Re: SPACE: Why so much EVA on ISS?

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Sat Mar 17 2001 - 20:35:58 MST wrote:

> Utter space-geek that I am, I spend way too much time reading about and
> watching video of the construction of the ISS. Here's a question for the
> pros in the space biz: Why is there so much EVA work required?... Why isn't
> this approach applied at a finer-grained
> level to the power and data cabling?

Greg you hit upon a sore spot for aerospace engineers. Back in
1991-92, the space station was getting some enormous budget
hits. The Fischer-Price configuration was introduced, greatly
downsizing the station. Around that time frame, any
cool new tech was deep 6ed, and there were maaaany frustrated
engineers. Fischer and Price were two actual persons; the
fact that Fischer-Price is also a toy company didnt help matters.

The new station configuration was so dinky, no one wanted to
work the project, so they got a lotta guys who either had low
seniority or couldnt get clearances, etc. Then they got dissed
by their coworkers, just to add insult to injury. They werent
allowed to innovate, just put the thing up there, faster better

Heres one for ya: look for posters showing artists concepts
of the space station, especially those that were drawn in about
the 1991-93 time frame. A lot of them show the space shuttle
in the drawing, but it is in the background, not shown docking
with the station, so size comparisons could not be made. But
they always tried to exaggerate the size of the station. Models
never showed the station docked with the shuttle. So, I took
their dimensions and drew a space station next to a shuttle and
showed it to some people, who were surprised at how small
the thing was. Needless to say, morale was low over in the
space station building.

Then the centrifuge and pretty much all the other cool stuff
that was originally planned was axed. {8-[ The science content
of that project is quite low, I fear. spike

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