57

There are many reasons. They include money, intellectual property, regulations, and Elon Musk. Money. Building open source software is relatively inexpensive, sometimes ridiculously inexpensive. No equipment is needed as most programmers have their own computers. There are many open source software projects where the developers do their work for free. ...


41

The FAA is not responsible for every US vehicle as that other answer alluded to. FAA licensing covers pilots, commercial aircraft, aircraft operators, and commercial spacecraft Earth launches and entries. In layman terms, it does not cover spacecraft operations beyond the atmospheric of Earth. Government licensing is not required for government projects ...


38

Because it's required by law (51 USC Ch. 509: Commercial Space Launch Activities) and by FAA regulations (14 CFR Chapter III - Commercial Space Launch Activities, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation) that implement those laws. Even amateur rockets are subject to some FAA regulations. A rocket going up 10 km is subject to quite a few ...


27

To expand a bit on David Hammen's answer, the reasons for the regulations requiring FAA permits for rocket launches are related to public safety (or sometimes the egos of bureaucrats, but mostly public safety.) There are a couple of particular areas that these fall under: Range Safety Obviously, rockets carry a lot of fuel and often very toxic materials (e.g....


22

No According to the FAA itself, licensing is for private individuals and companies, and applies only to the launch and re-entry parts of the flight: An FAA license is required for any launch or reentry, or the operation of any launch or reentry site, by U.S. citizens anywhere in the world, or by any individual or entity within the United States. But no FAA ...


18

Really what it means is "Category 3" certified, with an additional review of a self-destruct situation to prevent breaking the nuclear payload. Category 3 is also what is required to launch humans, and in fact the final milestone in the Commercial Crew is to rate the system Category 3. It is required for any kind of sensitive launch. Note that man rated ...


12

If such a thing happened, it would most likely have been during the approach and rendezvous of the LM ascent stage with the CM, as Conrad and Bean were returning from the lunar surface. The most challenging part of the mission would be behind them and there would be a little window of time where they could maneuver around on the RCS thrusters without any ...


11

Geostationary slots are a rare resource and are assigned to countries by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) since they are mainly used for communications and broadcasting, and need deconfliction both in frequency allocation (to reduce interference - the main raison d'être of ITU-R as a division of the ITU) and in collision avoidance (tighter ...


11

In the USA you must be at least 18 years old for the following, so that video may be incorrect. For example HPR Level 1 Certification by the National Association of Rocketry or NAR provides certification for: Level 1 allows the purchase and use of H and I impulse class motors; solid and hybrid. Certain F and G motors may also require Level 1 certification ...


10

Sorry for being a few weeks late to this, but hopefully I can shed some light on how to think about it. The ISRO launch of these satellites is legally problematic in several ways. First, and as already mentioned in the question itself as well as another answer, one key issue here is Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty. For purposes of this launch, a key ...


9

The satellites were launched on a vehicle operated by the indian government, with (at least implicit) permission of India. This is clearly not a violation of the Outer Space Treaty, it only means that India is now ultimately liable for damages caused by these satellites. If India didn't want to assume liability itself, it should have required the satellite ...


9

Are you interested in the liability for damage and contamination or the ownership? Either way there are holes you could drive a bus through. Most importantly in what follows, please bear in mind that I am not a lawyer. However it is edifying to recall that barristers are in aggregate wrong 50% of the time by definition, as it is an adversarial role with a ...


9

For your specific example, the answer is cost. Nobody is going to spend hundreds of millions (or even just 1% of that) just to prank a community of astronomers. For other examples? What stops China or Russia from launching a set of rockets to destroy GPS satellites, or military communication satellites? Neither country wants to initiate World War III. ...


8

There is a standard clause included in all GPS receiver manuals regarding COCOM Limits. I cannot find the source of this clause, but since it is worded exactly the same in all the manuals I could find, I assumed it was probably derived directly from the regulation at some point: COCOM Limits The U.S. Department of Commerce requires that all ...


8

The Federal Aviation Administration is the United States' Federal Government organization responsible for every US vehicle that flies. The Electron flies, and it is launched by a US company, hence, it falls under the jurisdiction of the FAA, more precisely under the jurisdiction of the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation. This is based on ...


