Space: The Final Regulatory Frontier

SpaceShipOne GovernmentZeroWell, not so much anymore, thanks to the FAA’s new guidelines on space tourism (via Boing Boing):

More than 120 pages of proposed rules, released by the government Thursday, regulate the future of space tourism. This don’t-forget list touches on everything from passenger medical standards to preflight training for the crew.

Before taking a trip that literally is out of this world, companies would be required to inform the “space flight participant” – known in more earthly settings as simply a passenger – of the risks. Passengers also would be required to provide written consent before boarding a vehicle for takeoff.

Legislation signed a year ago by President Bush and designed to help the space industry flourish prohibits the Federal Aviation Administration from issuing safety regulations for passengers and crew for eight years, unless specific design features or operating practices cause a serious or fatal injury.

I’m skeptical of the need. As witnessed by all the previous flights of SpaceShipOne, regulation hasn’t been necessary in the slightest. But hey, when has the government ever let a little thing called entreprenurial spirit get in the way of government law?

4 Comments
  1. If they’d done this to the Wright Brothers, we’d all still be taking ships across the oceans.