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Date of Award

Fall 2022

Access Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation


College of Aviation

Committee Chair

Robert E. Joslin

First Committee Member

Dennis Vincenzi

Second Committee Member

Joseph R. Keebler

Third Committee Member

Carla Hackworth

College Dean

Alan J. Stolzer


The space tourism industry is preparing to send space flight participants on orbital and suborbital flights. Space flight participants are not professional astronauts and are not subject to the rules and guidelines covering space flight crewmembers. This research addresses public acceptance of current Federal Aviation Administration guidance and regulations as designated for civil participation in human space flight.

The research utilized an ordinal linear regression analysis of survey data to explore the public acceptance of the current medical screening recommended guidance and the regulations for safety risk and implied liability for space flight participation. Independent variables constituted participant demographic representations while dependent variables represented current Federal Aviation Administration guidance and regulations for space flight participation. The analysis determined descriptive statistics, polytomous universal, and general linear modeling of the ordinal linear regression of the data. Odds ratios were derived based on the demographic categories to interpret likelihood of acceptance for the criteria.

Various ordinal regression modeling techniques were employed to ascertain significant likely acceptance of the guidance and regulation dependent variables as derived from the demographic independent variables. Five of the twelve demographic variables significantly influenced public acceptance of one or more areas of the Federal Aviation Administration guidance and regulations; age, household size, marital status, employment status, and employment class. Specifically, increases in age and household size, as well as those never married, those employed full-time, and the self-employed exhibited significance in increased likelihood of acceptance of one or more areas of the guidance and regulations for space flight participation. The findings are intended to inform government regulators and commercial space industries on what guidance and regulations the different demographics of the public are willing to accept.