Commercial Space Transportation: Industry Trends, Government Challenges, and International Competitiveness Issues

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since a peak of 22 U.S. commercial space launches in fiscal year 1998, the annual number of launches generally ranged from 4 to 9 launches. The number of commercial space launches is expected to increase in the next 8 years as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to procure 51 launches from commercial cargo companies to resupply the International Space Station. FAA also expects space tourism to begin in the next several years, although no companies have applied for a FAA launch license and companies developing ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. June 20, 2012.

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Description

Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since a peak of 22 U.S. commercial space launches in fiscal year 1998, the annual number of launches generally ranged from 4 to 9 launches. The number of commercial space launches is expected to increase in the next 8 years as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to procure 51 launches from commercial cargo companies to resupply the International Space Station. FAA also expects space tourism to begin in the next several years, although no companies have applied for a FAA launch license and companies developing these services have experienced delays in the past. FAA faces several challenges overseeing the commercial space launch industry. For example, FAA expects its licensing and oversight responsibilities to expand in anticipation of an increased private sector role, suggesting that FAA and Congress must remain vigilant so that potential conflicts in FAA’s safety oversight and industry promotion roles do not occur. Also, as the commercial space launch industry grows and FAA continues to implement NextGen—FAA’s effort to develop a more automated, aircraft-centered, satellite-based air traffic management system—the agency will have to manage a mix of earth-based aircraft and space vehicles. FAA has begun to consider integrating spaceflight operations into NextGen. In past work, GAO recommended that FAA take several actions to improve its oversight of commercial space launches, including monitoring indicators of space tourism safety. FAA has taken some steps to address the recommendations."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 20, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Commercial Space Transportation: Industry Trends, Government Challenges, and International Competitiveness Issues, text, June 20, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc296640/: accessed July 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.