General Question

talljasperman's avatar

What kind of licence do you need to fly space vehicle's like the Dragon spacecraft?

Asked by talljasperman (21739points) May 30th, 2014

In the future, what kind of qualifications will one need to fly a space craft ?

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2 Answers

jerv's avatar

It is likely that the requirements will be at least as stringent as for a regular pilot’s license; not drivers license, but full-on, FAA-approval to operate an airplane. (That might disqualify me as, even with glasses, my eyesight is not great. As it cannot be corrected to 20/20 in both eyes, I can never get a Pilot’s License.) And that is far enough in the future that spacecraft are about as common as small planes are now.

For the more immediate future, it’s likely that the requirements will be as high as they are now; more comparable to that of a military fighter pilot along with some of the training of non-pilot astronauts. Handling the G-forces of takeoff/maneuvering, and the special nature of zero-gravity require training and a little conditioning. Operating a vehicle that has the capabilities to get you there requires more training.

If you cannot even get a drivers license, the only way you’ll ever go to space is as a passenger. Even if you can get a drivers license, the added knowledge requirements of moving in 3 dimensions instead of 2 along with the more complex traffic regulations and safety protocols is enough that even most drivers will never fly.

cazzie's avatar

When Virgin Space wants to take off from New Mexico, they have to clear it from not just the FAA but anyone who regularly uses that airspace. It was funny, because they had to ask my boyfriend, due to his work at the University. I believe the FAA gives the person a list of people to get clearance from. I told him he should only give permission if we can get a tour. LOL.

Right now, it is really complicated, but I imagine it will be like cars were and they will be made easier to operate. To have a pilots license, you need to have regular physicals and eye tests and when BBE wants to eventually fly over here in Europe, he will have to sit the EU equivalent of the pilots exam, which is different, but I think our airspace is a bit more complicated here in Europe. Memorising airport codes and knowing where all the safe places to land are… I can imagine space craft will have to be regulated similarly.

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