Safety Design for Space Operations

Safety Design for Space Operations

1st Edition - March 24, 2013

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  • Editors: Firooz Allahdadi, Isabelle Rongier, Paul Wilde
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080969220
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780080969213

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Endorsed by the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) and drawing on the expertise of the world’s leading experts in the field, Safety Design for Space Operations provides the practical how-to guidance and knowledge base needed to facilitate effective launch-site and operations safety in line with current regulations. With information on space operations safety design currently disparate and difficult to find in one place, this unique reference brings together essential material on: Best design practices relating to space operations, such as the design of spaceport facilities. Advanced analysis methods, such as those used to calculate launch and re-entry debris fall-out risk. Implementation of safe operation procedures, such as on-orbit space traffic management. Safety considerations relating to the general public and the environment in addition to personnel and asset protection. Taking in launch operations safety relating unmanned missions, such as the launch of probes and commercial satellites, as well as manned missions, Safety Design for Space Operations provides a comprehensive reference for engineers and technical managers within aerospace and high technology companies, space agencies, spaceport operators, satellite operators and consulting firms.

Key Features

  • Fully endorsed by the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), with contributions from leading experts at NASA, the European Space Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), amongst others
  • Covers all aspects of space operations relating to safety of the general public, as well as the protection of valuable assets and the environment
  • Focuses on launch operations safety relating to manned and unmanned missions, such as the launch of probes and commercial satellites


Aerospace engineers, systems engineering and safety managers working in space agencies, the commercial space industry and consulting firms. Also suitable for use as a reference for senior and graduate level courses covering mission design and space safety

Table of Contents

  • Dedication


    About the Editors and Contributors

    Firooz A. ALLAHDADI, Ph.D

    Isabelle RONGIER

    Paul D. WILDE, Ph.D., P.E

    Tommaso SGOBBA

    William AILOR, Ph.D

    Fernand ALBY

    John B. BACON, Ph.D

    Sayavur I. BAKHTIYAROV, Ph.D

    Christophe BONNAL

    Curt D. BOTTS

    Bernard BRANDT

    Kenneth BUTTON



    Nathalie COSTEDOAT

    Robert DEMPSEY, Ph.D


    Melissa EMERY

    Wigbert FEHSE, Ph.D

    David FINKLEMAN, Ph.D

    Jean-François GOESTER

    Charles GRAY

    Jerry HABER

    Andrew HERD

    Lark HOWORTH

    Nicholas JOHNSON

    Michael T. KEZIRIAN, Ph.D


    Steven L. KOONTZ, Ph.D

    Georg KOPPENWALLNER, Ph.D. (1935–2012)

