[FPSPACE] Spaceflight is a dangerous business

David M Harland dave.harland at ntlworld.com
Sat Nov 1 14:14:07 EDT 2014

It's a shame us stay-at-homes couldn't club together and nominate 
someone for a one-way trip into deep space... and they then *had* to go!

At 16:45 01/11/2014, Dominic Phelan wrote:
>Yes David, the Mars 'one-way' show everyone is signing-up to has a 
>more 'Mars Underground' feel to it. I'm pretty sure none of them are 
>expecting it to happen any time soon!
>From: dsfportree at hotmail.com
>To: dominic_phelan at hotmail.com; fpspace at friends-partners.org
>Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2014 09:49:09 -0600
>Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Spaceflight is a dangerous business
>Yes! That is exactly correct. And it's not only celebrities who are 
>naive. All these people who want to go one-way to Mars - yikes! (Tho 
>I have to say in that case that I think - or perhaps vainly hope - 
>that most who have signed up have done so not because they really 
>think that they can go to live on Mars right now, but rather as a 
>way of proclaiming their support for our future off the Earth.)
>David S. F. Portree
>author and stuff
><mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>dsfportree at hotmail.com
><mailto:dportree at usgs.gov>dportree at usgs.gov
>From: dominic_phelan at hotmail.com
>To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
>Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2014 15:38:45 +0000
>Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Spaceflight is a dangerous business
>I'm just glad this "accident waiting to happen" took place during a 
>test flight. Apart from the fact that the design is now showing 
>itself to be fundamentally flawed - changing the rocket fuel this 
>late smacks of desperation - a later crash would only have killed 
>six passengers who naively believed their celebrity status protected 
>them from the realities of spaceflight.
> > Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2014 13:58:52 +0100
> > From: dokter.nuyens at telenet.be
> > To: fpspace at friends-partners.org; dsfportree at hotmail.com
> > Subject: [FPSPACE] Spaceflight is a dangerous business
> >
> > David Portree wrote:
> >
> > > Absolutely, but spaceflight can be made safer through good 
> design. The more boring a design is, the safer it tends to be. 
> Novel concepts invite catastrophe. SpaceShip Two is pretty, but its 
> design and operational characteristics are complex.
> > > The Space Shuttle was also a novel design. We hyped it& spun it 
> and eventually Challenger forced us to face the bald fact that it 
> was so complex and contained so many design compromises that flying 
> it could never be routine.
> > > Some people have developed the peculiar notion that, because 
> inexperienced private entities are developing spacecraft, often 
> with novel features, the hard facts of spaceflight do not and will 
> not apply. My hope is that this week's twin accidents will serve as 
> a wake-up call.
> > > It's not enough to say "spaceflight is dangerous." What we need 
> to say is "spaceflight is dangerous - so are our designs and 
> schemes realistic?"
> >
> > David,
> >
> > What do you want us to do? Use the same old stuff over and over again
> > being afraid of developing something new? And yes,everybody agrees the
> > shuttle was not up to its expectations because the way it was build was
> > too complex and dangerous. But it was mainly political bickering that
> > got us the shuttle that was.
> > Developing something new takes time,money and knowhow but if we really
> > want to go somewhere in space in this century, that's the way to go.
> > Will there be accidents-sure there will be. After more than a century
> > there are still plane crashes and car accidents.
> > Spaceflight IS a dangerous business-yes. We don't have to stop doing it
> > because of that.
> >
> > Zeger
> >
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