Technical Committees

Space safety is concerned with the design, testing and operations of space systems and the associated safety risks imposed on:

  • Individuals: Exposure of citizens and spaceflight crews/participants (flight & ground) to risks constituted by spaceflight activities
  • Society: Interference with current (inter-/national) activities on Earth, in airspace and Earth orbit
  • Globe: Impact on the environment (Earth & Space) from spaceflight activities

IAASS has constituted the Technical Committees to:

  • Conduct study and research of space safety issues (space hazards, limitations of space system performance) and identify the safety concerns w.r.t. activities in space,
  • Collect, organize and discuss the relevant state-of-the-art knowledge,
  • Evaluate methods and techniques and assess the need for common policies, guidelines, standards, laws or regulations,
  • Share knowledge, opinions and suggestions through publications in books, journals, presentations, position papers, etc., and
  • Upon invitation, provide expertise and support to working groups/organizations/bodies (institutional and/or industrial) which are concerned with the definition of consensus methods, safety standards or guidelines for space activities.

The Technical Committees create and maintain a strong link between professionals from agencies, industry and academic institutions. Only Senior Members and higher-level members (Associated Fellow, Fellow) of the Association, which satisfy specific criteria of expertise and excellence, can become members of the Technical Committees. The relevant Chairman may also appoint non-members of the Association responding to the same criteria above as members of the Technical Committees.

The Technical Committees base their operations on robust processes for analysis and judgement to formulate policies and recommendations without bias. Only rational and evidence-based information, properly understood data and scientifically grounded assessments are used. Assumptions are explicitly acknowledged and constantly challenged.

To develop the IAASS technical vision for space safety, and contribute to the mitigation of safety risks associated with the design, testing and operations (all phases, including launch and re-entry) of space systems, the IAASS has mandated the following Technical Committees:


Technical Committee Mandate  
Launch & Reentry Safety
  • International methods and policies for providing public safety during launch and re-entry.
  • Support to the creation of safety guidelines for the international space launch industry based on consensus on standards and methods concerned with launch safety.
  • Documentation of assessment techniques and technical proposals for reducing hazards emanating from man-made space debris and the re-entry into the atmosphere of space hardware and materials.
Space Hazards
  • Determination of best practices/techniques for (a) assessing space hazards (space weather, space debris, asteroids & comets in Near-Earth Orbit), and (b) modelling the population and long-term propagation of space debris.
  • Evaluation of needs, concepts & proposals for active debris removal.
  • Proposals for space system design w.r.t. debris mitigation, shielding against hyper-velocity impacts & protection against other cosmic threats.

Commercial Human Spaceflight Safety

  • Evaluation of system safety standards, guidelines and practises for the safe design and operation of space vehicles w.r.t. orbital and suborbital (commercial) human spaceflight, including attention to  the safety of, and hazards posed to, humans while interacting and interfacing with autonomous and remotely controlled robotic systems and space nuclear systems.
  • Assessment of the need for, and support to, the definition of consensus policies, guidelines & standards for commercial human spaceflight.
Human Factors & Performance for Safety
  • Identification of strategies for optimizing human performance and minimizing errors by increasing awareness of human factors engineering best practices throughout the entire lifecycle of spaceflight programs.
  • Assessment of human factors best practices for spaceflight crews & ground personnel, identifying vulnerabilities, improving organizational safety culture, etc.
  • Study of human factors lessons learned from other safety critical domains (such as medical, nuclear power, aviation, extreme environments) for relevance to spaceflight crew and ground personnel safety.
Space Safety Laws & Regulations
  • Assessment of the need for, and support to the development of, common space safety laws, rules, standards & regulations, procedures for national/international regulatory bodies and the industry, where appropriate.
A. P. Menzel
T. Pfitzer
William Ailor
>> contact
Prof. Paul Stephen Dempsey
>> contact
B. Kanki
>> contact
A. Quinn
>> contact