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Independent body proposed to ensure commercial spaceflight safety

26 Apr 2019, 13:47 UTC
Independent body proposed to ensure commercial spaceflight safety
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LONDON — The nonprofit International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) issued a new report in March calling for the establishment of an independent Space Safety Institute to speed development of commercial space flight safety standards and certification processes.
The 60-page report, which the Noordwijk, Netherlands-based IAASS and its Houston-based sister nonprofit the International Space Safety Foundation sent to NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. General Accounting Office and several aerospace industry groups, said an independent body is needed to help the commercial spaceflight industry grow and gain public trust.
The Space Safety Institute (SSI) concept, which dates back to 2013, envisions system safety experts from the industry working together with government officials on binding fault-tolerance requirements similar to those that are in place for government-funded spaceflight operations.
“Today in the U.S. if you want to sell an electronic product, like a toaster or a microwave, you need to get a UL sticker because that means that an independent organization looked at your electronic design and made sure that it is not going to hurt people,” said Ed Mango, former NASA Commercial Crew Program manager and one of the experts behind the proposal.

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