Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Amended Waiver for Launch and Mission Risk, 72240-72241 [2014-28614]

Download as PDF 72240 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 234 / Friday, December 5, 2014 / Notices resulting from the sale to fund construction of a pilots lounge and restrooms which are not presently available at the airport. Any person may inspect the request in person at the FAA office listed above under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In addition, any person may, upon request, inspect the application, notice and other documents germane to the application in person at the Eufaula Municipal Airport. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 18, 2014. Byron K. Huffman, Acting Manager, Airports Division. [FR Doc. 2014–28611 Filed 12–4–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Amended Waiver for Launch and Mission Risk Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of amended waiver. AGENCY: This notice concerns an amendment to a waiver related to the launch and reentry of an Orion MultiPurpose Crew Vehicle. On March 10, 2014, the FAA issued United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Lockheed Martin (Lockheed) waivers to certain risk requirements of the FAA’s regulations. Since that time, changes to the mission’s flight plan have increased its risk profile. After analyzing this updated risk profile, the FAA finds that the analysis underlying the original waiver decisions still applies. The FAA, therefore, amends its original waiver to permit launch risk from debris of 217 × 10¥6 and total mission risk from debris of up to 218 × 10¥6. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions concerning this waiver, contact Charles P. Brinkman, Aerospace Engineer, AST–200, Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST), Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267–7715; email: phil.brinkman@ faa.gov. For legal questions concerning this waiver, contact Benjamin Jacobs, Attorney-Advisor, Regulations Division (AGC–210), Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267–7240; email: benjamin.jacobs@ faa.gov. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:07 Dec 04, 2014 Jkt 235001 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Lockheed and ULA are private commercial space flight companies. Lockheed entered into a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide the first orbital flight test for NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion) Program. Lockheed has contracted with ULA to provide launch services for the mission. The FAA is responsible for licensing, among other things, the launch of a launch vehicle and the reentry of a reentry vehicle, under authority granted to the Secretary of Transportation by 51 U.S.C. Subtitle V, chapter 509 (Chapter 509), and delegated to the FAA’s Administrator and Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation. The mission at issue in this notice is Orion Exploration Flight Test 1, which is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in early December. The mission tests the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle in an un-crewed, limited-capability configuration, and serves as a stepping stone towards a crew-capable vehicle that would enable human exploration missions beyond Earth orbit. The mission is comprised of a launch, which is conducted by ULA, and a reentry, which is conducted by Lockheed. The launch vehicle is ULA’s Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle, which consists of a Common Booster Core (CBC) as the first stage with two additional strap-on CBCs and a Delta IV Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS). The first burn of the DCSS places the Orion and the DCSS in orbit, and a second DCSS burn places the Orion into a highly elliptical, negativeperigee trajectory, to simulate the thermal conditions and high reentry speeds the module would experience returning from missions beyond Earth orbit. After separating from the DCSS, the Orion module reenters over the eastern Pacific Ocean, splashing down 231 nautical miles west of Baja California, Mexico.1 Section 417.107(b)(1) of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) prohibits, in relevant part, the launch of a launch vehicle if the expected casualty (Ec) rate for the flight exceeds 30 × 10¥6 for impacting inert and explosive debris (debris). Section 435.35 establishes acceptable risk for reentry vehicles, and requires operators to comply with 1 We note that, due to the unique characteristics of this mission, FAA regulations require us to account for risks that are typically not included in our § 417.107 