Fire Hazards in Spaceports

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Commercial space travel has developed in the United States to the point where nine spaceports have been constructed or are under construction. Commercial space travel is projected to be a billion dollar industry and there are currently no guidelines addressing the specific hazards presented by space ports that go beyond what is anticipated at airports covered by the NFPA 400 series of standards (e.g., NFPA 403, 418). Current spaceports that are under construction or completed are as follows:

  • Mid‐Atlantic Regional Spaceport (Virginia)
  • The California Spaceport (California)
  • The Oklahoma Spaceport (Oklahoma)
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport (Virginia)
  • Cecil Spaceport (Florida)
  • Mojave Air and Spaceport (California)
  • Spaceport America (New Mexico)
  • Pacific Spaceport Complex (Alaska)

With plans for several more spaceports in the works, NFPA standards currently address model rockets, mid‐sized rockets, and several aircraft standards, but that is where the NFPA coverage ends. There are several major companies that have invested heavily into space missions and they are looking for guidance covering the launch of satellites, unmanned as well as manned space missions, space planes, rockets, and capsules.

Research goal: The goal of this project is to compile information that relates to the fire hazards associated with spaceports through a literature review.

Download the project summary. (PDF)