    Leonard KRAMER, Ph.D

    Udaya KUMAR, Ph.D

    Erik LARSON Ph.D

    Wim van LEEUWEN

    Carine LEVEAU

    Eugene LEVIN, Ph.D

    Michael G. LUTOMSKI

    Kelli MALONEY

    Ronald R. MIKATARIAN

    D. F. Kip MIKULA

    Erwin MOOIJ, Ph.D

    Randy NYMAN

    Ron NOOMEN

    Gary F. POLANSKI, Ph.D

    Sandrine RICHARD

    Karl U. SCHREIBER, Ph.D

    Joseph A. SHOLTIS

    Carlos E. SOARES

    Richard G. STERN


    Jean-Pierre TRINCHERO

    Jérôme VILA

    Gregory D. WYSS, Ph.D

    Chapter 1. Introduction to Space Operations Safety

    1.1 General

    1.2 Safety Risk Management

    1.3 Launch Site Safety

    1.4 Launch Safety

    1.5 Nuclear-Powered Payloads Safety

    1.6 Orbital Safety

    1.7 Re-Entry Safety

    1.8 Aircraft Protection

    Chapter 2. Spaceport Design for Safety

    2.1 Introduction

    2.2 Choice of Launch Site

    2.3 Master Plan of a Spaceport

    2.4 Ground Risk Control

    2.5 Flight Risk Control

    2.6 Safety Design for a Spaceport

    2.7 Major Impacts of Safety Requirements on Spaceport Design

    2.8 Specificity of Launch Pad Escape System Design for Human Spaceflight

    2.9 Environment Protection

    2.10 General Conclusion

    Further Reading

    Chapter 3. Ground Safety: Special Topics

    3.1 Safety During Payload Ground Processing

    3.2 Gases Storage and Handling Safety

    Chapter 4. Safety in Launch Operations

    4.1 Launch Operations Safety

    4.2 Re-Entry of the Main Cryotechnic Stage of Ariane 5: Challenges, Modeling and Observations

    Further Reading

    Chapter 5. Other Launch Safety Hazards

    5.1 Toxic Hazards

    5.2 Distant Focusing Overpressure Risk Analysis

    5.3 Other Launches and Platforms

    Chapter 6. Nuclear-Powered Payload Safety

    6.1 Introduction to Space Nuclear Systems

    6.2 SNPS Launch History and Accidents

    6.3 Launch Abort Environments Affecting SNPSs

    6.4 Containment Design

    6.5 Risk Assessment for Nuclear Missions

    6.6 International Protocols and U.S. Environmental Review

    6.7 Nuclear Mission Launch Approval

    6.8 Nuclear Mission Launch Integration

    6.9 Symbols and Acronyms


    Chapter 7. On-Orbit Mission Control

    7.1 Mission Control Center Design and Operations

    7.2 Hazardous Commands Identification and Control

    7.3 Flight Rules: Purpose and Use

    Chapter 8. Orbital Operations Safety

    8.1 Space Situational Awareness Systems and Space Traffic Control

    8.2 Orbit Design for Safety

    8.3 Conjunction Analysis

    8.4 Collision Avoidance Maneuvers for the International Space Station (ISS)

    8.5 Safe On-Orbit Manoeuvres Design

    8.5.2 Risk Management of Jettisoned Objects in LEO

    8.6 Spacecraft Charging Hazards

    8.7 Spacecraft Contamination Hazard

    8.8 End-of-Life Debris Mitigation Measures

    8.9 Space Debris Removal

    Chapter 9. Re-Entry Operations Safety

    9.1 Introduction to Re-Entry Operations Safety Design

    9.2 Re-Entry Trajectory Analyses

    9.3 Re-Entry Breakup and Survivability Analyses

    9.4 Evidence of Re-Entry Breakup and Survivability

    9.5 Re-Entry Risk and Hazard Analyses

    9.6 Design for Re-Entry Demise

    Chapter 10. Air-Space Traffic Interface Management

    10.1 Computing Risk to Aircraft

    10.2 Aircraft Vulnerability

    10.3 Typical Aircraft Risk Mitigation Approach

    10.4 Alternative Approaches

    10.5 Real-Time Management

    10.6 Summary


    Chapter 11. Safety of Ground-based Space Laser Application

    11.1 Introduction

    11.2 History of Satellite Laser Ranging

    11.3 Concept of SLR Technology

    11.4 International Laser Ranging Service and Mission Safety

    11.5 In-Sky Laser Safety

    11.6 Laser Safety in Space

    11.7 Summary


    Chapter 12. The Use of Quantitative Risk Assessment in the Operations Phase of Space Missions

    12.1 Introduction

    12.2 Communicating Risk to the Customer

    12.3 Examples of PRA Applied to an Operational Program

    12.4 Conclusion


    Appendix A. Meteorology and Range Safety

    Appendix B. Human and Structural Vulnerability

    Human Vulnerability

    Structure Vulnerability

    Appendix C. Launch Chronology and Launch Failures


    Reference Documents and Sources

    Database Description and Summary

    Orbital Launch Attempts by Date

    Orbital Launch Attempts by Launch Vehicle Family Type

    Orbital Launch Attempts by Country/Launch Provider and by Launch Site

    Derived Orbital Launch Attempt Failure Rate Data


    Appendix D. Lightning Protection Systems

    Introduction to Lightning

    Charge Structure of a Thundercloud

    Types of Lightning Discharge

    Vehicle Triggered Lightning

    Electrical Discharges above Thundercloud

    Occurrence Probability

    Events in a Cloud-to-Ground Lightning

    Parameters Involved

    General Threats

    Lightning Protection System – Components of External Protection System

    Lightning Protection System – Internal Protection

    Lightning Launch Commit Criteria

    Protection of Other Important Structures

    Additional Issues

    Further Reading

    Appendix E. The Role of Economics in Spaceport Safety


    The Economics of Spaceports

    Issues of Safety

    Reactions to Safety Concerns

    Demand-Side Design Considerations

    Public Interest and Safety

    The Institutional Context

    Some Other Considerations


    Appendix F. Re-Entry Risk Formulas


Product details

  • No. of pages: 1072
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2013
  • Published: March 24, 2013
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080969220
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780080969213

About the Editors

Firooz Allahdadi

Dr. Firooz Allahdadi served (1998-2011) at the United States of America HQ Air Force Safety Center in multiple capacities. He was the Center’s Senior Technical Advisor, Director of Space Safety Division and the DoD representative in the presidentially mandated Inter-Agency Nuclear Safety Review Panel.

In1998 Dr. Allahdadi employed rigorous scientific analysis to revamp Air Force’s conventional weapons operational safety and guidelines. This undertaking produced measurable operational efficiency and considerable real estate savings. He pioneered the Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) Safety initiative leading teams of experts to identify and quantify the entire DEW hazards spectrum. He authored the governing DEW operation safety policies, AFPD 91-4, which has been benchmarked throughout US military.

As the DoD representative, Dr. Firooz Allahdadi oversaw special analysis, provided technical oversight and garnered Presidential Launch authorization for the two Martian launches “Spirit” and “Opportunity” in 2003, the “New Horizons Mission,” a journey to Pluto in 2005, and landing of the nuclear powered Rover “Curiosity” on the surface of Mars in 2010.

He founded and directed the Space Kinetic Impact and Debris Division (1990-1998) at the Air Force Research Laboratory. He led teams of scientists and engineers to develop high-fidelity analytical tools to predict dynamics of the debris clouds created from any space engagements. This technology was employed to simulate specific space scenarios for national security planning.

