The full-range of research areas that support the FAA AST mission goals fall into four main research areas (RAs) and those are then broken into multiple sub-areas, as shown below:


Space Traffic Management And Operations

Safe Integration of Air & Space Traffic Management, to effectively answer those topics related to the development and optimization of technical and regulatory provisions and processes used to oversee, coordinate, regulate, and promote safe and responsible space all activities between space and Earth (including access to, operations in and return from space to Earth) to avoid physical and/or electromagnetic interference.

It also includes the operational and safety-related design criteria of spaceports, launch and reentry vehicles, and resident space objects, air and space traffic integration, space situational awareness (currently not within AST authority, but listed for the sake of completeness), ground support operations, and other issues which may impact the safe operation of launch, reentry, or on-orbit operations.

Space Transportation Operations, Technologies & Payloads

Improved vehicle safety and risk management, including knowledge of all safety-critical components and systems of the space vehicles and their operations, so as to better identify potential hazards and to better identify, apply and verify hazard controls.

Human Spaceflight

Ensure human safety of those onboard during space vehicle operation and those involved with spaceport operations.

Space Transportation Industry Viability

Increase industry viability, including economic, legal, legislative, regulatory, and market analysis & modeling.


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