(a) General.(1) The Challenger accident marked a major change in the U.S. outlook and policies with respect to the flight of other than NASA astronauts. NASA and interested external parties, domestic and international, must re-examine previous understandings, expectations, and commitments regarding flight opportunities in light of the new policies now being enunciated.
(2) NASA policies and their implementation recognize that:
(i) Every flight of the Shuttle involves risks;
(ii) Flight opportunities will now generally be limited to professional NASA astronauts and payload specialists essential for mission requirements; and
(iii) Top priority must be given to:
(A) Establishing, proving, and maintaining the reliability and safety of the Shuttle system;
(B) Timely and efficient reduction of the backlog of high priority scientific and national security missions; and maximum utilization of the Shuttle capacity for primary and secondary payloads that require transportation to or from orbit by the Space Shuttle.
(3) All Shuttle flights will be planned with a minimum NASA crew of five astronauts (commander, pilot, and three mission specialists). When payload or other mission requirements define a need and operational constraints permit, the crew size can be increased to a maximum of seven. Any such additional crew members must be identified at least 12 months before flight and be available for crew integration at 6 months.
(4) NASA policy and terminology are revised to recognize two categories of persons other than NASA astronauts, each of which requires separate policy treatment. They are:
(i) Payload specialists, redefined to refer to persons other than NASA astronauts (commanders, pilots, and mission specialists), whose presence is required onboard the Space Shuttle to perform specialized functions with respect to operation of one or more payloads or other essential mission activities.
(ii) Space flight participants, defined to refer to persons whose presence onboard the Space Shuttle is not required for operation of payloads or for other essential mission activities, but is determined by the Administrator of NASA to contribute to other approved NASA objectives or to be in the national interest.
(b) Payload specialists. Payload specialists may be added to Shuttle crews when more than the minimum crew size of five is needed and unique requirements are involved. In the case of foreign-sponsored missions and payloads, the need and requirements for payload specialists will be negotiated and mutually agreed between the foreign sponsors and NASA. The selection process for additional crew members to meet approved requirements will first give consideration to qualified NASA mission specialists. When payload specialists are required, they will be nominated by the appropriate NASA, foreign, or other designated payload sponsor. In the case of NASA or NASA-related payloads, the nominations will be based on the recommendations of the appropriate Investigator Working Group (IWG).
(c) Space flight participants. NASA remains committed to the long-term goal of providing space flight opportunities for persons outside the professional categories of NASA astronauts and payload specialists when this contributes to approved NASA objectives or is determined to be in the national interest. However, NASA is devoting its attention to proving the Shuttle system's capability for safe, reliable operation and to reducing the backlog of high priority missions. Accordingly, flight opportunities for space flight participants are not available at this time. NASA will assess Shuttle operations and mission and payload requirements on an annual basis to determine when it can begin to allocate and assign space flight opportunities for future space flight participants, consistent with safety and mission considerations. When NASA determines that a flight opportunity is available for a space flight participant, first priority will be given to a “teacher in space,” in fulfillment of space education plans.
Title 14 published on 2012-01-01
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This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.