Posts Tagged E sub C calculations
Rocket science, rocket artistry, momentum-altering sorcery. Whatever term you apply to it, launching large rockets is serious business with the capacity to do a lot of harm if things go awry. Concerns about launch vehicles and their spacecraft inadvertently falling from the sky and hurting people or property loomed large in the minds of men in the early days of spaceflight. Before the Space Shuttle first flew, international law established that countries are responsible for the damage caused by spacecraft launched from their nation, regardless of where the damage occurred or who launched it.
In order to regulate and monitor the space transportation industry and share the burden of this potential liability, commercial space launch companies must apply for and obtain launch licenses from the FAA. The FAA cannot permit a launch unless the total expected average number of casualties (Ec) for the launch and subsequent mission is less than .00003. In other words, the FAA cannot issue a launch permit through the traditional launch licensing process if there is a better than 30 in a million chance that people will be harmed by a commercial launch. The FAA has outlined the general methods for making Ec calculations, but sometimes launch vehicle operators and the FAA arrive at different Ec values. Read the rest of this entry »