Appendix D
Studies Related to Space Launch Range Safety

This appendix contains brief descriptions of 15 recently completed or ongoing studies related to U.S. space launch.

Range Integrated Product Team (IPT) Report. In the fall of 1998, Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) commissioned a study on how to make their space launch ranges more efficient and customer friendly. The study was conducted by Air Force officers (retired and active) and others from government and industry. In mid-December 1998, AFSPC presented the results of this study to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. commercial space companies, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). AFSPC then formed teams to develop implementation plans for each of the study’s recommendations. Recommendations that could affect agency roles and responsibilities were remanded to Headquarters, U.S. Air Force.

Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety. One recommendation of the Range IPT report described above was that AFSPC sponsor “an independent technical assessment by the National Academy of Sciences of Air Force public safety methods and processes.” This report is the direct result of that recommendation.

Commercial Space Opportunities Study. In December 1998, the Air Force Chief of Staff initiated a study to identify opportunities for the Air Force to take advantage of developments in the growing commercial space sector. Separate teams addressed communications, remote sensing, navigation, launch range and satellite control, and launch. Each team included representatives of the Air Force, National Reconnaissance Office, and DoD. Some teams also included representatives of NASA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the FAA, and industry. The final report, which was completed in October 1999, concluded that the Air Force could benefit from more commercial involvement in space launch activities.

National Launch Capabilities Study. The Commercial Space Act of 1998 directed the secretary of defense to compare future space launch requirements to current capacity and address any shortfalls and funding responsibilities. The Air Force led this study, as specified in the act, and coordinated its activities with other elements of DoD, as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and NASA. The report, was delivered to Congress on July 8, 1999.

A Space Roadmap for the 21st Century Aerospace Force. In November 1998, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board completed a study that recommended changes for making the best use of space to accomplish the Air Force’s operational tasks in the twenty-first century. One section of the report noted that “deteriorating facilities and an increasingly commercial launch schedule create a serious Air Force burden.” The study recommended “transitioning national launch facilities to civilian operations with the Air Force as a tenant.”

National Security Council/Office of Science and Technology Policy Interagency Review. On March 29, 1999, the assistant to the president for science and technology and the assistant to the president for national security affairs requested that the secretaries of defense, commerce, and transportation, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the NASA administrator participate in an interagency review on the future management and use of the U.S. space launch bases and ranges, to be co-chaired by the National Security Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The review assessed civil, commercial, and national security roles and responsibilities for operations, maintenance, and modernization at the space launch bases and ranges. The formal review began in April 1999, and the interim recommendations were considered in formulating the fiscal year 2001 budget. The final report was released on February 8, 2000, and is available on line (http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OSTP/html/0029_6.html).



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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety Appendix D Studies Related to Space Launch Range Safety This appendix contains brief descriptions of 15 recently completed or ongoing studies related to U.S. space launch. Range Integrated Product Team (IPT) Report. In the fall of 1998, Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) commissioned a study on how to make their space launch ranges more efficient and customer friendly. The study was conducted by Air Force officers (retired and active) and others from government and industry. In mid-December 1998, AFSPC presented the results of this study to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. commercial space companies, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). AFSPC then formed teams to develop implementation plans for each of the study’s recommendations. Recommendations that could affect agency roles and responsibilities were remanded to Headquarters, U.S. Air Force. Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety. One recommendation of the Range IPT report described above was that AFSPC sponsor “an independent technical assessment by the National Academy of Sciences of Air Force public safety methods and processes.” This report is the direct result of that recommendation. Commercial Space Opportunities Study. In December 1998, the Air Force Chief of Staff initiated a study to identify opportunities for the Air Force to take advantage of developments in the growing commercial space sector. Separate teams addressed communications, remote sensing, navigation, launch range and satellite control, and launch. Each team included representatives of the Air Force, National Reconnaissance Office, and DoD. Some teams also included representatives of NASA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the FAA, and industry. The final report, which was completed in October 1999, concluded that the Air Force could benefit from more commercial involvement in space launch activities. National Launch Capabilities Study. The Commercial Space Act of 1998 directed the secretary of defense to compare future space launch requirements to current capacity and address any shortfalls and funding responsibilities. The Air Force led this study, as specified in the act, and coordinated its activities with other elements of DoD, as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and NASA. The report, was delivered to Congress on July 8, 1999. A Space Roadmap for the 21st Century Aerospace Force. In November 1998, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board completed a study that recommended changes for making the best use of space to accomplish the Air Force’s operational tasks in the twenty-first century. One section of the report noted that “deteriorating facilities and an increasingly commercial launch schedule create a serious Air Force burden.” The study recommended “transitioning national launch facilities to civilian operations with the Air Force as a tenant.” National Security Council/Office of Science and Technology Policy Interagency Review. On March 29, 1999, the assistant to the president for science and technology and the assistant to the president for national security affairs requested that the secretaries of defense, commerce, and transportation, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the NASA administrator participate in an interagency review on the future management and use of the U.S. space launch bases and ranges, to be co-chaired by the National Security Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The review assessed civil, commercial, and national security roles and responsibilities for operations, maintenance, and modernization at the space launch bases and ranges. The formal review began in April 1999, and the interim recommendations were considered in formulating the fiscal year 2001 budget. The final report was released on February 8, 2000, and is available on line (http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OSTP/html/0029_6.html).

