Re: SPACE: Why so much EVA on ISS?

From: Doug Jones (
Date: Wed Mar 21 2001 - 18:38:10 MST

Michael Lorrey wrote:
> Doug Jones wrote:
> >
> > Spike Jones wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > Ja, but what Im looking for here is to free Kistler et al from
> > > having to make their products human-rated. Thats part of the
> > > reason why the shuttle is so spendy: it needs three nines
> > > reliability. Let NASA do what NASA does, lift primates
> > > to orbit safely if expensively. Let the other launcher builders
> > > trim the weight margins closer, and assume a higher level
> > > of risk that we accept for our fellow humans. spike
> >
> > Two problems- historically, they've killed almost 1% of the humans
> > they've tried to launch. That ain't "safely" in my book.
> Ah, crap, Doug. Somewhere around a quarter of all people who trekked
> into the American west were killed in violent confrontations or plain
> stupidity rather quickly, I've heard. A 1% loss is tiddlywinks.

Trekkers, pretty much by definition, are nearly broke emigrants with no
money to spare. Tourists, on the other hand, pay handsomely for the
privilege- but expect near-certainty of survival. Sure, mountain
climbers get killed quite often but they are not a multi hundred billion
dollar a year market.
> > Second, the
> > big market, the real enabler for routine cheap access to space, is space
> > tourism. Leaving manned space flight in NASA's hands is like building a
> > luxury island hotel, then using an F-18 to deliver guests via ejection
> > seat.
> Its worse than that. The outside temps run from 250 above to 250 below
> and the hotel air conditioning is likely to go on the fritz at any given
> moment, and you lose a hunk of your bone mass while up there, and they
> give you a lousy exercise bike for keeping in shape.

Outside temps aren't a big deal with decent insulation and active
thermal control (valved heat pipes, pretty much), atmosphere reclaim can
(and should) be modular and redundant, and a tourist won't lose enough
bone mass in a one week visit to be concerned. As for exercise bikes,
consider a large zero gee play volume with an icarus wing harness-
that'll not only keep the visitors in shape, they'll have more muscle
when they go home, just cause its so damn fun.

Lots of problems just go away if you can throw lots of mass at them, and
keep stay times short thanks to frequent flights. Only the staff needs
good low-gee prophylaxic medicine and exercise.

Doug Jones, Rocket Engineer

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