Re: SPACE: Is ISS a boondoggle?, was Re: SPACE: Why so much EVA on ISS?

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 23:37:51 MST

On Mon, 19 Mar 2001, Adrian Tymes wrote:

> Money is almost no object to their planners, but safety is, so their
> desired point on the "cheaper/safer" curve is where most businesses
> would not even bother drawing a gradation and just label,
> "goes to infinity here".

Hmmmm. Ok, so you are not supposed to "kill" people. However
we have the Apollo fire and the shuttle disaster, the Russians
have their equally messy examples. Exploring is risky and risks
kill. Simple. Now, presumably you have some value for "life"
because almost all countries are paying individuals to put their
lives at risk (this is what the military is all about).

We also have private companies who pay individuals to put their
lives at risk. The people who do oil-platform diving or those
who extinguish oil-well fires or even firemen and policemen
come to mind.

So one has to ask -- is the potential loss of life involved
in the exploration of space "overpriced"?

There should be a really good academic paper involved in the
exploration of this question. We all know that preserving
lives has costs. The question is whether NASA has gone off
the deep end?

I for one suspect that there are people who would sign up
to be Astronauts if the profession were 10x, 100x, perhaps
even 1000x riskier. The question is what each level of
additional safety is costing us?


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