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Space Science

SpaceX Gets First Private FAA Space Reentry License 108

coondoggie sends in a Network World story that begins "Space Exploration Technologies (Space X) got the first-ever Federal Aviation Administration license allowing the reentry to Earth of a privately developed spacecraft. The license was needed because the Space X Dragon space capsule is scheduled to launch atop Space X's Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 7 and return to earth. The Launch of the rocket had already been approved by the FAA. The FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation noted that it has licensed over 200 successful launches."
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SpaceX Gets First Private FAA Space Reentry License

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  • Re:A license? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @02:23PM (#34320764)

    Your government doesn't want to start an international incident when your flight plan knocks another government's communication satellite out of orbit.

    Yeah, except... nobody owns space by international treaty anyway. So if a satellite malfunctions (or a space ship collides with one), legally it's like international waters.

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nyeerrmm ( 940927 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @03:14PM (#34321488)

    I realize you're trying to make a joke, but having met many of the people in the FAA Office of Commercial Space, and as someone who cares about seeing an economically sustainable space system develop, I'm damn glad those people are there.

    While it may not be as flashy as the guys actually building the capsule that will re-enter, creating a solid legal framework for licensing and regulating commercial launches and re-entries is absolutely critical for getting anything thats not a pork-filled government project into space. Otherwise the entire industry is likely to shut down after the first accident.

    Regulation isn't necessarily bad, and the people involved at the FAA understand that this is a nascent industry, and as such must be given a lot of room to grow and adapt in the marketplace. These are people who want to see the industry thrive, not simply petty fief-building bureaucratic charicatures.

The person who can smile when something goes wrong has thought of someone to blame it on.