Reducing Cabin Lethality in Commercial Spacecraft

Manned spaceflight activities have historically been the result of highly regulated government endeavors. These endeavors have ensured occupant protection in spacecraft by implementing varying safety designs and mitigation strategies aimed at both nominal occupant protection and contingency survival. However, the commercialization of spaceflight has led to the competitive development of multiple spacecraft and flight systems, each vying for the opportunity to transport individuals to suborbital or orbital destinations. There are currently no regulations in place regarding the optimization of crew compartments to promote the survival of occupants during manned aerospace vehicle operations. Dedicated efforts towards the de-lethalization and advanced crashworthiness of any spaceflight vehicle will improve the safety of commercial space endeavors. The development of regulations or standard safety minimums will ensure that commercial space passengers will be protected in the vehicle environment in both nominal and contingency operations regardless of commercial carrier utilized. There is a pressing need for such regulations to be put in place as soon as possible to allow for vehicles currently in development to be best designed for occupant protection.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Program Information: Center of Excellence, CoE


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Davidian, Ken

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Texas Medical Branch

    301 University Boulevard
    Galveston, TX  United States  77555-0144
  • Principal Investigators:

    Vanderploeg, Jim

  • Start Date: 20140701
  • Expected Completion Date: 20150817
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01575520
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 10-C-CST-UTMB-30
  • Files: RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 3 2015 10:37AM