Broadcast 1593 (Special Edition)

17 Jul 2011 Dr. George Nield
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Guest: Dr. George Nield. Topics: FAA AST, spaceflight regulation, spaceflight vehicle licensing. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Dr. George Nield, Director of AST, back to the program. Dr. Nield started out with a brief overview of the FAA AST, what it does, its primary two pronged mission, followed by initial comments on the transition to commercial space now underway. We talked about COTS, CRS, CCDEV, NASA, and the process for and need of a launch license and if applicable, a re-entry license. Dr. Nield was asked about the mood in Congress for renewing the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 at the end of next year. Discussion is ongoing about this at this time. As you will hear, some in Congress want the moratorium on regulation continued while there are others that want to start regulating the commercial space industry in ways similar to the airline industry. Here, Dr. Nield went into some detail as did I as to why there is and should be a difference in regulation between aviation and rockets/spacecraft. Dr. Nield was asked about possible AST requirements for medical conditions for the spaceflight participants. While AST has set forth minimum crew requirements, it not establishing criteria for spaceflight participants. Either the industry or the individual companies are in charge of doing that. Our guest was asked if either NASA or AST had oversight on vehicle safety for the Soyuz. The answer was no. Charles called in to inquire about possible changes in amateur rocket rules. Dr. Nield said no at this time. We started our second segment with a comprehensive discussion with listener Mike regarding informed consent, vehicle oversight and safety certification by NASA and/or AST, and the procedure to make sure that a person being disclosed actually had the capability of understanding the disclosure. Mike and George had an important & excellent discussion on these issues so don't miss it. As this segment came to a close, we talked about spaceports which are under the AST jurisdiction. There are currently 8 spaceports licensed for operation in the U.S. We also talked about White Knight 2 and Space Ship 2 as well as the AST Center of Excellence program. In our third & final segment, George told us about the proposed Commercial Spaceflight Technical Center at KSC and its $5 million prize. Tim called in at the end of the program to discuss the N-Prize, risk, congressional action, congress and hobby rocketry, and more. Visit the AST website at www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast. You can contact Dr. Nield through the website. Post your questions & comments on the blog URL listed above.

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