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Feb 06 2014

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Only three?

3 Ways Red Tape Could Ground Private Space. I can think of a few more…but to the author’s point, I am beginning to think that NASA should not assume the regulatory role that the FAA does for commercial air space.

No agency should. In fact, I believe the US government should not pick up any more indemnity than the $3 billion that the CSLA requires. Perhaps it should indemnify even less. That may seem to be a disadvantage to US companies compared to foreign companies, but hear me out.

I believe the free market would provide the following solution: Launchers and passenger haulers would require insurance to cover losses if a rocket…say…exploded on the pad and killed all the space tourists and crew on board. Insurance companies would not provide insurance unless they were fairly certain that the chance of such a catastrophic loss was remote. In order to convince the insurance companies so, the commercial space companies would have to demonstrate a very reasonable safety approach.

Bottom line — the lack of full indemnity requires space companies to build safety into their systems, far more so than if the government covered all costs in case of loss. In fact, the less the government subsidizes loss, the more safety-conscience the space companies will become.

Even a heavily regulated industry such as the airline industry still cannot prevent airplane crashes, so to what benefit do regulations provide?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/02/06/only-three/

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