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Message from Andy Quinn of Saturn SMS Ltd

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‘A Safer Space for a Safer World’…

… Or perhaps more plainly speaking, ‘what are we doing in the space community to make sure we are managing the risks to make spaceflight acceptably safe and what are we doing to make use of the space environment for the good of mankind?’ This was the theme of the recent 5th International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) conference. One of the main topics included Commercial Human Spaceflight Safety. Here the ‘commercial’ scope covers both orbital spaceflight and suborbital flights. The presentations from the suborbital community showed that slow progress is being made in terms of who is winning the ‘race to suborbital space’. Furthermore little progress is being made regarding regulations and guidelines for designers and operators (in particular within Europe). From this perspective I believe BOOSTER is well positioned to learn from mistakes by leading suborbital companies. Indeed I believe BOOSTER is well positioned to influence regulations and guidelines.

BOOSTER aims to assure that the vehicles are more than acceptably safe for suborbital operations. BOOSTER aims to have a safe design (using air-launch) supported by innovative safety risk management that caters for launch licensing and also certification approaches. The safety risk management will provide contiguous analysis from design to operations so that risks are clearly identified and effectively mitigated; by design features, operating procedures, flight training and profile limitations. All of this will provide safe assurance to the spaceflight participants (you, the budding astronauts) as well as protecting our flight crew and of course the non-involved public. BOOSTER’s vehicles will also consider the environmental aspects – the air-launch approach is already ‘greener’ by design.

You may ask ‘how safe is safe enough?’ – well, by embedding safety risk management and systems safety engineering into the project from the very beginning (as opposed to later in the programme) BOOSTER is already ahead of some of their competitors. BOOSTER’s safety strategy is instilled in the entire consortium and BOOSTER will not fly its vehicles until our safety targets are met and our analysis and tests show that we are safe enough (and then some).

To infinity and beyond…. You can be sure I will be on those early test flights and so Safety will demonstrate confidence in BOOSTER’s safety.

Andy Quinn

About Andy Quinn

AndyQuinn

  • Founder and Managing Director of Saturn Safety Management Systems Ltd
  • PhD in Aeronautical Engineering completed Oct 2011 (research on Suborbital Safety)
  • Chartered Engineer
  • Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society
  • Chair of the Suborbital Safety Technical Committee for the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety
  • 47 years old, married, two grown up children and a grandson
  • European citizen (UK)
  • Passion: family, fitness, football

Experience:

  • Military: 23 years technician, flight engineer, engineering officer
  • Safety Engineer: 6 years working on military fast jet safety cases plus other aircraft
  • Suborbital Safety: Completed contract work for other leading suborbital company

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