Use of Space Act Agreements (SAAs) for Next Phase of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program

For the next phase of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program, following CCDev Rounds 1 and 2, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation strongly supports the use of Space Act Agreements (SAAs) under NASA’s Other Transaction Agreements (OTA) authority, rather than a Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)-based approach. SAA’s are the best means for NASA to support commercial development of systems to transport crew and cargo to the Space Station.


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  • June 16, 2011
Boeing Completes Delta System Review on CST-100

Boeing's CST-100 crew transport. (Credit: Boeing)

Commercial crew system on track for operational capability in 2015

BOEING PR — HOUSTON, June 13, 2011 — Boeing [NYSE: BA] on May 19 completed the Delta System Definition Review (SDR) of the company’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 space capsule design. The milestone follows NASA’s award of a Commercial Crew Development Phase 2 (CCDev2) contract to Boeing in April.

The daylong review included representatives from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, and independent consultants. They examined the changes made to the CST-100 design since the initial SDR, which was conducted in October under the original CCDev agreement. (more…)

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  • June 15, 2011
NASA Study Examines Commercial Space Market

A Boeing CST-100 crew module docks at a Bigelow Aerospace space station. (Credit: Boeing)

NASA recently released its Commercial Market Assessment for Crew and Cargo Systems. The report looks at high and low end estimates for the next decade based upon an extrapolation of existing flight rates and industry input. The assessment concludes:

NASA believes that the projections described in this report are more than sufficient to justify Government support for the development and demonstration of commercial cargo and crew systems, especially considering that the U.S. Government has a demonstrated need for commercial cargo and crew transportation to/from the ISS. According to one established aerospace company involved in NASA’s commercial crew efforts, this base Government market alone is sufficient to close its business case. The commercial markets assessed in this report provide a potential upside further strengthening the potential for success. NASA also believes its approach to cargo and crew system development will be more cost effective than a more traditional approach to space system development.

Key excerpts from the report are reproduced after the break.


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  • June 8, 2011
House Hearing Spotlights Concerns About NASA Commercial Cargo Program

The House held a hearing on NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program last week. The majority Republicans and minority Democrats both expressed concerns about the schedule and reliability of cargo delivery to the International Space Station by SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corporation set to begin within the next year. Republicans seem a bit more skeptical about the effort, however, questioning market viability and other issues.

Press releases from both parties describing the hearing and their concerns follow after the break.


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  • May 30, 2011
NASA to Clarify Regulations on Entering into Anchor Tenancy Agreements

In a potential boost for commercial space, NASA is proposing changing its federal acquisition regulations to allow it to enter multi-year anchor tenancy contracts for commercial space goods and services.

The notice in the Federal Register states:

Anchor Tenancy is defined as “an arrangement in which the United States Government agrees to procure sufficient quantities of a commercial space product or service needed to meet Government mission requirements so that a commercial venture is made viable.” (more…)

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  • May 26, 2011