Let's say I have all the technology, knowledge, materials, money and time to build my own homemade space rocket. Am I allowed to fly to space with it?

  • What is your jurisdiction? Jun 18 '16 at 19:09
  • 1
    The Astronaut Farmer Obviously fiction, but very related :)
    – Scott
    Jun 19 '16 at 18:05
  • Would anyone, who is so capable, ask a permission to do so? What if you don't get one? What if you fly regardless? Will they pursue you to sue you?
    – PF4Public
    Dec 9 '19 at 20:18
  • @PF4Public Violation of airspace can result in your airplane being shot down
    – Trish
    Sep 7 '20 at 17:32
  • 1
    @PF4Public any flying vehicle in the US Airspace has to adhere to FAA rules. And flying into restricted airspace (including space) or breaking contact with ground control leads to interceptors being sent after your vehicle. A rocket however might be much easier be misidentified as the launch of an ICBM - which might prompt just about ANY state to shoot it down.
    – Trish
    Sep 10 '20 at 16:57

Might depend on where you are. I think it's illegal in North Korea. In the US, it is legally encouraged, by the Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984, especially the part that says "Congress declares that the general welfare of the United States requires that the Administration seek and encourage, to the maximum extent possible, the fullest commercial use of space". Previously, Congress passed the Communications Satellite Act of 1962, which first expressed an interest in allowing commercial flights, but there was substantial opposition to non-government entities in space. There are a number of legal private space adventures from numerous countries.

As Nate Eldridge points out, you still need government (FAA) permission. So it's legal to blast yourself into space in the same sense that it's legal to drive or to open a business.

  • 7
    It might be generally encouraged in the US, but that doesn't mean it's legal to just do it. You need a permit from the FAA. See faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/… Jun 18 '16 at 19:08
  • True: I didn't interpret the question as asking "Can I just go fly to the moon?"
    – user6726
    Jun 18 '16 at 19:28
  • @NateEldredge technically, you need the FAA allowance for any flight in US Airspace. But if you'd launch in... let's say Point Nemo (the spot most remote from all coasts), you'd be out of any airspace jurisdiction.
    – Trish
    Sep 7 '20 at 17:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.