April 29, 2005

BLOGGING FROM THE SPACE ACCESS CONFERENCE, Rand Simberg reports some very interesting news:

What’s different now? We have supportive national policy, including the words “public space travel” in the Space Transportation Policy for the first time in history, with responsibility falling on Secs of Commerce and Transportation to carry that out. We have realistic objectives this time: no technology breakthroughs required, suborbital trajectories with primary emphasis on passengers, using available technologies. We also are seeing non-federal funding become available from numerous wealthy individuals, as well as good support by state and local governments. Prizes are helping as well. The regulatory framework is in place with the Commercial Spacelaunch Amendments Act, which puts Congress and administration on the record as supporting human spaceflight.

FAA has a very ambitious homework assignment to write the regulations for passengers, experimental permits, and license requirements, which will result in a Notification of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in a year or two.

They’re hoping for input from the public, too.