For my next project at CEI, I’m planning to do an Issue Analysis (similar to the one I did on Space Property Rights) laying out the history of risk and safety regulations, to provide some context for what is happening with both commercial crew (and other human spaceflight) at NASA, and with potential regulations that the FAA-AST may impose when the moratorium ends in 2015 (it will also make the case for extension). Broadly, it will make the case for a flexible approach, and to avoid a one-size-fits-all regime that could stifle, or even prevent the creation of the human spaceflight industry, both because it is too immature to have the sort of rigorous certification system currently in place for modern aviation, and because different people will have different risk tolerances for different experiences and prices. There will also be some philosophy in it about nanny statism, and the fact that our current obsession with safety is a sign that space isn’t societally important (for example, I’ll point out that if it were, we’d be sending volunteers on one-way missions already). It will also become a chapter in a forthcoming book.
I have a blog post up on the subject. Any questions people have can be asked in comments over there.
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