A commercial human spaceflight safety report for Congress has recommended that new legislation should be passed to put the US government's National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) role of lead agency for space vehicle accident investigatons on a legal footing.
The NTSB already has agreements with the US Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Force but its role is not enshriined in law. The safety report was a requirement of the Commercial Space Launch Act Amendent (CSLAA) 2004 that also defined suborbital tourism and directed the FAA's office of commercial space transportation (AST) to regulate it.
Another of the report's conclusions regarding new legislation is that, "[The] FAA/AST...is limited to launch and reentry operations. [This] should be corrected in time to address expected commercial orbital ventures."
An orbital venture expected early in the next decade is Bigelow Aerospace's private orbital research facility that might use Space Exploration Technologies' Falcon 9 rocket launched Dragon spacecraft for transportation.
The CSLAA report will be submitted to the relevant US Senate and House of Representatives committees on 23 December. The report is not recommending any changes to existing commercial suborbital spaceflight regulations.