analysis—namely, the uncontrolled reentry of an upper stage after orbital insertion. PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 §§ 431.35(a) and 431.35(b)(1)(i),2 which in turn prohibit an Ec for debris in excess of 30 × 10¥6 for both launch and reentry combined. On February 27, 2014, ULA petitioned the FAA for waivers of these provisions because the projected risk from debris during launch was 164 × 10¥ 6, and the projected risk from debris during reentry was less than 1 × 10¥6—for a total-mission debris risk of approximately 165 × 10¥6. The FAA issued a waiver and, on March 10, 2014, gave notice in the Federal Register. Notice of Waiver, Mar. 10, 2014 (79 FR 13375). This initial waiver allowed a maximum-allowable Ec value for ULA and Lockheed’s proposed mission of 165 × 10¥6,3 based on the risk increase the launch operators requested. On November 3, 2014, ULA and Lockheed transmitted to the FAA the mission’s final trajectory and an updated risk analysis. Since that time, ULA and Lockheed have continued to submit updated risk information, as it becomes available, to the FAA. According to these documents, it is necessary for ULA and Lockheed to modify the mission’s launch trajectory, for two reasons: To lower the mission’s maximum heating temperature constraint, and to adjust the flight azimuth to be the same as what was flown in previous missions. On November 20, 2014, in light of the changed mission trajectory, ULA petitioned for an amendment to its waiver to allow an Ec of 207 × 10¥6 for debris from launch. On November 21, 2014, Lockheed petitioned for an amendment to its waiver to allow total mission risk of 208 × 10¥6. Using ULA’s updated trajectory, the FAA calculates the debris-related Ec for failure during the de-orbit burn, after the first 120 seconds, increases to 76 × 10¥6 from 53 × 10¥6. In addition, calculations by the FAA and the United States Air Force indicate an increased debris risk, from launch to orbital insertion, of approximately 30 × 10¥6 above original estimates. As a result, the FAA calculates that overall launch risk increases from 164 × 10¥6 to 217 × 10¥6, and total mission risk increases from 165 × 10¥6 to 218 × 10¥6. The FAA believes these risk figures best 2 Although the module is a reentry vehicle and not a reusable launch vehicle, 14 CFR 435.33 incorporates and applies § 431.43 to all reentry vehicles. 3 Our March 2014 Notice correctly identified the total mission debris risk as 165 × 10¥6, but when breaking down the sources of that risk, we listed four risk factors adding up to a total of only 164 × 10¥6. 79 FR at 13376. This breakdown mistakenly omitted the debris risk related from controlled disposal of the upper stage, with an Ec of < 1 × 10¥6. E:\FR\FM\05DEN1.SGM 05DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 234 / Friday, December 5, 2014 / Notices capture the uncertainties due to weather and the inability to perform significant mitigation at the launch site on the day of launch. A. Analysis of the Updated Risk Assessment The FAA’s original waiver analyzed ULA and Lockheed’s proposals using the waiver criteria established by our statutory and regulatory framework. Section 50905(b)(3) allows the FAA to waive a license requirement if the waiver (1) will not jeopardize public health and safety, and safety of property; (2) is in the public interest; and (3) will not jeopardize national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. See also 49 CFR 404.5(b). We reapply those same criteria here. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 1. Public Health and Safety, and Safety of Property The FAA’s initial waiver examined ULA and Lockheed’s proposal in comparison with the historically acceptable launch risk levels at other Federal agencies to determine whether the mission would fall within those parameters. The rationale for our approval of ULA and Lockheed’s prior waiver requests applies equally to their revised risk assessment. Although the FAA’s regulations prohibit debris risk in excess of 30 × 10¥6, a waiver is warranted in this case because the United States Government’s experience conducting other space missions with risk in excess of 100 × 10¥6 demonstrates that the risks of this mission are consistent with the public health and safety, and the safety of property. As we stated in our March 10, 2014, Notice of Waiver, the United States Government has repeatedly accepted risk for government launches in excess of the FAA’s 30 × 10¥6, without negative consequences for safety. 