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Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS

Posted by: gaetanomarano - Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:51 am
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Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS 
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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:10 pm
We are so passionately opposing what Gaetano writes, because he fails to provide any evidence for his claims. He hopes FAA will shut down SC's business, because what he sees in photographs is making him anxious.

This is not a way skeptics go. Skeptics wait until there is enough evidence to point in one direction or another.

So far evidence suggests, that company called Scaled Composites, builds their air- (and space-)craft using composites. Gaetano claims they're using technology comparable to how early 1940's airplanes were built. His evidence are two pictures.

Anyway, we don't really have any way of proving or disproving this claim, until more details regarding SS2 design are released.


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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:11 pm
@arctic

The point is that he is not pointing out problems, he is guessing at how it is build, and assuming that none of the engineers know anything about their field, and that virgin think that killing costumers is a good way of attracting more!

I would have linked to some of the projects scaled composites have done before, but I can't connect to their website. Anyway, they are a very capable bunch of engineers with lots of amazing technology heavy projects.

Criticizing weak safety is a good thing, don't get me wrong, But just claiming stuff, with low resolution photos as sources, reminds me of the "we didn't go to the moon" conspiracy theory. No facts, lots of not thought through theories!


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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:04 pm
arctic wrote:
I don't understand, why everybody is so passionatelly opposing what gaetanomarano wrote?


It's not just us, gitanmorono is also opposing what he himself wrote. See my previous post about his self-contradictory "facts". The specific details of his anti-SS2 campaign have no foundation.

artic wrote:
Let's face it. There are dangers, and there are better and worse strategies to fight them.


Of course there are dangers, I'm not disputing that at all. I am a recreational scuba diver and there are many risks associated with that sport too. In fact many of the ones you mentioned related to depressurisation and mask retrieval are quite similar to dangers that scuba divers train for before they go into the open ocean. You have to be able to handle all your equipment blind before you can pass the basic level open water diver course. You also need to pass a medical fitness test before you can become a registered scuba diver. All suborbital tourists will undergo a basic training course to deal with these issues and I'm sure there will be medical checkups before boarding the SS2.

johno


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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:48 pm
You're still contradicting yourself... no, I've already said that a vehicle can be man-rated while it is developed

SS2 started in 2004/2005, so it has been approx 5 years in the design and building phases... if a vehicle ISN'T man-rated the 5 years are passed for nothing and I doubt that the SS2 will be man-rated since it hasn't any escape system

I'd love if your campaign to discredit SC and VG was deemed libelous and someone decided to sue you for publishing all this rubbish... in my article I've asked them to reply to demostrate that I'm wrong about the SS2 risks and I will be happy to publish their answer

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:54 pm
people die in a vacuum but not instantly... the risk is too high without a decent spacesuit

test pilots are the guinea pigs, not the passengers... but the SS2 passengers will fly with the same safety level of the SS1 test pilots or just a bit more

you have no right to comment on them being inadequate... they're not "inadequate" since they (simply) don't exist... the oxidizer eject isn't sure, the rocket rubber eject is impossible

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:02 am
why should it be a problem now... it's not a problem if the propellants are burned and everything goes well... but it CAN become a problem in an aborted launch

plan 50-100 test flights... this is good because I think that they will discover that the SS2 is too risky (just hoping they will give some safety systems to the test pilots)

execute a detailed and lengthy process with US Federal government regulator FAA/AST to demonstrate system robustness and eventually obtain a commercial launch license to begin commercial operations... 15 months don't seem enough for all these things... however, personally, I doubt a vehicle like this will be certified by FAA

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:07 am
Safety levels in cars... you can't compare spacecrafts with cars... if cars have had the same accidents of the Shuttles (two of five lost) we should have at least FIVE BILLION of cars lost in lethal accidents!

