“Rocketry is undoubtedly one of ANU’s most innovative societies. Every project I have been involved in has tested my technical understanding, my knowledge of the law, my research abilities, my sense of creativity, and my ability to problem-solve!”
Our safety team conducts risk assessments, which means that they read and complete all safety documentation and ensure that they are up to date. The team takes charge to ensure proper utilisation and disposal of these waste materials. As laws are amended frequently and new information is often found in scientific community, the safety team helps track such changes and amend ANU Rocketry’s safety policy accordingly. Each team has a safety member.
Our legal team is a recent and essential addition to Rocketry, as our ever-growing ambitions lead us into complex and uncharted legal territory. Australia, like many other countries, is in a challenging legal position regarding rockets, as our engineers and scientists are making technological breakthroughs much faster than our legislation is able to develop. In particular, the law around sending rockets to space is limited and often vague.
As such, the Rocketry legal team is constantly working to research the meaning of the relevant legislative provisions, and to ensure that our technical teams are working within the law as it currently stands. In addition, we help other teams with more routine legal matters, such as the drafting of contracts and the procurement of permits for the transport of dangerous materials.
Our team has been forging ahead into uncharted legal territory, as Rocketry endeavours to reach new heights. In particular, we have done significant work relating to the interpretation of the Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2019, which governs our ability to manufacture and launch high power rockets up to and beyond 100km above sea level (space!). We have made considerable process in interpreting the act and determining how it will be applied in real life scenarios. Given there is only one existing Australian court case regarding this branch of law, this mode of legal research is no small feat, and often involves lots of correspondence with the existing tech firms in this field.
Furthermore, our team has maintained our excellent safety record, keeping the team as a whole up to date on the most efficient safety equipment and procedures. As always, our aim is to ensure that everyone is able to have fun at Rocketry events in a safe way!
Our ultimate legal goal is to successfully navigate the Space Act, such that Rocketry can eventually launch a rocket into space. Given the complex nature of this goal, we are approaching it via a series of smaller goals.
First, we will interpret and apply the transport and manufacturing regulations that will allow Rocketry to manufacture our Space Port rocket, as these will be important for our later domestic launches that will be covered by the Space Act. Next, we will move to administering the Space (Launches and Returns) (High Power Rocket) Rules 2019, which are similar, but less stringent than those which apply to rockets launched into space. This experience will be an instrumental stepping stone as we eventually move to gaining approval for Rocketry’s space rocket!