Thursday, December 29, 2005

Feds Prepare 120-Page "Rule Book" for Future Space Tourists

If you enjoy reading footnotes to the US tax code as prepared by the IRS, then you're gonna love the new 120 page rule book for space tourists prepared by the Federal Aviation Administration.
It's not actually a rule book--more like a list of precautionary statements and advisements intended to make certain the customer understands exactly how much risk is involved in a space launch.

Attention Everyone: Space travel may be hazardous to your health.

The Bush administration has promised to remain out of the business of forcing rules and regulations on the burgeoning space tourism industry, so long as nobody gets killed, or seriously injured. If that were to happen, then the FAA would step in with safety regulations for everything from the launch pad itself to what kind of seatbelts they use inside and how many different languages the tourist should be required to learn before lift-off.

As the bureaucratic nightmare grows, a coalition of space enthusiasts has formed to prevent it from becoming an impassable quagmire.

SpaceShip One designer Burt Rutan has stated previously FAA regulations nearly derailed his project and at the very least caused expensive delays which in his opinion did not serve to increase the safety of the craft.

In my opinion, when it comes to spaceship safety, I'd rather listen to the engineers who built the ship than the Congressmen who legislate the rules that govern how they are permitted to make money...

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