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:11 am
If he pointed those dangers out, the possibility of identifing and one and making SS2 or any other vehicle safer, is bigger... thanks, and (of course) I agree with you... the technologies to design safer spacecrafts already exist... the engineers must only apply these well known technologies... but they seem not adopted in the SS2

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:19 am
gaetanomarano wrote:
I doubt that the SS2 will be man-rated since it hasn't any escape system


And what will be the use of an escape system? baling out at high altitude is no use... you are dead anyway. At low altitude SS2 is nothing more or less that any other (rutan) plane... the dont have escape systems do they?
SS1 uses two pressure hulls, outer an inner hull. This is the reason why the do not use space suits on SS1... my guess is this is the same with SS2. And comparing SS2 with a jet fighter is as our beloved Dan would say... mindless!

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:19 am
pace shuttle isn't really the best example of a safe spaceship... true, that's why I've suggested to modify them o fly crewless: http://www.gaetanomarano.it/spaceShuttl ... uttle.html

or to add an ejectable crew cabin: http://www.gaetanomarano.it/articles/01 ... uttle.html

Lack of fatalities in Apollo Moon program is more luck than anything else... I agree, I've said that in this article: http://www.gaetanomarano.it/articles/009_LSS.html

Still, I'd suggest finding solutions to problems presented here more sensible than opposing them blindly... agree again, some (but not all) the SS2 safety issues can be fixed

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:23 am
With lowering pressure, boiling point of water falls as well. That means, that the blood inside your veins will start to boil if exposed to ambient pressure for about two thirds of altitude SS2 is about to reach. First small veins inside lungs and the eyes burst, then similar effects happen in the skin. Only the lungs can be protected by holding your breath and the mask (possibly eyes with the mask). If eye damage is too big, finding the mask can be problematic too and before mask is applied, lungs can be damaged beyond recovery as well... true, this is the description I've read from experts about the vacuum exposure and it's chilling for suborbital passengers

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:36 am
The argument, that SS2 can be allowed to be less safe because it is making just a short trip, while Space Shuttle stays in orbit for days is pretty shaky as well... yes, because the risks don't come from the duration of the flight... it's like say that be killed by 10 gun shots is "safer" than be killed by 1000 gun shots

Most of the spacefaring accidents happened during liftoff or return and SS2 has to do them both... right, these are the two riskier steps (see Challenger and Columbia) and third is the cabin decompression (see the 1st Soyuz) without good spacesuits

Hybrid motors can realy be safer than solid or liquid motros and there is way less propellant for suborbital flights, but these motors are still not completely safe... yes, theorically they are safer than full solid and full liquid engines but not in case of accidents... also, they have not a long story of flights on real vehicles and rockets, so, their real safety record is still unknown

Solutions for most of them exist, but they bring in additional costs and weight and it is not known, how they are dealt with in SS2... I agree 100%, and, yes, THIS is the real problem: "costs"! ...they "suborbital businessmen" want to build a less safe vehicles to keep the ticket prices under the $200,000 level to have more passengers and make huge profits

a safer SS2 can be made, but it needs more time and more investments, so, the ticket prices may rise to $500,000 or more, so, the space tourists will be only a few

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Last edited by gaetanomarano on Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:44 am
He hopes FAA will shut down SC's business... no, I think that FAA will force SC to design SAFER vehicles, since the must fly with tourists

enough evidence to point in one direction or another... unfortunately, ALL new.space companies (also SpaceX about the manned Dragon) never give enough data, to avoid that independent engineers find design flaws in their vehicles... SC can simply confute all our doubts and concerns just releasing more info about the SS2 safety systems

Gaetano claims they're using technology comparable to how early 1940's airplanes were built... but I'm too optimist, since, BURT RUTAN, has said in an inteview (see the wikipedia SS2 page) that the SS2 will be as """safe""" as a 1920 airplane... :)

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:52 am
Virgin think that killing costumers... the Virgin guys aren't NASA engineers, but, as """expert""" as their suborbital passengers, so, they can only hope that SC will make a safe vehicles

No facts... if SC will release more (and TRUE) "facts" about the SS2 safety, I'm ready to change my opinions

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:56 am
All suborbital tourists will undergo a basic training course to deal with these issues and I'm sure there will be medical checkups before boarding the SS2... yes, and all these controls and trainings, will be done in... THREE DAYS

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