[FPSPACE] thanks, Jennifer Green

KEITH GOTTSCHALK kgottschalk@uwc.ac.za
21 Sep 2000 08:22:59 +0200

  If my contributions to one of the political, or poetry,
email discussion groups to which I subscribe, wander off too
much into my enthusiasm for astronautics & astronomy, I get
lots of teasing fast !

       Weeks ago  a FPSPACE member drew attention to the
analogy between the recent submarine tragedy, & what could
happen in LEO. For ocean currents, just substitute a
tumbling on 3 axes caused by an asymetrical-to-centre of
mass catastrophic rupture.

   We might have a few space sation crew alive in 2 sealed
modules, with 5 ruptured modules, including the base module.
Everyone can frustratingly see the ISS or MIR in orbit, can
co-orbit with it, but need to grapple it before the power
supply for circulating air through CO2  scrubbers runs out.
Remember Apollo 13 with, was it half an hour of battery
power left?

   Are lessons to learn:

1) decentralised, autonomous power, & CO2 scrubber systems
in different modules? So if even over half of the space
station has to be sealed off, survivors have some days'
breathing space?

2) if the rupture happens BETWEEN the "lifeboat" spacecraft
& space station survivors, are there space suits scattered
around all modules in MIR / ISS to allow them to EVA, or
walk through ruptured modules, to the lifeboat?  Or
lifeboats at opposite ends?

   Sorry for the morbid nature of this posting, but let's
minimize all future tragedies.