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Organization: NASA
Publication Date: 13 June 2018
Status: active
Page Count: 428



The objective of this publication is to establish and enforce NASA ELV payload project requirements to ensure the safety of the public, launch area, payload processing facility, and launch complex personnel and resources and to ensure that all aspects of prelaunch and launch operations adhere to applicable public laws. These safety requirements safeguard people and resources (including flight hardware, ground support equipment (GSE) and facilities) from hazards associated with payloads that will fly on unmanned Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELVs) (i.e. ELV payloads), including hazards associated with payload related GSE. This document is a baseline and shall be tailored for each NASA payload project (mission). The contents of this publication are to be used in conjunction with NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 8715.7, Expendable Launch Vehicle Payload Safety Program by the payload project to develop and process their payloads safely throughout the project's life cycle. The requirements of this document comply with the requirements of AFSPCMAN 91-710 and are acceptable to NASA and the Air Force ranges. The Payload Safety Working Group (PSWG) is the payload project's primary interface for the safety review and approval process, where all documentation required by this publication and safety concerns or issues start. The PSWG members represent their respective organizations and are responsible for coordinating, as necessary, with their organization to ensure payload project compliance with their organization's safety policies, processes, and requirements whenever the payload is being processed on their organizations property or in their jurisdiction. The PSWG shall include the NASA (or JPL) Payload Project System Safety Engineer, the payload contractor safety representative(s), the NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Services Division Safety Engineer (or equivalent) who typically chairs the PSWG, the launch vehicle contractor safety engineer, the launch site range safety engineer, the payload processing facility safety engineer, and other invitees such as the mission's Launch Site Integration Manager (LSIM) and subject matter experts (see Volume 3, Paragraph 2.1) and payload or sample recovery organization safety representative as needed. PSWG activities typically conclude with the signing of the Certificate of ELV Payload Safety Compliance. If there are any open action items, the payload project will provide the appropriate local safety authorities and mission officials with updates and complete the Safety Verification Tracking Log (SVTL). NPR 8715.7, this publication, and the PSWG safety review and approval process upholds and does not remove or alter the safety responsibility and authority of any organization having safety authority jurisdiction where the payload project is processed. The paragraph numbers of this document follow the same paragraph numbering of AFSPCMAN 91-710. The mutual goal of NASA, the payload project, and Range Safety shall be to conduct their missions safely, with a strong commitment to public safety.

Note: Range Safety is a member of the PSWG working as a PSWG member in the project's safety review and approval process. All correspondence (safety submittals, review comments, etc.) is processed and coordinated through the PSWG. The phrase "PSWG and Range Safety" is used throughout this document not to imply that Range Safety is separate from the PSWG but to emphasize Range Safety's role, authority, and responsibility in public safety and launch site safety.


Payload Projects.

The requirements, policies, processes, procedures, and approvals defined in this publication and NPR 8715.7 shall be applicable to all NASA ELV payload projects. The requirements in this document apply to each payload project and its design, fabrication, launch area testing, vehicle integration, launch processing, launch, ascent flight phase through payload separation, and planned recovery; payload-provided upper stages; interface hardware that is flown as part of a payload; and GSE (Ground Support Equipment) used to support payload-related operations. During the period from post launch ascent flight phase through payload separation the requirements of this document apply only to the extent that a hazard could credibly result in a mishap causing a fatal injury or loss of the flight termination system. This document does not address in-flight spacecraft operational safety. This document applies to payload processing facilities and the launch site area and does not apply to payload integration, operations and testing performed at NASA Centers, JPL and other contractor facilities that take place prior to payload shipment to the launch site area. Center payload activities fall under NPR 8715.3 NASA General Safety Program Requirements and their local safety requirements. The mission success and any scientific objectives of the payload are the responsibility of the Payload Project Office and are beyond the scope of this document. When conflicting safety requirements are encountered, the most stringent shall be applied. When additional safety requirements are needed, NPR 8715.7, AFSPCMAN 91-710, and local safety requirements shall be applied as determined by the PSWG and Range Safety.


This document is a template for developing a specific payload project's safety requirements document. The tailored edition shall be placed on contract, other agreement, or effected through the applicable range Universal Documentation System. Requirements were identified to address the safe design and operational concerns encountered in a 'typical' spacecraft. Every attempt was made to capture the intent of all original requirements from applicable baseline requirements (e.g., AFSPCMAN 91-710). The contents of this publication provide additional clarification, remove non-applicable requirements, and reflect current practices and procedures of Ranges, Launch Vehicle Contractors, Payload Processing Facility Contractors, etc. The PSWG and Range Safety reserves the right to identify applicable requirements not addressed, and any oversights, omissions, or inaccuracies during the tailoring process with the payload project office. See Attachment 1 of this volume, for further tailoring instructions. See NPR 8715.7 for the overall tailoring process.

Developing a tailored edition of this document. The tailored edition should look like this document with the following exceptions:

The tailored edition shall be constructed in the following manner:

Insert a document heading/title that reads, "NASA ELV Payload Safety Requirements" for Project Name, date of the applicable contract/agreement/ etc.", centered at the top of each page.

Date of tailored edition.

Insert "PROPRIETARY" at the top, centered directly over heading material, and at the bottom of each page (if requested by the payload project).

Remaining heading information shall be left justified.

New Programs.

This publication and NPR 8715.7 are applicable to all NASA ELV payload projects under all new programs.

Previous Approvals.

All new NASA ELV payload projects must comply with the requirements in this document. However, similar previously approved projects, systems or operations and related noncompliances may be updated and submitted for consideration by the PSWG in assessing the safety of the new payload project. Existing projects and noncompliance approvals approved before the initial publication of this document shall be updated to reflect any changes since last approval and resubmitted to the PSWG for PSWG and Range Safety assessment.


This publication is based on, but not limited to, the responsibilities or standards contained in or applied by NPR 8715.7 Preface and AFSPCMAN 91-710 Volume 1 Section1.3.

Document History

June 13, 2018
INTRODUCTION OBJECTIVE The objective of this publication is to establish and enforce NASA ELV payload project requirements to ensure the safety of the public, launch area, payload processing...