14 CFR § 450.101 - Safety criteria.

prev | next
§ 450.101 Safety criteria.

(a) Launch risk criteria. For any launch, an operator may initiate the flight of a launch vehicle only if all risks to the public satisfy the criteria in this paragraph (a). For an orbital launch, the criteria in this paragraph apply from liftoff through orbital insertion. For a suborbital launch, or a suborbital launch and reentry, the criteria in this paragraph apply from liftoff through final impact or landing.

(1) Collective risk. The collective risk, measured as expected number of casualties (EC), consists of risk posed by impacting inert and explosive debris, toxic release, and far field blast overpressure. Public risk due to any other hazard associated with the proposed flight of a launch vehicle will be determined by the Administrator on a case-by-case basis.

(i) The risk to all members of the public, excluding persons in aircraft and neighboring operations personnel, must not exceed an expected number of 1 × 104 casualties.

(ii) The risk to all neighboring operations personnel must not exceed an expected number of 2 × 104 casualties.

(2) Individual risk. The individual risk, measured as probability of casualty (PC), consists of risk posed by impacting inert and explosive debris, toxic release, and far field blast overpressure. The FAA will determine whether to approve public risk due to any other hazard associated with the proposed flight of a launch vehicle on a case-by-case basis.

(i) The risk to any individual member of the public, excluding neighboring operations personnel, must not exceed a probability of casualty of 1 × 106 per launch.

(ii) The risk to any individual neighboring operations personnel must not exceed a probability of casualty of 1 × 105 per launch.

(3) Aircraft risk. A launch operator must establish any aircraft hazard areas necessary to ensure the probability of impact with debris capable of causing a casualty for aircraft does not exceed 1 × 106.

(4) Risk to critical assets.

(i) The risk to critical assets, measured as the probability of loss of functionality, must not exceed the following probabilities:

(A) For each critical asset, except for a critical payload, 1 × 103 ; and

(B) For each critical payload, 1 × 104.

(ii) The Administrator will consult with relevant Federal agencies, and each agency will identify, for purposes of this part, any critical assets that the agency owns or otherwise depends on. For purposes of this part, the Administrator will accept any identification by the Secretary of Defense that an asset is critical to national security.

(iii) The Administrator or Federal site operator will notify the licensee of any risk to critical assets above the risk criteria in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section.

(iv) The Administrator may determine, in consultation with relevant Federal agencies, that a more stringent probability is necessary to protect the national interests of the United States.

(v) The risk criteria in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section do not apply to property, facilities, or infrastructure supporting the launch that are within the public area distance, as defined in part 420, appendix E, tables E1 and E2 or associated formulae, of the vehicle's launch point.

(b) Reentry risk criteria. For any reentry, an operator may initiate the deorbit of a vehicle only if all risks to the public satisfy the criteria in this paragraph (b). The following criteria apply to each reentry, other than a suborbital reentry, from the final health check prior to initiating deorbit through final impact or landing:

(1) Collective risk. The collective risk, measured as expected number of casualties (EC), consists of risk posed by impacting inert and explosive debris, toxic release, and far field blast overpressure. Public risk due to any other hazard associated with the proposed deorbit of a reentry vehicle will be determined by the Administrator on a case-by-case basis.

(i) The risk to all members of the public, excluding persons in aircraft and neighboring operations personnel, must not exceed an expected number of 1 × 104 casualties.

(ii) The risk to all neighboring operations personnel must not exceed an expected number of 2 × 104 casualties.

(2) Individual risk. The individual risk, measured as probability of casualty (PC), consists of risk posed by impacting inert and explosive debris, toxic release, and far field blast overpressure. Public risk due to any other hazard associated with the proposed flight of a launch vehicle will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

(i) The risk to any individual member of the public, excluding neighboring operations personnel, must not exceed a probability of casualty of 1 × 106 per reentry.

(ii) The risk to any individual neighboring operations personnel must not exceed a probability of casualty of 1 × 105 per reentry.

(3) Aircraft risk. A reentry operator must establish any aircraft hazard areas necessary to ensure the probability of impact with debris capable of causing a casualty for aircraft does not exceed 1 × 106.

(4) Risk to critical assets.

(i) The risk to critical assets, measured as the probability of loss of functionality, must not exceed the following probabilities:

(A) For each critical asset, except for a critical payload, 1 × 103 ; and

(B) For each critical payload, 1 × 104.

(ii) The Administrator will consult with relevant Federal agencies, and each agency will identify, for purposes of this part, any critical assets that the agency owns or otherwise depends on. For purposes of this part, the Administrator will accept any identification by the Secretary of Defense that an asset is critical to national security.

(iii) The Administrator or Federal site operator will notify the licensee of any risk to critical assets above the risk criteria in paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section.

(iv) The Administrator may determine, in consultation with relevant Federal agencies, that a more stringent probability is necessary to protect the national interests of the United States.

(c) High consequence event protection. An operator must protect against a high consequence event in uncontrolled areas for each phase of flight by:

(1) Using flight abort as a hazard control strategy in accordance with the requirements of § 450.108;

(2) Ensuring the consequence of any reasonably foreseeable failure mode, in any significant period of flight, is no greater than 1 × 103 conditional expected casualties; or

(3) Establishing the launch or reentry vehicle has sufficient demonstrated reliability as agreed to by the Administrator based on conditional expected casualties criteria during that phase of flight.

(d) Disposal safety criteria. A launch operator must ensure that any disposal meets the criteria of paragraphs (b)(1) through (3) of this section, or targets a broad ocean area.

(e) Protection of people and property on orbit.

(1) A launch or reentry operator must prevent the collision between a launch or reentry vehicle stage or component and people or property on orbit, in accordance with the requirements in § 450.169(a).

(2) For any launch vehicle stage or component that reaches Earth orbit, a launch operator must prevent the creation of debris through the conversion of energy sources into energy that fragments the stage or component, in accordance with the requirements in § 450.171.

(f) Notification of planned impacts. For any launch, reentry, or disposal, an operator must notify the public of any region of land, sea, or air that contains, with 97 percent probability of containment, all debris resulting from normal flight events capable of causing a casualty.

(g) Validity of the analysis. For any analysis used to demonstrate compliance with this section, an operator must use accurate data and scientific principles and the analysis must be statistically valid. The method must produce results consistent with or more conservative than the results available from previous mishaps, tests, or other valid benchmarks, such as higher-fidelity methods.

System Safety Program

The following state regulations pages link to this page.