Planning for the unfortunate but the inevitable

It will happen, sooner or later: a commercial suborbital passenger spacecraft will have an accident, injuring or killing some or all of the people on board. What sort of reaction will the accident trigger among the general public and members of Congress? How should the industry and its regulators, the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST), react? The Space Frontier Foundation announced last night that it is working with FAA/AST to solicit ideas on how to respond when such an accident occurs. “Nobody wants to think about it, and yet we must be prepared to deal with the consequences,” said Space Frontier Foundation executive director Jeff Krukin in an email message last night. The Foundation has created a five-question survey to collect ideas for the messages, audiences, and methods of communication in the event of an accident. The surveyis open through 5 pm EST January 30th.

[Disclaimer: while my employer performs work for FAA/AST, we are not involved in this survey.]

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