AF Space Safety launches first mishap investigation course

  • Published
  • By Maj. Paula Hawley
  • Air Force Safety Center Space Safety Division

Six space professionals and space safety officers made safety history July 28, 2017, when they completed the first Space Mishap Investigation Course.

“This course is a milestone in normalizing space mishap investigations with our mature aviation mishap investigation processes and enables safe operations in another one of our assigned Air Force domains,” said Mark Glissman, Air Force chief of space safety.


Students of the inaugural two-week course represented Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.; Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.; the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, both at Kirtland AFB; and the 310th Space Wing, Schriever AFB, Colo.

 “This is the right time for the Space Safety course to come on line,” said Maj. James Souders, chief of the Innovation and Development Branch and SMIC instructor.  “The importance of space safety is growing along with the increased role of space in support of the Air Force mission.”    

“The curriculum is focused on mishap investigations, proactive mishap prevention and mishap reporting techniques,” said Lt. Col. Beth Nayder, an Air Force reservist supporting the branch.  “Students get an in-depth look at space-related safety investigations and analyses of human and material factors to help identify root causes of mishaps.”

The next course is scheduled for January 2018.  

The course is recommended for space professionals at Level 1 or higher in the Space Professional Development Program.  All space professionals and space safety officers already filling space-related positions, including jobs focused on a space mission -- from designing, integrating, operating, employing, sustaining, maintaining or supporting space systems within the DOD and selected government positions – are eligible to attend.

For more information about the Space Mishap Investigation Course, visit or call (505) 846-8074, DSN 246-8074.