Question about the rules and regs we follow

I've posed these questions to the one fellow in our club who works for the FAA but the more I thought about it the more I thought I'd cast it
out to a wider audience. That and since work's been, for once, keeping me very busy and I've not been here of late, this seemed something appropriate for my return with something the list can have fun pondering at length :-)
The basic situation is a project I hope to eventually attempt, a space shot. It seems that it can be done with as small a motor as an "L", provided you can launch from around 100,000 feet so it doesn't have to slog through all this thick air down on the ground. Balloon regs in Part 101D don't put any restrictions on the size, weight, or content of the payload carried, so there's nothing to stop a balloon loft of the rocket into the upper atmosphere. But that then opens up alot of questions. Such as above 60,000 feet the FAA doesn't regulate things, so it seems that there is no requirement for the rocket to have a waiver in place for a legal launch. And, since the motor would yet fall within the range of amatuer rocketry, being under the 40k N-sec and 15 secounds maximum thrust limits, it sounds like this doesn't fall under the bueracracies that the CXST crew had to deal with due to their monster "S" motor. So on the surface there seems to be alot of grey area to such an attempt and perhaps one honking big loophole in the regs that would allow for it to happen pretty much unmolested. Personally that sounds too good to be true (I hate paperwork of any kind) so it seems a good time to start making inquiries into what I must be overlooking. When (if) the time comes I want to play it by the rules.
Chuck NAR #82306, L2
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Zathras of the Great Machine wrote:

I don't know about the unregulated above 60,000 feet. I ran across something a while back and let me see if I can find it again....
Here we are:
http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20061500/edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2006/janqtr/14cfr71.71.htm
Class E Airspace consists of:
(a) The airspace of the United States, including that airspace
overlying the waters within 12 nautical miles of the coast of the 48
contiguous states and Alaska, extending upward from 14,500 feet MSL up
to, but not including 18,000 feet MSL, and the airspace above FL600,
excluding--
So the airspace above FL600 (aka 60,000 feet) is class E and therefore regulated. It appears a waiver from the FAA would be in order. Something tells me there will be lots of question and you might get kicked into the Part 400-499 rules. This isn't going to be as easy as you think.
I went looking for this a while back as the idea of unregulated above 60,000 feet loophole was a key part of a very interesting story in Analog magazine a few years back. Basically, a group of underfunded individualists build a SSTO plane. They acquire various bits of a totaled Lear jet and use its tail number. They file a normal flight plan and then request clearance above 60,000' once airborne. After they are up there, they are gone.
I don't think that launching the balloon near a coast and then launching the rocket once beyond the 12 mile limit will work either.
--
David W. Schultz
http://home.earthlink.net/~david.schultz /
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I would imagine that once you were completely clear of FAA airspace, NASA would claim jurisdiction.
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matt vk3zmw wrote:

Perhaps the most frightening thought yet! :-)
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wrote:

And if they didn't someone would claim they can under the anti terrorism bs.
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close- Department of defense

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David Schultz wrote:

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20061500/edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2006/janqtr/14cfr71.71.htm

Why does "Part 400-499 rules" sound like someplace I'd rather not go? I guess if I thought it'd be easy I wouldn't be thinking about this little project in the first place. But at least now I'm getting the gaps filled in which is what I was really looking for. Like I said, it sounded too good to be true, and so it seems to be. I suppose this means my chainsaw and I better defoliate a few hundred acres of woodland in preparation to make all the paper I'll need for this little flight of fancy.

I haven't read Analog in a looooong time, but that story sounds interesting. Do you remember which issue it was, or the author? It might be worth tracking down.

