Broadcast 358 (Special Edition)

10 Jul 2005 Dr. George Nield
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Dr. George C. Nield, Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation FAA/AST-2, was the guest for this Space Show program. Dr. Nield began the interview by explaining the obligations of the AST, the recently signed Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act, and the way the AST views its regulatory mission and responsibility. He took listeners through the process of what is involved in getting an RLV launch license and mentioned that the AST has guideline information, a book, and a CD available to help those interested in making a license application. In response to questions from listeners, Dr. Nield addressed the timing and safety issues pertaining to the license, how the AST granted a license to a company without a vehicle per the recent congressional testimony offered up by Burt Rutan, the transferability and marketability of a license, and much more. In addition, we discussed the AST guidelines for spaceflight participants and flight crews, both of which are published on the AST website at http://ast.faa.gov/. Dr. Nield informed the audience that the period for comments and feedback is still open and that those interested in giving the AST feedback on these guidelines should do it by mail, telephone call, or email. The full AST contact information can be found on their website. We also talked about the law applying to Americans no matter where they launch from on Earth and in response to one of my questions, it was determined that the AST would likely have jurisdiction for an American launch were it to take place on the Moon at some point in the future. Dr. Nield explained the experimental launch permit program and also the amateur launch rules. This is a program you will certainly want to hear to understand where we are with the regulatory environment, the human factors for spaceflight participants, the approach being implemented by AST, and the requirements for launching a rocket. Listeners can contact Dr. Nield for further information about AST and any specific project by email at george.nield@faa.gov. Comments and questions can also be directed to me at drspace@thespaceshow.com and I will forward them to Dr. Nield. However, for those of you with specific questions for your business, please contact AST or Dr. Nield.

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