Commercial spaceflight offers significant national security, economic, and societal benefits. Financial experts project that the global space economy will significantly grow over the next two decades. However, spaceflight is also a risk-prone and capital-intensive endeavor that currently has no industry-wide best practices, norms, or standards related to the safety of space operations.
Just as the U.S. automotive, maritime, and aviation industries have benefited from having technically informed safety standards, best practices, and “rules of the road,” it is likely that activities in space could similarly benefit from technically driven analyses to inform protocols, standards, and best practices for operating safely in space.
Vision of the Space Safety Institute
The vision of the Space Safety Institute at The Aerospace Corporation is to move toward space activities that are safe, to promote economic and scientific development, and to support the long-term sustainability of outer space. As a trusted partner solving the hardest problems for the space enterprise, Aerospace is a nonprofit organization that supports our customers with independent, objective, technical expertise and insight free from conflicts of interest.
The Space Safety Institute will achieve this vision through independence, integrity, objectivity, and agility by:
- Providing sound science and engineering-based judgments informed by deep expertise in all aspects of spaceflight, launch, and reentry safety and space operations
- Collaborating with relevant science and engineering organizations
- Educating the next generation of spaceflight safety experts
Mission Areas of the Space Safety Institute
The Space Safety Institute will provide independent technical support to advance space safety systematically and holistically through innovation and collaboration in the following mission areas:
- Launch and Reentry Safety
- Space Operations Assurance
- Space Situational Awareness
- Cybersecurity Implementation
The Space Safety Institute will deliver independent safety assessments to enhance the safety of space and space-related activities for government, commercial, and international customers. It will also provide a collaborative framework to support industry standards for safe space operations in all aspects, including launch, operating in space, reentry, and cyber in addition to fundamental safety research and development and disseminating results through training, workshops, and publications.
Aerospace will support Space Safety Institute mission areas with the following activities:
- Independent assessments
- Standards and best practices
- Research and development
- Infrastructure, tools, and data
- Policy and strategy development
- Safety education
Policy and Strategy
The Center for Space Policy and Strategy at Aerospace contributes to a variety of aspects of policy and strategy development. Its main goal is to help shape the future by developing fresh insights into the roles of space and technology in national priorities and by disseminating information and ideas through external publications, events, and government-directed projects.
Aerospace is establishing the Space Safety Institute on a network of people who have experience and interest in a variety of complementary areas. These experts identify and characterize the overlap between policy and technical and economic factors that shape government policy selection. The Institute will cultivate interdisciplinary and international links within the space community, working directly with government space agencies and with many types and sizes of other entities, from large aerospace firms to entrepreneurs to academic researchers.
Aerospace continuously disseminates and publishes information learned from independent research related to virtually all aspects of space safety. This includes:
- Launch and reentry safety
- Spacecraft and spacecraft component manufacturing, design, production, operation, and disposal
- Environments that may affect space vehicle mission success
Much of this information is published and presented at conferences and in publications and is available on our website.
Contact us today to find out more.