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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety Defense Science Board Study of Air Force-Commercial Space Launch. The fiscal year 2000 Defense Authorization Bill requires that the secretary of defense study the future of Air Force and commercial space launches and submit a report in February 2000. The Defense Science Board has been assigned to conduct the study, which is now under way. Assessing and Achieving Customer Satisfaction at the Florida Launch Site. J.D. Powers and Associates built a customer model for the Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center complex at the behest of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the Air Force’s 45th Space Wing, Enterprise Florida, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin. A report on the customer model, released on July 9, 1999, makes three comments significant to the task of the Committee on Space Launch Range Safety: Safety is paramount to all launch range customers. The customer interface with launch range management (including launch range safety offices) must be simplified. Safety should undergo “zero-based rethinking.” Also in 1999, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Spaceport Florida Authority, Enterprise Florida, and the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing agreed to form a “spaceport management council” to manage and coordinate activities at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Station. The nature of this body and the participation of the federal agencies are still emerging. Volpe Center Study of Florida’s Role in Space. In 1999, Florida Governor Jeb Bush commissioned the Volpe Center to conduct a study of Florida’s role in space and its current status. The report is pending. A preliminary executive summary of the study is now circulating in the Florida state government, and a final draft is expected early in 2000. Aerospace Corporation Review of EWR 127-1. As a result of the Range IPT Report, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center chartered the Aerospace Corporation to characterize all requirements listed in EWR 127-1 and, if possible, determine the source or justification for each regulation. The review has been completed and results forwarded to AFSPC. Review of EWR 127-1 by the 30th and 45th Space Wings. The Space Wings also are reviewing EWR 127-1, mindful of the recommendations that have been and are being generated by the other studies listed in this appendix. An updated version of EWR 127-1 may be issued by the summer of 2000. In addition, both Space Wings routinely review launch range safety issues as part of their normal mission, often with the engineering and analysis support of outside consulting firms. Broad Area Review of Access to Space. The president directed the secretary of defense to report on the causes of recent failures of government space launches and to determine what actions should be taken to ensure future access to space. In response, AFSPC appointed retired Air Force Chief of Staff, General Larry Welch, to conduct a broad area review of the development, production, preparations, and launch of recent missions that ended in failure. The review included personnel from the Central Intelligence Agency, FAA, NASA, National Reconnaissance Office, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The resulting report, which was released in November 1999, focuses on actions the government should take to improve mission success in the future, especially with regard to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. The results of the study are available on line (www.af.mil/lib/misc/spacebar99.htm). American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Development of a National Standard for Commercial Launch Safety. The AIAA Space Launch Systems Committee conceived the idea of a commercial launch safety standard in 1992. Years of effort and many drafts later, a standard was approved on October 5, 1999, that provides guidelines for defining the safety responsibilities of ranges and users, safety requirements, and launch safety processes. International Standards Organization Development of International Standards for Safety Requirements in Launch Site Operations. Parallel to the AIAA effort described above, the International Standards Organization has been developing an international standard, Space Systems— Launch Site Operations—Safety Requirements (ISO DIS 14620), for use wherever ISO standards are invoked. This standard is still undergoing review and development. Department of Transportation Range Safety Standards. In accordance with its rule-making responsibilities and cognizance over the licensing of space launch operations for commercial launchers, the FAA, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has been developing its own safety standards. Largely derived from EWR 127-1, these emerging FAA regulations have the potential to become a national standard.