This chapter details the performance-based regulatory framework for space transportation developed by the US Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA AST). The aim of the framework adopted by the FAA AST is to ensure the protection of the public, property and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States during commercial launch or re-entry activities, and it encourages, facilitates and promotes US commercial space transportation. In fulfilling its safety mission FAA AST grants a licence or a permit to a launch vehicle operator based on the operator’s demonstration that it has met the applicable requirements of the US Code of Federal Regulations. Given the success of this approach, the FAA AST has recently started undertaking international cooperation efforts to assist other administrations in developing a similar approach. Keywords: commercial space transportation; US federal law: safety; international cooperation
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