Don't Go Ballistic


In what amounts to a memo from the Office of Sanity, the FAA is withdrawing a previously published direct final rule that would have allowed launch operators that conduct certain amateur rocket launches to voluntarily apply for a commercial space transportation license or experimental permit.

According to the agency’s Nov. 14 notice in the Federal Register, it received “several adverse comments” on its Aug. 22 regulation. To be sure, the licensing would have been voluntary, and it was proffered as one way to support larger launch operators that, under contract with NASA, were required to obtain an FAA launch license.

But commenters pointed to issues with the potential cost to small businesses and the government, both in terms of the resources necessary for preparing and evaluating applications and in conditional payment of excess claims commonly referred to as “indemnification.” Others vociferously doubted whether amateur rockets could ever meet higher, Class III requirements, whether applying those requirements to smaller Class I vehicles made sense or was necessary, and whether safety issues were created.
Nevermind, says FAA. Happy Thanksgiving!

[Edited 11/26/12 6:20PM]

Please or Register to post comments.

What's On Space?

On Space

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Sep 18, 2015

The U.S.-Russian Moon Landing That Never Happened (1963) 7

U.S. President John F. Kennedy is well known for the 1961 speech to Congress in which he made the Apollo program a national goal. Less remembered is his controversial offer two years later to cooperate with the Soviet Union on a manned lunar landing....More
Sep 10, 2015

Airbus A380 Is Your Hotel In The Sky (2001) 5

In a September 2001 advertisement, Airbus promised to bring glamour back to passenger travel with its new A380, comparing the double-decker airliner to a hotel....More
Sep 9, 2015

Pratt & Whitney's Record Behind the DC-6 Record (1947) 2

Pratt & Whitney takes to the cover of AVIATION to credit its Double Wasp engines for the DC-6's record transatlantic flight....More
Aug 27, 2015

Aviation Week Lifts Veil On Boeing B-52 Bomber (1952) 22

In 1952, Aviation Week provided the first details on the new Boeing B-52 bomber....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×