Zimmerman Strikes Again

I spoke to soon when it came to the FAA's new guidelines for sub-orbital space tourism. So much for optimism. Robert Zimmerman basically proves that I was incredibly naive to think so.

At first I thought that the medical requirements seemed sound. Though Zimmerman clearly points out how difficult it would have been for the commercial airline travel to get off the ground if passengers had to submit their medical records to a "doctor familiar with Aerospace science." Also I didn't realize that the information on safety records applied to all sub-orbital launch vehicles everywhere - not just for the company in question. That being said I still think these regulations are minor compared to what some people wanted:
"For years," Oberstar complained, "both I and many of my colleagues on the aviation subcommittee have criticized the FAA for waiting until after a disaster to take safety actions, and have urged more proactive safety oversight."


"My bill would give the FAA the flexibilityto create a regulatory structure governing the design or operation of a launch vehicle," he said, "to protect the health and safety of crews and spaceflight participants as is necessary, without having to wait for a catastrophic failure to occur."

First of all you have a better chance of getting killed in your car than you do on a commercial jet. Oberstar should get a grip on reality. If aviation were really that bad the passengers, let alone the pilots, would never get into a commercial jet. Second, this aint the commercial aviation industry. If the Wright Brothers had as much safety regulations that today's average commercial airliner has, they would have never been allowed by the FAA to get within 100 feet of a runway. Literally the first airplanes were flimsly wooden machines that could crash any second. If the FAA had regulated them the way Oberstar wants, it would been death for the dream of flight.

This little tidbit was classic:

"For manned orbital platforms and other on-orbit activities. There's no statute that specifically provides for licensing and regulation," he said.

"Some believe that regulatory certainty is helpful when trying to access capital markets. ... Over time, as the industry matures, it may require further regulation (of orbital activities). It may even want it."

This elicited a response from Greason: "My goodness, there is an unregulated activity! We must do something about that! I speak as that strange and regrettably increasingly rare beast - an American. I don't have to have a law telling me it's OK to do something."

For those of you that don't know, this is one of the primary reasons why we still don't have a permanent human presence in space, why we haven't returned to the moon in 30 years, and why governments dominate space exploration.

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