Commercial Spaceflight Operations – Homework Help

1. Project GoForth is a private endeavor funded by a cosmically-oriented religious organization to establish a self-sustaining human colony of its adherents on Mars. In order to expedite the arrival of the first groups of the organization’s colonists and contain the initial costs, they plan to initially rely solely on proven existing technology (a reliable 3-stage vertical takeoff expendable rocket that is commercially available off the shelf, propelling an automatically-operated crew and cargo capsule that will make a soft landing on Mars using its own cluster of braking rockets). For that purpose, and to assure that only the most fervent and dedicated believers undertake the mission, the organization’s bold plan is to make these one-way trips, with no chance of return to earth. The first arrivals will be responsible to establish a base of operations, explore the useful resources of the immediate area, extract water, begin greenhouse-style gardening, and generally prepare the base to receive the next arrivals. The organization hires you as a technical consultant on the project. Research and prepare a paper covering the following:
a. Identify and describe all certification requirements that apply to the rocket and spacecraft (capsule) for this mission.
b. Identify and describe all certification requirements that apply to passengers and crew for this mission.
c. Identify and describe all insurance required by law for this mission and determine the current availability of that insurance in the commercial marketplace.
d. If you find that any of the above insurance coverages are not yet available on the commercial market, and are not required by law, identify an alternative approach to management of that risk.
e. The organization plans to eventually build an extensive mining and refining operation on Mars, using extracted natural resources to establish a commercial space refueling and resupply station, envisioning selling fuel, water and oxygen to transient spacecraft to earn profits for the organization.
i. Identify all existing international treaties and their specific provisions that may affect the legality of this planned commercial operation, discussing all potential legal questions these raise.
ii. Analyze whether these existing treaties are adequate to address this group’s legal property rights to exclude others from its base, refinery, and the areas of these mining claims and to profit from the sale of products produced from those natural resources.
iii. We know from our experiences on earth that mining can scar the landscape and (along with processing of the minerals mined) leave behind detritus and conditions that can be harmful and have long-lasting adverse effects on the environment. On earth, laws have been enacted and are enforced to prevent and reverse such contamination. Determine whether any existing law (including treaties) applies to such activities on Mars.
iv. If the planned commercial operation might violate one or more applicable treaties, or if intruders might infringe on the group’s mining claims and trespass on its facilities, describe the enforcement mechanism that would address any such violations.

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