7

Out of jurisdiction Per outer space treaty, Mars is not in the jurisdiction of any US Government Agency.


7

I'm going to assume here that both states are parties to the Liability Convention (see page 14 of that pdf) ("Convention"), which is likely since most spacefaring states are currently parties. That Convention pretty much answers your questions, so I'll summarize. First, you say that both parties may have been negligent, but that no one intended ...


6

Vector flew their test at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry site, which has permits from the FAA to fly to 50,000 feet on weekends without obtaining additional permits per launch. For early tests of avionics and such, Vector can save time and money that way.


6

It seems the host country of the company requires a permit. This has been done by only one company that I'm aware of, Sea Launch. Sea Launch was licensed by the FCC, as it was managed by Boeing. If it's not a company, then it would be the host country. And quite frankly, if a person don't have citizenship of any country, then they seem unlikely to be in such ...


6

The European Space Agency (ESA) is subject to the Regulations of the European Space Agency. One of these documents is ESA/REG/008 - Rules on Information, Data and Intellectual Property, the goal of which is stated as follows: The Rules on Information, Data and Intellectual Property, as adopted by Council on 19 December 2001 under the reference ESA/C/CLV/...


6

The regulations and international guidelines for space debris were recently overhauled in 2018 after a long 20+ year lull. This is key to prevent any accidents in space as the number of low orbit launches increase exponentially. The FCC, European Space Agency and UN have all begun to lay out plans for the "mitigation of orbital debris in the new space age". ...


6

Why does the NOAA require a permit to be issued to stream images of the earth? It's not just streaming. It includes all mechanisms for taking images of the Earth from space and somehow having that imagery get back to Earth. Why do these regulations exist? One reason is the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. This treaty, to which the US is a party, deems that ...


6

I think the answer to this is basically no or at least not any harder than other 1U CubeSats. I base this answer on two lines of argument. Also your data above more or less proves what I am about to say. First, this quote from Swarm co-founder Sara Spangelo "All seven SpaceBEE satellites launched to date have been consistently tracked by both the Space ...


6

Yes, and you've answered the question in your question! As you note, the FAA regulates launch and reentry for US-based operations. As part of this regulation, the FAA sends around applications to the U.S. Government interagency for comment before approval. One of the questions they ask is whether there are any planetary protection issues with the proposal....


5

Here is what the NASA Software FAQ says: The release type determines who can have a NASA software code. If you meet the access criteria for the code (as defined below), NASA can transfer the software to you. Release types: General Public Release: For codes with a broad release and no nondisclosure or export control restrictions Open Source ...


5

The National and Commercial Space Programs Act (NCSPA) says: It is unlawful for any person who is subject to the jurisdiction or control of the United States, directly or through any subsidiary or affiliate to operate a private remote sensing space system without possession of a valid license issued under the Act and the regulations. You can find that ...


5

I found this document which seems to be a checklist of requirements for the CubeSat launch systems. Listed in section 2 seems to be all the documentation and compliance the CubeSat launch provider would have to supply/meet. I would assume that they would need similar documentation on each Cube also. Everyone mentions a NASA safety review, but details are ...


5

If you read ULA's "Aft Bulkhead Carrier Auxiliary Payload User's Guide" found here: "http://www.ulalaunch.com/Products_AtlasV.aspx" , you'll find details about the requirements for Auxiliary Payloads (AP). Primarily, it says the Auxiliary Payload Coordinator (APC) is responsible for making sure the CubeSat meets ULA's requirements for Atlas V launches. ...


5

ITAR regulations restrict the defense-related information you can share with non-U.S. persons. There is no distinction between the rules applicable to a government agency like NASA or private contractors like SpaceX, Lockheed Martin etc. Abiding by ITAR regulations is crucial for businesses in order to maintain a continual trust with their government ...


5

Another candidate for Al Bean driving during the trip back is this line from day 9 of the mission. 211:18:45 Conrad: In case you're watching the DSKY, it's a little OJT [on the job training] for Al, and we won't torque. What Al Bean's doing is a "P52", adjusting the alignment of the Inertial Measurement Unit based on star sightings. When Conrad says "we ...


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