8th IAASS Conference – Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, USA (18-20th May)
The conference commenced with an introduction from the IAASS President, Isabelle Rognier (seen further below with Andy at the Gala Dinner) and she played an IAASS-complied video of pretty much all space accidents since the last conference 18 months ago (which was also nicely balanced with successes/new projects during this period). There have been quite a few accidents ranging from Space-X launch failure, to Orbital Sciences, Russian Proton vehicle failures and the SpaceShip2 accident. Isabelle concluded that we need better standards and guidance because in the space community, one accident is everybody’s accident.
The conference was blessed with the following keynote speakers:
Roberto Battiston (President Italian Space Agency), Kiyoshi Higuchi (President International Astronautics Federation and VP ret. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Jan Droz Deputy Director of Safety, Security and Environment French Space Agency (CNES)), Guy A. Boy (Dean School of Human Centred Design, Innovation and Arts, Florida Institute of Technology)
Charles Bolden (Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration), Andrew M. Mueller (Chief of Safety United States Air Force), George Nield (Associated Administrator Federal Aviation Administration for Commercial Space Transportation), Jules Schneider (Orion Program, AIP Manager Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company), Christophe Chicher (Head of System Design and Performance Airbus DS)
As usual there were many parallel sessions to choose from and there were excellent presentations from ‘safety by design’ and launch safety to Space & Air Traffic Management and of course Commercial Spaceflight Safety.
Andy presented SABRE – An Enabler for Space Access.
Andy also presented a paper on the SpaceShip2 accident in relation to safety and human factors.
Kathryn Wilson (NTSB) gave an in-depth presentation on the SpaceShip2 accident and she was joined by Todd Ericson for the questions.
A special mention must go to Chuck Lauer who gave an excellent hour-long presentation (S035) on the ‘A Global Perspective On Suborbital Commercial Human Spaceflight Safety’; here he gave an overview on where the suborbital industry is at including vehicles and spaceports.
Commercial Human Spaceflight Safety Panel
This panel discussed the merits of standards & guidelines and possible Space Safety Institute. It was a pleasure to have Todd Ericson (Virgin Galactic Head of Safety & Test) on the panel to hear his thoughts on this important topic.
Andy presented Reaction Engine’s SABRE and Skylon and this was followed by Hypersonic, Space Transit, and Space Access Flight Test by Lockheed Martin’s Timothy Jorris.
The Gala Dinner was held at the Kennedy Space Centre. Aperitifs and excellent Antipasti was held next to Space Shuttle Atlantis(awesome), after an impressive video of Atlantis in the Dome.
We then went to a separate hall for the dinner. After the awards ceremony with excellent recipients including Bll Ailor, Ram Jakhu and Professor Nancy Leveson (a previous Technical Committee Chair), Andy received a memento for presenting the Plenary on behalf of Reaction Engines.