STREAMLINING SPACE LAUNCH RANGE SAFETY

Committee on Space Launch Range Safety

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.



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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety STREAMLINING SPACE LAUNCH RANGE SAFETY Committee on Space Launch Range Safety Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the U.S. Air Force Space Command under contract No. FO5604-99-C-9004. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Air Force. International Standard Book Number: 0-309-06931-9 Available in limited supply from: Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, HA 292, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20418. (202) 334-2855 www4.national-academies.org/cets/asebhome.nsf Additional copies available for sale from: National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285, Washington, DC 20055. 1-800-624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan area). www.nap.edu Copyright 2000 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety COMMITTEE ON SPACE LAUNCH RANGE SAFETY ROBERT E. WHITEHEAD, chair, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (retired), Henrico, North Carolina W. GAINEY BEST II, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, Colorado JOHN L. BYRON, Johnson Controls, Inc., Cocoa Beach, Florida BENJAMIN A. COSGROVE, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group (retired), Seattle, Washington JAMES W. DANAHER, National Transportation Safety Board (retired), Alexandria, Virginia KINGSTON A. GEORGE, aerospace consultant, Santa Maria, California BILL HAWLEY, Hughes Space and Communications, Los Angeles, California JAMES K. KUCHAR, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JOYCE A. McDEVITT, Futron Corporation, Washington, D.C. JOSEPH MELTZER, Aerospace Corporation (retired), Redondo Beach, California JIMMEY MORRELL, U.S. Air Force (retired), Melbourne, Florida NORMAN H. SCHUTZBERGER, TRW Components International, Torrance, California Liaison from the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board FREDERICK HAUCK, AXA Space, Bethesda, Maryland Staff ALAN ANGLEMAN, Study Director DOUGLAS BENNETT, Research Associate CHRIS JONES, Senior Administrative Assistant GEORGE LEVIN, Director, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board JENNIFER PINKERMAN, Research Associate LINDA VOSS, Technical Writer MARVIN WEEKS, Senior Administrative Assistant

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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD WILLIAM W. HOOVER, chair, U.S. Air Force (retired), Williamsburg, Virginia A. DWIGHT ABBOTT, Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, California WILLIAM F. BALLHAUS, JR., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland RUZENA BAJSCY, NAE, IOM, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia ANTHNY J. BRODERICK, Aviation Safety Consultant, Catlett, Virginia AARON COHEN, NAE, Texas A&M University, College Station DONALD L. CROMER, U.S. Air Force (retired), Lompoc, California HOYT DAVIDSON, Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jenrette, New York, New York ROBERT A. DAVIS, The Boeing Company (retired), Seattle, Washington DONALD C. FRASER, NAE, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts JOSEPH FULLER, JR., Futron Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland ROBERT C. GOETZ, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, Palmdale, California RICHARD GOLASZEWSKI, GRA Inc., Jenkintown, Pennsylvania JAMES M. GUYETTE, Rolls-Royce North America, Reston, Virginia FREDERICK HAUCK, AXA Space, Bethesda, Maryland JOHN K. LAUBER, Airbus Industrie of North America, Washington, D.C. GEORGE MUELLNER, The Boeing Company, Seal Beach, California DAVA J. NEWMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JAMES G. O’CONNOR, NAE, Pratt & Whitney (retired), Coventry, Connecticut WINSTON E. SCOTT, Florida State University, Tallahassee KATHRYN C. THORNTON, University of Virginia, Charlottesville DIANNE S. WILEY, Northrop Grumman, Pico Rivera, California RAY A. WILLIAMSON, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Staff GEORGE LEVIN, Director

