City Research Online

New safety model for the commercial human spaceflight industry

Quinn, A., Bond, S.J. & Maropoulos, P. (2011). New safety model for the commercial human spaceflight industry. Paper presented at the Fifth IAASS Conference: A Safer Space for a Safer World, 17-10-2011 - 19-10-2011, Versailles, France.


The aviation and space domains have safety guidelines and recommended practices for Design Organisations (DOs) and Operators alike. In terms of Aerospace DOs there are certification criteria to meet and to demonstrate compliance there are Advisory Circulars or Acceptable Means of Compliance to follow. Additionally there are guidelines such as Aerospace Recommended Practices (ARP), Military Standards (MIL-STD 882 series) and System Safety Handbooks to follow in order to identify and manage failure conditions. In terms of Operators there are FAA guidelines and a useful ARP that details many tools and techniques in understanding Operator Safety Risks. However there is currently no methodology for linking the DO and Operator safety efforts. In the space domain NASA have provided safety standards and guidelines to follow and also within Europe there are European Co-operation of Space Standardization (ECSS) to follow. Within the emerging Commercial Human Spaceflight Industry, the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation has provided hazard analysis guidelines. However all of these space domain safety documents are based on the existing aerospace methodology and once again, there is no link between the DO and Operator’s safety effort.

This paper addresses the problematic issue and presents a coherent methodology of joining up the System Safety effort of the DOs to the Operator Safety Risk Management such that a ‘Total System’ approach is adopted. Part of the rationale is that the correct mitigation (control) can be applied within the correct place in the accident sequence. Also this contiguous approach ensures that the Operator is fully aware of the safety risks (at the accident level) and therefore has an appreciation of the Total System Risk.

The authors of this paper contend that it is better practice to have a fully integrated safety model as opposed to disparate requirements or guidelines. Our methodology is firstly to review ‘best practice’ approaches from the aviation and space industries, and then to integrate these approaches into a contiguous safety model for the commercial human spaceflight industry.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
Download (761kB) | Preview



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login