Re: SPACE: Mir (was Re: sociotechnic correlations)

Mark Grant (
Fri, 25 Jul 1997 17:41:58 +0000

On Mon, 21 Jul 1997, Michael Lorrey wrote:

> huh, the news here said that they had brought the cargoship in on manual
> untile the last few meters or so and then flipped on the automatic
> system. The automatic system supposedly overshot and caused the tanker
> to bounce off SPEKTRA and rip off a couple solar panels.

AFAIR that's not what NASA and the Russians have been saying on the Net.
I could see that perhaps he switched on the automatic system when he
realised that he was about to crash it, but that would still leave the
blame in his hands, not the computer's.

> In any account, Mir's present troubles are an excellent illustration of
> the problems that can occur on extended missions with little support
> that I have been trying to explain...

Not really; Mir has plenty of support, and that's what caused the problem.
A fast relativistic ship couldn't be holed by a transport because no
transport could catch up with it, and it would have to be equipped to
repair itself without external intervention.


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