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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety Preface Space launch is inherently risky, and accidents are not uncommon. However, the U.S. national ranges have an outstanding safety record. Never has a member of the public or the launch site workforce been killed as a result of a launch from the national ranges. The aging systems that have achieved this record are being modernized to improve performance and reduce costs. As part of this effort, the National Research Council (NRC) was asked to determine if alternate approaches to public safety might be more efficient and less expensive than current methods. Because space launch activities and associated safety practices are highly technical, this study examined the technologies associated with launch range safety and assessed the ability of advanced technologies to improve efficiency and reduce costs. However, because safety also depends on other factors, the study was not a purely technological assessment. The statement of task called for a comprehensive review that included range safety guidelines and procedures. In addition, during the course of the study the committee concluded that a complete response to the statement of task would require that top-level organizational issues related to the efficiency and cost of range safety also be examined. The Air Force Space Command, which sponsored this study, concurred, and the committee’s findings and recommendations are framed accordingly. The NRC appointed 10 individuals to the Committee on Space Launch Range Safety, which conducted this study. Like all NRC study committees, the membership was announced and comments from the general public were solicited regarding the committee’s composition and balance. A number of comments urged that the committee be expanded to include individuals who had worked for range safety organizations. In response, the NRC decided to add two members: a former commander of the 45th Space Wing, which operates the Eastern Range, and a former chief engineer and deputy director for safety at the 30th Space Wing, which operates the Western Range. Some committee members had experience with major launch vehicle manufacturers, satellite manufacturers, and other users, as well as technical expertise in risk analysis, global positioning system (GPS) technology, and public safety. Also, to provide an impartial, outside perspective, several committee members had little or no launch industry experience. Thus, the committee was well qualified to conduct both the technical and nontechnical aspects of the statement of task. This study benefited from an extraordinary level of public interest. More than 100 individuals from interested organizations and members of the general public attended the committee’s information-gathering meetings, which included opportunities for public input. This broad participation greatly contributed to the committee’s deliberations, and the committee is indebted to everyone who gave of their time and talent during the meetings. This report is being issued in parallel with a number of other reports concerned with launch range safety, infrastructure, operations, and organization. The findings and recommendations herein endorse some of the actions currently under way, recommend the acceleration and extension of others, and suggest some new initiatives. In particular, the committee recommends that the Air Force retain its key safety standards and make greater use of those standards for managing risk. By moving away from costly risk avoidance practices, the Air Force would conform range safety procedures to accepted risk standards and reduce costs for both the Air Force and the user community without compromising public safety. This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to

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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Silas Baker, Jr., Lockheed Martin (retired) Robert Crippen, Thiokol Propulsion Donald Cromer, U.S. Air Force (retired) Robert Frosch, Harvard University Daniel Hastings, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Donald Henderson, U.S. Air Force (retired) Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara James Means, SRI International Sheila Widnall, Massachusetts Institute of Technology While the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC. Robert E. Whitehead, Chair Committee on Space Launch Range Safety

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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   7     Objectives,   7     Study Processes and Approach,   7     Organization of This Report,   8     References,   8 2   BACKGROUND   9     National Space Launch Policy,   9     Roles and Responsibilities of the Ranges and Users,   10     Safety Standards,   12     Commercial Cost Drivers,   12     References,   13 3   RISK MANAGEMENT APPROACHES TO SAFETY   14     Philosophy of EWR 127-1,   14     Roles and Responsibilities of the Air Force Space Command and Air Force Materiel Command,   15     Risk Criteria, Risk Management, and Analysis Methods,   18     References,   25 4   FLIGHT SAFETY REQUIREMENTS   26     Tracking,   26     Telemetry,   27     GPS Metric Tracking,   29     Range Modernization,   31     Autonomous Flight Termination Systems with GPS,   33     Reusable Launch Vehicles,   33     References,   35 5   INCURSIONS   36     Current Guidelines and Procedures,   36     Planned Improvements and Additional Recommendations,   40     References,   41

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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety     APPENDIXES     A   FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   43 B   BIOGRAPHIES OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS   46 C   PARTICIPANTS IN COMMITTEE MEETINGS   49 D   STUDIES RELATED TO SPACE LAUNCH RANGE SAFETY   51 E   SAFETY MODELING AND ANALYSIS   53     ACRONYMS   57

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Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety Tables and Figures TABLES 3-1   Comparison of Maximum Acceptable Collective Risks,   19 3-2   Probability of Failure vs. Phase for the Atlas IIAS,   23 FIGURES ES-1   Comparison of life-cycle costs for radar and GPS-based range tracking systems,   4 3-1   Air Force roles and responsibilities for space launch,   16 3-2   Instantaneous impact point trace and Africa gate location for Titan IV-B25,   21 3-3   Ground track and elevation angle for an Atlas IIA launched from Pad 36A at the Eastern Range on an initial flight azimuth of 104 degrees,   22 3-4   Probability of failure vs. phase for the Atlas IIAS,   23 4-1   Changes in range tracking support under the RSA range modernization program,   28 4-2   Comparison of life-cycle costs for radar and GPS-based range tracking systems,   32 4-3   Flight safety angle limits,   34 5-1   Samples of multiple boat-hit contours,   39

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