SpaceX Announces Independent Safety Advisory Panel For Commercial Crew


  Bookmark and Share

SpaceX Announces Independent Safety Advisory Panel For Commercial Crew

By Mike Mitchell

March 30, 2012 - Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), one of the leading private companies working to restore America’s ability to carry astronauts to the Space Station, announced it has assembled a team of outside experts to help the company create the world’s safest human spaceflight system. 

“When it comes to manned spaceflight, safety is our top priority,” said SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer, Elon Musk. “These experts will provide us with important insights as we prepare to carry astronauts on the next generation of American spacecraft.” 

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or more popularly and informally known as SpaceX, is an American space transport company headquartered in Hawthorne, California.

It was founded in 2002 by former PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk. It has developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 space boosters, both of which are built with a goal of becoming reusable launch vehicles. SpaceX is also developing the Dragon spacecraft to be flown into orbit by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

In order to control quality and costs, SpaceX designs, tests and fabricates the majority of their components in-house, including the Merlin, Kestrel, and Draco rocket engines used on the Falcon launch vehicles and the Dragon spacecraft. In 2006, NASA awarded the company a Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract to design and demonstrate a launch system to resupply cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). On 9 December 2010, the launch of the COTS Demo Flight 1 mission, SpaceX became the first privately-funded company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft. 

NASA has also awarded SpaceX a contract to develop and demonstrate a human-rated Dragon as part of its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program to transport crew to the ISS. SpaceX is planning its first crewed Dragon/Falcon9 flight in 2015, when it expects to have a fully certified, human-rated launch escape system incorporated into the spacecraft. 

The independent Safety Advisory Panel is composed of leading human spaceflight safety experts, including several former NASA astronauts and senior NASA officials. Among the experts joining the SpaceX Safety Advisory Panel are: 


- Dr. Leroy Chiao, PhD, Former NASA astronaut, Former International Space Station commander, member of the Augustine Commission (Review of United States Human Spaceflight Plans Committee).   

- Dr. G. Scott Hubbard, Former Director of NASA Ames Research Center, Stanford University professor of aeronautics and astronautics, sole NASA representative on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.   

- Dr. Richard T. Jennings, MD, MS, Former Chief of Medicine for NASA Johnson Space Center, University of Texas Medical Branch professor at the Aerospace Medicine Center.   

- Captain Mark Kelly, Former NASA astronaut, Former Space Shuttle commander, Retired Navy Captain.   

- Dr. Edward Lu, PhD, Former NASA astronaut.

The panel will provide objective assessments of the safety of the Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to help SpaceX maintain the highest level of safety. The panel will convene in the fall of 2012 and will continue its work well after SpaceX begins flying people to space.

Other News Stories
(For the latest news please checkout our home page)



blog comments powered by Disqus  
Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ©AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share


AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator