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Title 14 Part 431 → Subpart A

Title 14 → Chapter III → Subchapter C → Part 431 → Subpart A

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 14 Part 431 → Subpart A

e-CFR data is current as of November 15, 2019

Title 14Chapter IIISubchapter CPart 431 → Subpart A


Title 14: Aeronautics and Space
PART 431—LAUNCH AND REENTRY OF A REUSABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE (RLV)


§431.1   General.

(a) Scope. This part prescribes requirements for obtaining a reusable launch vehicle (RLV) mission license and post-licensing requirements with which a licensee must comply to remain licensed. Requirements for preparing a license application are contained in part 413 of this subchapter.

(b) Equivalent level of safety. Each requirement of this part applies unless the applicant or licensee clearly and convincingly demonstrates that an alternative approach provides an equivalent level of safety to the requirement of this part.

[Doc. No. FAA-2016-6761, Amdt. No. 431-6, 83 FR 28535, June 20, 2018]

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§431.3   Types of reusable launch vehicle mission licenses.

(a) Mission-specific license. A mission-specific license authorizing an RLV mission authorizes a licensee to launch and reenter, or otherwise land, one model or type of RLV from a launch site approved for the mission to a reentry site or other location approved for the mission. A mission-specific license authorizing an RLV mission may authorize more than one RLV mission and identifies each flight of an RLV authorized under the license. A licensee's authorization to conduct RLV missions terminates upon completion of all activities authorized by the license or the expiration date stated in the reentry license, whichever occurs first.

(b) Operator license. An operator license for RLV missions authorizes a licensee to launch and reenter, or otherwise land, any of a designated family of RLVs within authorized parameters, including launch sites and trajectories, transporting specified classes of payloads to any reentry site or other location designated in the license. An operator license for RLV missions is valid for a two-year renewable term.

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§431.5   Policy and safety approvals.

To obtain either type of RLV mission license, an applicant must obtain policy and safety approvals from the FAA. Requirements for obtaining these approvals are contained in subparts B and C of this part. Only the license applicant may apply for the approvals, and may apply for either approval separately and in advance of submitting a complete license application, using the application procedures contained in part 413 of this subchapter.

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§431.7   Payload and payload reentry determinations.

(a) A payload determination is required to launch a payload unless the proposed payload is exempt from payload review under §415.53 of this chapter. Requirements for obtaining a payload determination are set forth in part 415, subpart D of this chapter.

(b) A payload reentry determination is required to reenter a payload to Earth on an RLV unless the proposed payload is exempt from payload reentry review.

(c) A payload reentry determination made under a previous license application under this subchapter may satisfy the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) The FAA conducts a review, as described in subpart D of this part, to make a payload reentry determination. Either an RLV mission license applicant or a payload owner or operator may request a review of the proposed payload using the application procedures contained in part 413 of this subchapter. Upon receipt of an application, the FAA may conduct a payload reentry review independently of an RLV mission license application.

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§431.8   Human space flight.

To obtain a license, an applicant proposing to conduct a reusable launch vehicle mission with flight crew or a space flight participant on board must demonstrate compliance with §§460.5, 460.7, 460.11, 460.13, 460.15, 460.17, 460.51 and 460.53 of this subchapter.

[Doc. No. FAA-2005-23449, 71 FR 75632, Dec. 15, 2006]

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§431.9   Issuance of a reusable launch vehicle mission license.

(a) The FAA issues either a mission-specific or operator license authorizing RLV missions to an applicant who has obtained all approvals and determinations required under this chapter for the license.

(b) An RLV mission license authorizes a licensee to launch and reenter, or otherwise land, an RLV and payload, if any, in accordance with the representations contained in the licensee's application, subject to the licensee's compliance with terms and conditions contained in license orders accompanying the license, including financial responsibility requirements.

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§431.11   Additional license terms and conditions.

The FAA may amend an RLV mission license at any time by modifying or adding license terms and conditions to ensure compliance with 51 U.S.C. Subtitle V, chapter 509, and applicable regulations.

[Doc. No. FAA-2012-0232, 77 FR 20533, Apr. 5, 2012]

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§431.13   Transfer of a reusable launch vehicle mission license.

(a) Only the FAA may transfer an RLV mission license.

(b) An applicant for transfer of an RLV mission license shall submit a license application in accordance with part 413 of this subchapter and satisfy the applicable requirements of this part. The FAA will transfer an RLV mission license to an applicant who has obtained all of the approvals and determinations required under this chapter for an RLV mission license. In conducting its reviews and issuing approvals and determinations, the FAA may incorporate any findings made part of the record to support the initial licensing determination. The FAA may modify an RLV mission license to reflect any changes necessary as a result of a license transfer.

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§431.15   Rights not conferred by a reusable launch vehicle mission license.

Issuance of an RLV mission license does not relieve a licensee of its obligation to comply with requirements of law that may apply to its activities.

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§§431.16-431.20   [Reserved]