USA’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed a new tool called ‘Space Data Integrator (SDI)’ which will help in better tracking of rocket launches and space vehicles returning to Earth, it will help in shortening the time that airspaces are closed.
- During space operations, airspaces around the area of space operation are closed due to safety reasons. Due to this, Airlines reroute flights causing them to burn more fuel and fall behind schedule. A single launch can affect hundreds of flights.
- The new tool addresses this problem by automating the near-instant delivery of data about a space vehicle’s flight path (Telemetry data) to the USA’s Air Traffic Control System. At present, the sharing of data between the entities and air traffic control managers was done manually.
- The instant delivery of data will help in reopening the airspace more quickly and reduce the number of aircraft and other airspace users affected by a launch or reentry.
The Tool was first used on June 30, 2021 for the launch of SpaceX’s Transporter 2. SpaceX became the 1st company to share flight telemetry data with the FAA.
Growth of Commercial Space Industry
The growth of the commercial space industry has increased the number of launches and reentries which has caused frequent disruptions to the Airline industry.
- The FAA stated that there were 45 space launches and reentries in 2020, this may rise to more than 70 in 2021.
About Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Administrator – Steve Dickson
Headquarters – Washington D.C., USA