Colossal Aerospace Corporation is developing a new heavy-lift rocket engine to replace the Russian-built RD-180 currently relied on by NASA and by other government agencies for military applications, and to serve the needs of the burgeoning commercial space launch market.
The company anticipates producing the rocket engines for sale to U.S. and foreign commercial enterprises and governments, incorporating the engines into a line of launch vehicles it is developing for potential customers, and also offering launch services to those customers, using its own launch complex, equipment and crews.
You have applied for a project management position with Colossal and have a job interview scheduled next week at the company’s Merritt Island, Florida headquarters. Intimate knowledge of this rapidly-evolving industry will be a crucial factor in the selection process.
To prepare yourself for this interview and for the job, research and prepare a paper covering the following:
Identify the key U.S. statutes that establish the national policy and legal framework for regulation of commercial space operations.
Identify each federal agency and office responsible for regulation of launch vehicle certification, testing, and operations, describing the specific area of responsibility of each such entity and clearly distinguishing the roles of each.
Describe federal permits required for the company to conduct rocket launches for experimental testing and for commercial purposes at the following two optional locations:
The Cape Canaveral Spaceport
A launch site to be developed by the company on Matagorda Island, Texas.
Detail the process to qualify the launch vehicles to fly NASA and NASA-sponsored unmanned and eventually manned payloads.
Determine whether the Arms Export Control Act and related U.S. Munitions List might interfere with the company’s plans for export sales of these engines and launch vehicles.
Describe legal requirements for commercial space launch operators to obtain and the commercial availability of:
Third-party liability insurance to cover injuries to persons and property on the ground or in aircraft that might result from a launch or recovery mishap
Launch risk guarantee insurance to cover failure to deliver the payload to its intended destination or orbit
Liability insurance to cover injuries to participants, such as space tourists.
If you find that any of the above insurance coverages are not yet available on the commercial market, and are not required by law, identify an alternative approach to management of that risk.
Identify the federal agency responsible for investigation and determination of the probable cause of space vehicle launch- and recovery-related accidents and incidents and operator notifications and reports required.
Identify any international organization responsible for establishment of international technical standards for certification of spacecraft crews and space worthiness of launch vehicles and manned spacecraft.
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