Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Loose Regulations For Private Space Industry

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It looks as if the the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) has decided to regulate the upcoming space industry with minimal restrictions. This is a good thing as bureaucracy is the last thing the private sector needs.

(Zee News) Thrill-seekers looking to blast into space would need to be informed in writing of serious risks -- including death -- and promise not to sue the government under the first-ever rules for commercial space travel. [...]

The rules apply to American companies launching from anywhere in the world, and to foreign companies launching from US soil.

Virgin Galactic, run by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, is aiming to offer out-of-this-world vacations in 2008 for travelers willing to pay USD 200,000 apiece. Space Adventures Ltd of Vienna, Virginia, is making similar plans, as are other outfits.

The good thing about these rules is it allows the private sector to determine who is fit for space, as NASA's requirement's might exclude those who are disabled, or not "strong enough" to survive the trip up.

Of course the FAA is requiring that the pilots be fit and go through some training, although they are hinting that they will become heavily involved if fatalities start to "pile up" (although most of these companies would have financial reasons for avoiding these, as having passengers die is not good for business).

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