Even if it would, such a situation would add new logistical factors I'd rather forego, like an ocean recovery (hey buddy, can I charter your rowboat, I have to go get my toy WMD). And yeah, instead of the US regs I'd likely be dealing with international rules. I think I'll stick to the homegrown variety of MIBs, thank you very much.
Chuck, he who asks alot of questions
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Zathras of the Great Machine wrote:

Damn. I was afraid you would ask that. Hmmmm
"Amateurs", by Tom Ligon. July 1996 page 82-
I really like the code names for the various propellants...
Wallbanger Meringue Popcorn Baked Beans Cream Puff Pan Galactic Gargleblaster
--
David W. Schultz
http://home.earthlink.net/~david.schultz /
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David Schultz wrote:

Pan Galactic Gargleblaster may not be a codename as that's a rocket fuel if ever there was. I'm attributed with creating a drink called Green Dragon (a friend was the madman, not me) that's likely as close as you can get to a Pan Galactic without having the EPA come gunning for you. It will get you....somewhere...and you'll get there reeeeal quick! :-) And thanks for the info on the story/author. I've found no mention of the author's works being published in other than Analog but I found his homepage with an e-mail link. May as well go right to the source to find out.........
Chuck
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I thought balloon regs stated that only payloads up to 6 pounds each and then only two of them for a total of 12 pounds can be carried unless you file a balloon waiver plan for a project.
The near space guys always keep to two packs of 6 pound lunch boxes for this reason.
Start googling near spacecraft.
CD
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I think you still might need approval from them to go up through the air until you reach 60,000 ft. At least I heard a story of some guy that tied a bunch of balloons to his lawn chair and went up faster than he expected. He ended up getting arrested for interfering with air traffic.
kt
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That was a Darwin Award story, the truth of which I'm not sure of. According to Part 101D, as long as a NOTAM is logged, the balloon/payload is visible on radar, and the FAA is notified when the thing goes above/returns from 60,000 feet the basic requirements are met for a balloon flight. There's not even mention of weight restrictions (I think the keeping a payload to around 6 pounds sounds more a practicality with what a single balloon can loft). So, had the fellow logged a NOTAM, he'd have been good to go. A high altitude rocket launch seems to be a far different matter since above 60K is still under the FAA's thumb. I've just found out there's a new reg in place, as of May '05, for space shots. Something called an RLV permit, or some such. So, with luck things are starting to streamline abit. We shall see. Right now though working up the learning curve to the rocket itself seems a good thing to do, the paperwork can come later.
Chuck
snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net wrote:

you reach 60,000 ft. At least I heard a story of some guy that tied a bunch of balloons to his lawn chair and went up faster than he expected. He ended up getting arrested for interfering with air traffic.

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Zathras of the Great Machine wrote:

Then just look here:
http://www.snopes.com/travel/airline/walters.asp
It's true!
David Erbas-White

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I'm still waiting for Eric to fly with Balloons. That latest list of demands is pretty Sirius.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_the_midget
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_the_midget#List_of_demands_to_perform_the_.22Balloon_Stunt.22
"Bye for now"
-Fred Shecter NAR 20117
--
"""Remove "zorch" from address (2 places) to reply.
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Google near spacecraft to learn about what others are already doing, then see that it's not a unmanned free balloon below 6 pounds payload weight x 2 , see 101.1(a)(ii) and 101.1(a)(iii)
101.1 Applicability.
(a) This part prescribes rules governing the operation in the United States, of the following:
(4) Except as provided for in 101.7, any unmanned free balloon[1] that --
(i) Carries a payload package that weighs more than four pounds and has a weight/size ratio of more than three ounces per square inch on any surface of the package, determined by dividing the total weight in ounces of the payload package by the area in square inches of its smallest surface;
(ii) Carries a payload package that weighs more than six pounds;
(iii) Carries a payload, of two or more packages, that weighs more than 12 pounds; or
(iv) Uses a rope or other device for suspension of the payload that requires an impact force of more than 50 pounds to separate the suspended payload from the balloon.[2]
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"above 60,000 feet the FAA doesn't regulate things, so it seems

you are sending a rocket/object (containing propellant that could potentialy ignite) thru controlled airspace , nuff said.
prepare to follow thru with plenty of paperwork and data. either way,good luck with the attempt
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