79 FR at 13376. The Space Shuttle, for example, used a debris risk criterion of 200 × 10¥6 for launch risk to the public. See NASA’s Implementation Plan for Space Shuttle Return to Flight and Beyond, Vol. 1 Final Edition, at 2–39 (May 15, 2007). In addition, in 2005, the U.S. Air Force accepted risk levels in a government launch ranging from 145 to 317 × 10¥6. Dept. of the Air Force Memorandum, Overflight Risk Exceedance Waiver for Titan IV B–30, Mission (Apr. 4, 2005). ULA’s updated launch risk of 217 × 10¥6 is still less than the risk levels previously approved for a government launch. Accordingly, granting a waiver of §§ 417.107(b)(1) and 431.35(b)(1)(i) in this case does not jeopardize the public VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:07 Dec 04, 2014 Jkt 235001 health and safety, or the safety of property. 2. Public Interest The FAA looks to its enabling statute to determine how Congress has defined the public interest. The FAA implements the agency’s statutory mandate to encourage the development of commercial space capabilities and the continuous improvement of the safety of launch vehicles designed to carry passengers. 51 U.S.C. 50901(b). As with their initial petition, ULA and Lockheed’s petition for an amended waiver are consistent with the public interest because the test flight is necessary to the development of NASA’s human-missions capability beyond Earth orbit. D. National Security and Foreign Policy Interests The FAA has not identified any national security or foreign policy implications associated with amending this waiver. Summary and Conclusion The FAA determines that amending the waivers associated with this mission will not jeopardize public health and safety or safety of property. In addition, amending the waivers is in the public interest because it accomplishes the goals of Chapter 509 and does not unduly increase risk to the public. Finally, amending the waivers will not jeopardize national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. The FAA therefore amends its prior waivers of the requirements of 14 CFR 417.107(b)(1) and 431.35(b)(1)(i) for launch and mission risk, respectively, to allow launch risk of an Ec of 217 × 10¥6 and total mission risk of 218 × 10¥6. Issued in Washington, DC, on November 26, 2014. Kenneth Wong, Licensing and Evaluation Division Manager. [FR Doc. 2014–28614 Filed 12–4–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket No. FRA–2014–0011–N–22] Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 72241 In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces that the renewal Information Collection Requests (ICR) abstracted below are being forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on September 5, 2014 (79 FR 56616). DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before January 5, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS–21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Mail Stop 25, Washington, DC 20590 (Telephone: (202) 493–6292), or Ms. Kimberly Toone, Office of Information Technology, RAD–20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590 (Telephone: (202) 493–6132). (These telephone numbers are not tollfree.) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104–13, sec. 2, 109 Stat. 163 (1995) (codified as revised at 44 U.S.C. 3501–3520), and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, require Federal agencies to issue two notices seeking public comment on information collection activities before OMB may approve paperwork packages. 44 U.S.C. 3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.5, 1320.8(d)(1), 1320.12. On September 5, 2014, FRA published a 60-day notice in the Federal Register soliciting comment on ICR that the agency is seeking OMB approval. See 79 FR 56616. FRA received no comments in response to this notice. Before OMB decides whether to approve these proposed collections of information, it must provide 30 days for public comment. 44 U.S.C. 3507(b); 5 CFR 1320.12(d). Federal law requires OMB to approve or disapprove paperwork packages between 30 and 60 days after the 30 day notice is published. 44 U.S.C. 3507 (b)-(c); 5 CFR 1320.12(d); see also 60 FR 44978, 44983, Aug. 29, 1995. OMB believes that the 30 day notice informs the regulated community to file relevant comments and affords the agency adequate time to digest public comments before it renders a decision. 60 FR 44983, Aug. 29, 1995. Therefore, respondents should submit their respective comments to OMB within 30 days of publication to best ensure having their full effect. 5 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05DEN1.SGM 05DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 234 (Friday, December 5, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 72240-72241]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-28614]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration


Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Amended Waiver for 
Launch and Mission Risk

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of amended waiver.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY:  This notice concerns an amendment to a waiver related to the 
launch and reentry of an Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. On March 10, 
2014, the FAA issued United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Lockheed Martin 
(Lockheed) waivers to certain risk requirements of the FAA's 
regulations. Since that time, changes to the mission's flight plan have 
increased its risk profile. After analyzing this updated risk profile, 
the FAA finds that the analysis underlying the original waiver 
decisions still applies. The FAA, therefore, amends its original waiver 
to permit launch risk from debris of 217 x 10-6 and total 
mission risk from debris of up to 218 x 10-6.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  For technical questions concerning 
this waiver, contact Charles P. Brinkman, Aerospace Engineer, AST-200, 
Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST), Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; 
telephone (202) 267-7715; email: phil.brinkman@faa.gov. For legal 
questions concerning this waiver, contact Benjamin Jacobs, Attorney-
Advisor, Regulations Division (AGC-210), Office of the Chief Counsel, 
Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-7240; email: 
benjamin.jacobs@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Lockheed and ULA are private commercial space flight companies. 
Lockheed entered into a contract with the National Aeronautics and 
Space Administration (NASA) to provide the first orbital flight test 
for NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion) Program. Lockheed 
has contracted with ULA to provide launch services for the mission.
    The FAA is responsible for licensing, among other things, the 
launch of a launch vehicle and the reentry of a reentry vehicle, under 
authority granted to the Secretary of Transportation by 51 U.S.C. 
Subtitle V, chapter 509 (Chapter 509), and delegated to the FAA's 
Administrator and Associate Administrator for Commercial Space 
Transportation.
    The mission at issue in this notice is Orion Exploration Flight 
Test 1, which is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force 
Station in Florida in early December. The mission tests the Orion 
Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle in an un-crewed, limited-capability 
configuration, and serves as a stepping stone towards a crew-capable 
vehicle that would enable human exploration missions beyond Earth 
orbit. The mission is comprised of a launch, which is conducted by ULA, 
and a reentry, which is conducted by Lockheed. The launch vehicle is 
ULA's Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle, which consists of a Common Booster 
Core (CBC) as the first stage with two additional strap-on CBCs and a 
Delta IV Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS). The first burn of the DCSS 
places the Orion and the DCSS in orbit, and a second DCSS burn places 
the Orion into a highly elliptical, negative-perigee trajectory, to 
simulate the thermal conditions and high reentry speeds the module 
would experience returning from missions beyond Earth orbit. After 
separating from the DCSS, the Orion module reenters over the eastern 
Pacific Ocean, splashing down 231 nautical miles west of Baja 
California, Mexico.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ We note that, due to the unique characteristics of this 
mission, FAA regulations require us to account for risks that are 
typically not included in our Sec.  417.107 analysis--namely, the 
uncontrolled reentry of an upper stage after orbital insertion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 417.107(b)(1) of Title 14 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (14 CFR) prohibits, in relevant part, the launch of a 
launch vehicle if the expected casualty (Ec) rate for the 
flight exceeds 30 x 10-6 for impacting inert and explosive 
debris (debris). Section 435.35 establishes acceptable risk for reentry 
vehicles, and requires operators to comply with Sec. Sec.  431.35(a) 
and 431.35(b)(1)(i),\2\ which in turn prohibit an Ec for 
debris in excess of 30 x 10-6 for both launch and reentry 
combined.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Although the module is a reentry vehicle and not a reusable 
launch vehicle, 14 CFR 435.33 incorporates and applies Sec.  431.43 
to all reentry vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On February 27, 2014, ULA petitioned the FAA for waivers of these 
provisions because the projected risk from debris during launch was 164 
x 10- 6, and the projected risk from debris during reentry 
was less than 1 x 10-6--for a total-mission debris risk of 
approximately 165 x 10-6. The FAA issued a waiver and, on 
March 10, 2014, gave notice in the Federal Register. Notice of Waiver, 
Mar. 10, 2014 (79 FR 13375). This initial waiver allowed a maximum-
allowable Ec value for ULA and Lockheed's proposed mission 
of 165 x 10-6,\3\ based on the risk increase the launch 
operators requested.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Our March 2014 Notice correctly identified the total mission 
debris risk as 165 x 10-6, but when breaking down the 
sources of that risk, we listed four risk factors adding up to a 
total of only 164 x 10-6. 79 FR at 13376. This breakdown 
mistakenly omitted the debris risk related from controlled disposal 
of the upper stage, with an Ec of < 1 x 10-6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On November 3, 2014, ULA and Lockheed transmitted to the FAA the 
mission's final trajectory and an updated risk analysis. Since that 
time, ULA and Lockheed have continued to submit updated risk 
information, as it becomes available, to the FAA. According to these 
documents, it is necessary for ULA and Lockheed to modify the mission's 
launch trajectory, for two reasons: To lower the mission's maximum 
heating temperature constraint, and to adjust the flight azimuth to be 
the same as what was flown in previous missions. On November 20, 2014, 
in light of the changed mission trajectory, ULA petitioned for an 
amendment to its waiver to allow an Ec of 207 x 
10-6 for debris from launch. On November 21, 2014, Lockheed 
petitioned for an amendment to its waiver to allow total mission risk 
of 208 x 10-6.
    Using ULA's updated trajectory, the FAA calculates the debris-
related Ec for failure during the de-orbit burn, after the 
first 120 seconds, increases to 76 x 10-6 from 53 x 
10-6. In addition, calculations by the FAA and the United 
States Air Force indicate an increased debris risk, from launch to 
orbital insertion, of approximately 30 x 10-6 above original 
estimates. As a result, the FAA calculates that overall launch risk 
increases from 164 x 10-6 to 217 x 10-6, and 
total mission risk increases from 165 x 10-6 to 218 x 
10-6. The FAA believes these risk figures best

[[Page 72241]]

capture the uncertainties due to weather and the inability to perform 
significant mitigation at the launch site on the day of launch.

