Sample Experimental Permit Application

We've seen the shiny new regulations governing experimental permits for reusable suborbital rockets. Wy don't the thoughtful folks at FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) post a sample reusable suborbital rocket experimental permit application?

Well they have.

Here you go:
Sample Experimental Permit Application for a Vertical Launch and Landing Reusable Suborbital Rocket with a crew. (74-page PDF) This sample application illustrates "acceptable means, but not the only means, for demonstrating compliance with Experimental Permit application requirements."

FAA's hypo here (reminds me of a law school exam): The fictional company BlueSky Aerospace "wants to develop a reusable vertical launch and landing rocket to be flown for the purpose of research and development. BlueSky seeks an FAA Experimental Permit to conduct its research and development tests within an operating area located south of SpaceCity, MyState. This potential operator proposes a two-tiered development program: 1) The short-term goal is to conduct launches, under an Experimental Permit, to 40,000 ft (12 km) and 328,000 ft (100 km) with a crewed suborbital rocket; 2) The long-term goal is to develop an operational reusable suborbital launch vehicle capable of carrying one pilot and two paying passengers to an altitude of 100 km in order to experience about four minutes of zero gravity. BlueSky will seek a Launch License to operate this reusable suborbital launch vehicle."

The sample document demonstrates what BlueSky has to submit to FAA/AST to apply for an experimental permit under 14 CFR part 437. Take a look.

And here's a handy Word file of a
Sample Experimental Permit Application Format, complete with citations to all applicable CFR section; again, it's not the required format, just a helpful example. As FAA gamely instructs, "an applicant may use any other logical and complete format."

FAA has 120 days from accepting a completed application to make a determination as to whether to issue the experimental permit. If the agency finds the application is incomplete, or finds "issues exist that would negatively affect a permit determination," it will notify the applicant in writing.

It's legal stuff, not exactly rocket science. Building the rockets is the cool part.

* * *
UPDATE: Don't forget FAA's
experimental permit workshop, May 16, 2007.

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