Terms of Reference

Federal Government Corporation (FGC)

  • Under the Necessary and Proper clause of the Constitution, Congress can charter federal corporations to undertake acts or perform responsibilities that the Executive Branch does not otherwise have the legal authority or organizational capacity to perform.
  • FGCs were first created in the early 19th century to address the nation’s need for a national bank. Since then many more FGC’s have been created.  These include the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT).
  • An FGC is a “legal person” with the ability to sue and be sued, to issue contracts, to hold property, and to borrow.
  • While FGC’s have been primarily used for financial matters, they have been used to build and operate new logistics infrastructure (e.g., the TVA).
  • For the history, roles, organization, and discussion of FGC’s see herehere, and here.


  • The term “aircraft-like” refers to the characteristics of operational safety, effectiveness, and suitability inherent in well-designed U.S. military and commercial aircraft. These characteristics are achieved through the application of  “aircraft-style” engineering principles and practices during the design, fabrication, and operation of the new system.

Airworthiness certification

  • This is the formal process of government regulation of the operational safety of military commercial flight systems. It involves three components:
    • A specific design is demonstrated by analysis, ground and flight demonstration, and ground and flight testing to be safe to operate within the intended normal and emergency operating conditions.
    • Each production flight system is shown by examination to comply with the approved specific design.
    • Each production flight system is shown by ground and flight demonstration to be safe to fly prior to being released into operational use, especially with respect to carrying passengers and operational crew.


  • This is a specific legal designation of a human traveling on a public conveyance intended to transport the human from one location to another.
  • A commercial company or government entity involved in passenger transport has a legal duty to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safe passage of the passenger. This is referred to as the “duty to care”. This is the basis for why all forms of passenger transportation in the United States undergo some form of official safety certification, such as airworthiness certification for military and civilian aircraft.
  • The pertinent safety certification criteria establishes the minimum steps necessary to be undertaken to comply with the duty to care obligation.
  • This duty to care is reflected throughout the engineering development of the passenger transportation system.
  • Orbital and planetary habitats, by the nature of the environment in which they operate, will have comparable “duty to care” obligations and safety certification criteria for their human occupants.