A. Analysis of the Updated Risk Assessment

    The FAA's original waiver analyzed ULA and Lockheed's proposals 
using the waiver criteria established by our statutory and regulatory 
framework. Section 50905(b)(3) allows the FAA to waive a license 
requirement if the waiver (1) will not jeopardize public health and 
safety, and safety of property; (2) is in the public interest; and (3) 
will not jeopardize national security and foreign policy interests of 
the United States. See also 49 CFR 404.5(b). We reapply those same 
criteria here.

1. Public Health and Safety, and Safety of Property

    The FAA's initial waiver examined ULA and Lockheed's proposal in 
comparison with the historically acceptable launch risk levels at other 
Federal agencies to determine whether the mission would fall within 
those parameters. The rationale for our approval of ULA and Lockheed's 
prior waiver requests applies equally to their revised risk assessment. 
Although the FAA's regulations prohibit debris risk in excess of 30 x 
10-6, a waiver is warranted in this case because the United 
States Government's experience conducting other space missions with 
risk in excess of 100 x 10-6 demonstrates that the risks of 
this mission are consistent with the public health and safety, and the 
safety of property. As we stated in our March 10, 2014, Notice of 
Waiver, the United States Government has repeatedly accepted risk for 
government launches in excess of the FAA's 30 x 10-6, 
without negative consequences for safety. 79 FR at 13376. The Space 
Shuttle, for example, used a debris risk criterion of 200 x 
10-6 for launch risk to the public. See NASA's 
Implementation Plan for Space Shuttle Return to Flight and Beyond, Vol. 
1 Final Edition, at 2-39 (May 15, 2007). In addition, in 2005, the U.S. 
Air Force accepted risk levels in a government launch ranging from 145 
to 317 x 10-6. Dept. of the Air Force Memorandum, Overflight 
Risk Exceedance Waiver for Titan IV B-30, Mission (Apr. 4, 2005).
    ULA's updated launch risk of 217 x 10-6 is still less 
than the risk levels previously approved for a government launch. 
Accordingly, granting a waiver of Sec. Sec.  417.107(b)(1) and 
431.35(b)(1)(i) in this case does not jeopardize the public health and 
safety, or the safety of property.

2. Public Interest

    The FAA looks to its enabling statute to determine how Congress has 
defined the public interest. The FAA implements the agency's statutory 
mandate to encourage the development of commercial space capabilities 
and the continuous improvement of the safety of launch vehicles 
designed to carry passengers. 51 U.S.C. 50901(b).
    As with their initial petition, ULA and Lockheed's petition for an 
amended waiver are consistent with the public interest because the test 
flight is necessary to the development of NASA's human-missions 
capability beyond Earth orbit.

D. National Security and Foreign Policy Interests

    The FAA has not identified any national security or foreign policy 
implications associated with amending this waiver.

Summary and Conclusion

    The FAA determines that amending the waivers associated with this 
mission will not jeopardize public health and safety or safety of 
property. In addition, amending the waivers is in the public interest 
because it accomplishes the goals of Chapter 509 and does not unduly 
increase risk to the public. Finally, amending the waivers will not 
jeopardize national security and foreign policy interests of the United 
States. The FAA therefore amends its prior waivers of the requirements 
of 14 CFR 417.107(b)(1) and 431.35(b)(1)(i) for launch and mission 
risk, respectively, to allow launch risk of an Ec of 217 x 
10-6 and total mission risk of 218 x 10-6.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 26, 2014.
Kenneth Wong,
Licensing and Evaluation Division Manager.
[FR Doc. 2014-28614 Filed 12-4-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P