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Basic Space Hardware

Posted by: rpspeck - Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:48 pm
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Basic Space Hardware 
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Post Basic Space Hardware   Posted on: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:48 pm
I am making progress on the pressure suit problem, although no one has taken my “Help Wanted” post on the subject seriously. Note that the F-22 “Partial Pressure Suit” (far less complicated and costly than a full pressure suit) reportedly was “Chamber Tested” to 66,000 feet (20km) altitude equivalent. At this altitude, air pressure is only 42 Torr, rather close to vacuum, and above the “Blood Will Boil” point. That old half truth doesn’t mean much. Blood will boil, at body temperature and at altitude, if it has been spilled and is in the open. However, in that situation it doesn’t really matter to me what it does! I am only worried about the stuff still inside me. The human body is more than tough enough to handle that pressure without exploding, or else any systolic blood pressure above 42 millimeters of mercury would cause that messy event.

The air pressure of 42 Torr is less than can be contained by rubber gloves, so that a similar thin layer – if necessary at all – can extend the F-22 suit’s capability to deep space. But I will leave details for a later post.

This weekend, or four weeks from now - depending on how you calibrate your Lunar calendar - many will be reminded of the classic, human spread-eagle position. I will not comment here on the specific event commemorated, its supreme importance or the perverse fact that the name of an Egyptian Goddess is used to identify it. The fact that the spread-eagle position resembles the markings on Micro-Space launch vehicles is no accident.

But for this forum, I want to note that the human spread-eagle position is the very best position to stabilize and control attitude in human, minimum weight spaceflight. You may speculate that orbital flight will become so cheap that participants won’t mind remaining sealed in a small box, and being deprived of an opportunity to “go out and play”. Rather like flying to Hawaii and staying in the hotel. But in fact free EVA need be no more dangerous than swimming, or SCUBA diving. (Yes, the buddy system, or Lifeguard arrangement is desirable.)

At some point, people cavorting in space will achieve a complex tumble from which recovery is counterintuitive. The auto recovery mode is no big deal. Nudge the panic button.

1. The spread eagle position reduces the tumble to it’s lowest angular velocity. This is the opposite of the arm pull in move a skater uses to accelerate a spin.

2..It provides a predictable and semi stable inertial tensor so that the damping process can converge easily.

3. It maximizes the effectiveness of the wrist and boot thrusters used for both auto recovery and intentional moves. This reduces the amount of CO2 propellant used to ounces.

Inflated tubes on the back of the arms and legs will remind the flyer that the process works best if they are kept straight – as will the lifeguard’s reassuring words through the radio.

Where did we get the idea that space will remain dangerous, but can’t become fun?


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 25, 2005 8:01 pm
Space Adventures
http://www.spaceadventures.com/media/in ... /hypobaric
has an altitude chamber. Have you contacted them about using it?

(EDIT) I have been googling.
Arizona State University has "two altitude chambers operated by ASU East can also be utilized for human subject research, and product development and testing. "
http://eastair.east.asu.edu/high_altitu ... r_home.htm
http://eastair.east.asu.edu/temp/altitude_chamber.htm

I am sure there are many such opportunities as the above two, if you look for them.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Mar 26, 2005 2:53 am
Wow, Thanks! I tried searches in the last year or two, with no results at all. Either Google has improved, or you are are better at it than I am. Probably the later. (In my searches, it has been very important exactly how I define the search. Probably in yours too - so you had a better idea how to prompt the engine.) In any case, if they don't demand big bucks, this could save me a lot of work! :D


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Post Automat Recovery of AstroGuests   Posted on: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:49 pm
Note that I am prepared to demonstrate a manned or unmanned version of the "Autorecovery" system discribed above in a “Zero G” parabolic flight, if for example, Peter Diamandis were able to provide an opportunity, and Robert Bigelow wanted to assure vacationers that they would be able to “go outside and play” from his orbital resort. The experience of controlled “Zero G” flight could also be offered to customer/investors who weren’t excited about being “stuck inside” after spending big bucks.

I am talking about a system that uses low pressure Nitrogen or Carbon Dioxide thrusters to cancel the spin, establish a preferred orientation (probably looking at the Space Habitat for orbital use), and correct translational motions as desired. (The gyroscopic sensors and controller are both compact and robust.) The system can be safely used in a air transport cabin, close to other “Zero G” “flyers”.

Our demonstration could be limited to 3 degrees of freedom or extended to 6 degrees of freedom, actually an untralight “autonomous rendezvous system” usable for a space suited individual. We did extensive work on this topic a few years back, when the DOD was crying for relevant proposals. However, our proposal fared about as well as John Carmack’s effort to sell soft lander technology to NASA! In any case, this mode would allow both stabilization and recovery of cavorting astroguests who got carried away, without active effort from the lifeguard.


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