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ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) Develops First-Ever Offshore Spaceports International Requirements

ABS Offshore Spaceport Building and Classing Requirements

Recognizing the increase in global demand for offshore spacecraft launch and recovery, ABS announced the publication of the first international requirements for the design and construction of offshore spaceports during the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston.

ABS produced a new set of requirements based on service experience with industry leading aerospace rocket launch and recovery companies to guide the burgeoning maritime aspects of the space flight industry in the safe design and construction of offshore assets. Previously there were no industry requirements to address an offshore spaceport’s unique concept of operation.

Spaceports are marine or offshore assets that conduct spacecraft launch or recovery. The ABS Requirements for Building and Classing Offshore Spaceports addresses several vessel types including barge type units, column-stabilized, offshore installations and self-elevating units.

“The offshore space industry is growing rapidly, and ABS is already a pioneer in the field of offshore space support with our industry-leading work on autonomous rocket recovery droneships. This new publication allows ABS to provide clear support for organizations that are engaging with regulatory agencies to reactivate assets such as offshore support vessels, barges and liftboats to support space flight,” said Miguel Hernandez, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Offshore.

ABS is at the forefront of offshore space support. Learn more here about ABS’ joint development project with SpaceX to review the remotely controlled functions of autonomous rocket recovery droneships used for booster rocket recovery at sea.

Download a copy of the ABS Requirements for Building and Classing Offshore Spaceports here.

With more than 70 years of experience in the offshore sector, including decades with specialized offshore support vessels, ABS is committed to providing expert guidance and solutions for safely managing assets in offshore operations. Read more here.


FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee To Discuss National Spaceport Strategy

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on May 15, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

To view the meeting notice, click here.

Part of the discussion will include a National Spaceport Strategy.

The FAA is leading a federal government working group to develop a National Spaceport Strategy to leverage the full network of domestic spaceports to the benefit of the space transportation industry and the nation as a whole. The strategy will consist of three primary areas of interest: promote innovation and investment in spaceport infrastructure; establish consistency in operations and standards at the nation’s spaceports; and promote cooperation and partnerships between federal and commercial spaceports.

Other members of this group include the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Space Force and NASA. 

The Office of Spaceports was established by the 2018 FAA Authorization Act to be a centralized policy office within the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation. The FAA Office of Spaceports is responsible for development of policies that promote infrastructure improvements and strengthen the competitiveness of US spaceports, supporting launch and reentry site licensing activities, providing technical assistance and guidance to existing and proposed new spaceports, and the domestic and global promotion of US spaceports.

Spaceport Map

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