Dr. Firooz Allahdadi lectured on transport phenomenon and conducted research on several nationally important programs as a faculty member at University of New Mexico. He is a member of the National Research Council, Chief Editor of the International Society for Optical Engineering and has authored over 75 scientific papers.

Affiliations and Expertise

Former Director of Space Safety Division of the United States Air Force (USAF), and representative of US Department of Defence in the Inter-Agency Nuclear Safety Review Panel, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America.

Isabelle Rongier

Isabelle Rongier is General Inspector, Director of General Inspection and Quality, of the French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) since April 2010, in charge of internal audit and risk assessment at Agency level, and responsible for quality standards application in management processes and space projects. She’s also responsible for certifying technical conformity to the French Space Operation Act before each space operation (launch operations and in orbit operations) is authorized. This certificate is then sent to French Ministry of Space on behalf of President of CNES.

Before (2005-2010), Isabelle Rongier was the Technical Director of CNES Launcher Directorate, dealing with all technical domain of a launcher design (solid, liquid and cryogenic propulsion, system and environment, mechanics and avionics). She has worked on all launchers operated from the European spaceport in French Guyana: Ariane 4 and 5, VEGA and Soyuz. She has always been deeply involved in safety methods and studies for all those launchers.

From 1997 to 2005, Isabelle Rongier served as head of system department and senior expert on flight management, including trajectory optimization, GNC algorithms design and validation, on board flight software design and qualification, transient phases analysis. All these skills are necessary assets for performing safety analyses.

Affiliations and Expertise

Inspector General and Director of Inspection and Quality, of the French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Paris, France.

Paul Wilde

Dr. Paul Wilde has 20 years of experience in space safety standards development, launch and re-entry safety evaluations, explosive safety analysis, and operations safety. He is currently a technical advisor for the Chief Engineer in FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation and chairman of the Range Commander’s Council Risk Committee. He has performed leading roles for multi-organization projects in several high-profile situations. During the Columbia accident investigation, Dr. Paul Wilde was the principal investigator of public safety issues and provided technical oversight for the foam impact tests. He also performed key roles in the independent flight safety evaluations for the maiden flights of the ATV, Atlas V, Delta IV, Falcon 9-Dragon, Space Ship 1, and the Titan IVB.

Dr. Paul Wilde was a leader in the development of several major US regulations and standards on launch and re-entry risk management. For example, he was the lead author for five of the eleven chapters in the US national standard on range operations risk acceptability requirements, rationale, and implementation guidelines. Dr. Paul Wilde was co-chair of the Common Standards Working Group during the development of the FAA regulation on launch safety, and a principal author for the FAA’s Flight Safety Analysis Handbook. He has published over 100 technical reports and papers. He received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, Special Congressional Recognition, and several other awards. He is a licensed professional engineer in Texas, with degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California.

Affiliations and Expertise

Technical Advisor at the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Houston, Texas, United States of America.

About the Editor in Chief

Tommaso Sgobba

Tommaso Sgobba is Executive Director and Board Secretary of IAASS (International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety). Tommaso Sgobba has been IAASS first President in the period 2005-2013. Until June 2013 Tommaso Sgobba has been responsible for flight safety at the European Space Agency (ESA), including human-rated systems, spacecraft re-entries, space debris, use of nuclear power sources, and planetary protection. He joined the European Space Agency in 1989, after 13 years in the aeronautical industry. Initially he supported the developments of the Ariane 5 launcher, several earth observation and meteorological satellites, and the early phase of the European Hermes spaceplane. Later he became _Product Assurance and Safety Manager for all European manned missions on Shuttle, MIR station, and for the European research facilities of the International Space Station. He chaired for 10 years the ESA ISS Payload Safety Review Panel. He was also instrumental in setting up the ESA Re-entry Safety Review Panel. Tommaso Sgobba holds an M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin (Italy), where he was also professor of space system safety (1999-2001). He has published several articles and papers on space safety, and co-edited the text book “Safety Design for Space Systems”, published in 2009 by Elsevier, that was also published later in Chinese. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the books “Safety Design for Space Operations” (2013) and “Space Safety and Human Performance” (2017) also published by Elsevier. He is Managing Editor of the Journal of Space Safety Engineering and member of the editorial board of the Space Safety Magazine. Tommaso Sgobba is the inventor (patent pending) of the R-DBAS (Re-entry, Direct Broadcasting Alert System), to alert the air traffic of falling fragments from uncontrolled space system re-entry. Tommaso Sgobba received the NASA recognition for outstanding contribution to the International Space Station in 2004, and the prestigious NASA Space Flight Awareness (SFA) Award in 2007.

Affiliations and Expertise

President, International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) and former Head of the Independent Safety Office, European Space Agency (ESA), Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Ratings and Reviews

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  • Klas N. Mon May 14 2018

    Safety Design for Space Operation

    You have to have it!

  • Klas N. Thu Dec 28 2017

    Safety design for space operations

    Very good book, lots of useful facts. Some chapters were less pedagogical though.