Lonely Planet Writer

UN aviation agency seeks new regulations to boost space tourism safety

The UN’s aviation agency is seeking new regulations on space travel by 2021 to bolster space tourism and the transportation sector.

Un seeking space tourism regulation
Un seeking space tourism regulation to improve safety for travellers Image by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center / CC BY 2.0

Already there is recognition by The International Civil Aviation Organisation that flights to outer space will create new tourism and transport market possibilities.

Space tourism has gone from science fiction to being a reality and needs regulation for the safety and security of passengers undertaking journeys into space
Space tourism has gone from science fiction to being a tangible reality now Image by Sweetie187 / CC BY 2.0

Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, the ICAO Council President, said investments in research and development for this area was at a very “healthy level.”

He told an aerospace symposium in Abu Dhabi that he was excited to see normalized space flight becoming a tangible reality now.

The MailOnline reports that the agency pointed to an upsurge in spacecraft designs making the concept more real. This added to more rocket ship launches were becoming “commercial realities.”

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tourism company unveiled in February its new commercial spaceship within 16 months of its predecessor’s crash.

Billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, was successful in launching a communications satellite into a distant orbit. However it was unable to land its Falcon 9 rocket on an ocean platform this month.

The ICAO stressed that rules must be implemented to ensure security and safety in space. It was vital, it said, that there was not a patchwork of regulations from individual states.

The agency has proposed that the existing regulatory framework for aviation for which governments and itself is responsible, should be adapted to suit the new demands.

In the launching of the Virgin Galactic’s new SpaceShipTwo craft in February, Professor Stephen Hawking said the world was entering a new space age and called for a new unity.