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Literature Review on Spaceport Fire Safety

Fire Protection Research Foundation report: “Literature Review on Spaceport Fire Safety"
Authors: Erin Griffith, Alicea Fitzpatrick, Seth Lattnere, Joseph Dowling and Michael J. Gollner, Ph.D.
Date of issue: October 2018


Commercial space travel has developed in the United States to the point where multiple 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 spaceports that go beyond what is anticipated at airports covered by the NFPA series of standards (e.g., NFPA 403, 407, 418). With plans for several more spaceports in the works, NFPA standards currently address model rockets, mid‐sized rockets, and several aircraft, but that is where the NFPA coverage ends. There are several major companies that have invested heavily into space missions, launch facilities and become major providers of low orbit missions. They are looking for guidance covering the launch of satellites, unmanned as well as manned space missions, space planes, rockets, and capsules.

This project is comprised of the following tasks:

  1. Literature review of any available standards or guidance for fire protection related to spaceports.
  2. Summarize incidents (fires, explosions, etc.) which have occurred at spaceports or similar facilities.
  3. Document the fire hazards related to these facilities and the knowledge gaps that exist.
  4. Compile the information in a report.