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FAA sets rules for tourism in space

The US Federal Aviation Administration has released its proposed rules for commercial human spaceflight, which have implications for launch vehicle design, writes Rob Coppinger.

Industry has until 27 February to respond to the proposals. Amended rules should become law this year.

The rules set out what a launch vehicle operator must do to select and train crew and what passengers, defined in law as spaceflight participants, should be informed of and what training they should receive.

There are also implications for reusable launch vehicle (RLV) design. The rules specify a fire-suppression system, cabin environment monitoring, cabin temperature control, humidity control, and the provision of secondary oxygen supplies. The rules say RLV pilots must have an FAA pilot’s licence with an instrument rating.

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