Meet the Personal Spaceflight Federation
Here on the Probe, we say, bring on the space standards. You bet. Standards are good for business, in any industry from railroads to automobiles to aviation to commercial space. (An old report, Voluntary Industry Standards and their Relationship to Government Programs, by the Department of Transportation's Office of Commercial Space Transportation, pre-FAA/AST but still interesting, applauds space industry standards while fondly recalling things like standardized threaded screws.) And the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-492), signed by President Bush in December 2004, calls for the establishment of industry standards covering the safety of passengers and crew on commercial vehicles.
An Alan Boyle article quotes Federation spokesman Gregg Maryniak, who is executive director of the X Prize Foundation, as saying, "This new legislation basically says that government and industry need to work together to come up with safety standards, and we believe very strongly that industry's going to have to come up with a product that's considerably safer than the current civil space program."
Well, we look forward to the work of the new Federation, and its Voluntary Personal Spaceflight Industry Consensus Standards Organization.