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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 04, 2010 5:27 pm
gaetanomarano wrote:
If you think that it's too risky, then don't buy a ticket... I know that it's too risky but I fear that space tourists don't know that


If you believe that Virgin Galactic, or any other space tourism business, is actively hiding information from its customers, then you should make sure that the customers have that information before they buy. On the other hand, your definition of "too" risky might be different from other people's. For these space tourists, what you see as too risky might for them be an acceptable risk. You should honor their ability to decide how much risk they want (within limits, of course - people don't have the right to shoot themselves in the head for fun, but that's an extreme).
Again, any accident that has casualties will stigmatize the whole space tourism industry and kill any space tourism business. It is in the companies' own interest to make sure that that doesn't happen.

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:34 pm
SuperShuki wrote:
you should make sure that the customers have that information before they buy


the #1 goal of my article is to explain them why (in my opinion) the space tourism isn't yet safe enough

unfortunately, the main problem is that 99% of all (potential) space tourists, have a very poor or zero experience of spacecrafts and spaceflights to do a personal evaluation of risks

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:17 pm
gaetanomarano wrote:
SuperShuki wrote:
you should make sure that the customers have that information before they buy


the #1 goal of my article is to explain them why (in my opinion) the space tourism isn't yet safe enough

unfortunately, the main problem is that 99% of all (potential) space tourists, have a very poor or zero experience of spacecrafts and spaceflights to do a personal evaluation of risks


I read your article, and there is nothing there that Virgin Galactic is hiding from the customers. Some of those risks that you write about are even present on jet airlines, such as a wing falling off, or a loss of power on takeoff. If customers want to pay to have a professional evaluation of the risks, then they can. No information is being hidden. But it is the customer's decision to make, not yours.
The fact that not only is Richard Branson risking his money, but his life, and the life of family, on the safety of spaceflight, should say enough about how safe the ride will be.

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:06 pm
But it is the customer's decision to make, not yours... I have all the rights to say, publish and talk about my opinion, then, anybody is free to think and do what he want

Richard Branson risking his money, but his life, and the life of family... so far, he has only invested a minimal part (maybe, $30M or less) of the $250M investment announced (that is an atom of the money he owns) and has received dozens times the investment in free global advertising for him and his companies... :)

I'm not sure he and his family will really fly aboard the SS2 (so far, these are just words) but, if he will really do it, the only logical reason is that he don't know the true and full risks of this trip

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:18 pm
It's only fitting, that you compared SS2 to DC-3 - one of the most reliable and robust aircraft built at the time.


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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:21 pm
Mchl wrote:
one of the most reliable and robust aircraft built at the time.


that never gone in space nor flown at mach 4 while the SS2 is a DC-3 that should do it

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:56 am
Spacesuits are a waste of time - they cannot protect you enough to get you back to the ground, even with a parachute.

SS2 is going to undergo a LOT of testing before passengers flights are started. That should negate the possibility of wings falling off/mechanical failure etc, because any faults will be found in the development process. There may still be issues (see the latest Airbus 380 problems with the engines, just yesterday), but SS2 is much less complex than a airliner, so is easier to test.

There are still risks, and I cannot believe (although you can) that the passengers in these craft will not be told the risks. Of course they will be told, in a 50 page document I expect! If they then chose to fly, then that is their choice. (just as it is my choice to give up reading your article because of the ridiculous colour use - please PLEASE write more clearly or people will just NOT READ YOUR ARTICLES)

Composite materials are very strong - stronger than the equivalent metalwork. That's why the Boeing Dreamliner uses composites, as do F1 cars (You mentioned safety in F1 - they are as safe as they are BECAUSE they use composites). So you can make the hull thinner and stronger than with, for example, aluminium.

There are many other holes in your argument, but I've run out of time.


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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:16 am
gaetanomarano wrote:
you've just added other reasons that show why the space tourism is too dangerous.


My point was that there are probably other systems in place, and that you are just proposing systems that does not make sense in the context!

Commercial airlines are one of the safest ways to travel, and they don't need any of those things!

The suborbital tourism industry has a lot more in common with commercial airlines than fighter jets or regular space travel, for that matter!


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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:10 am
.

Commercial airlines are one of the safest ways to travel, and they don't need any of those things! ... but the suborbital spacecrafts aren't made with the same (very hign and very expensive) standards despite they must reach 70 miles of altitude at Mach 4

The suborbital tourism industry has a lot more in common with commercial airlines than fighter jets or regular space travel, for that matter! ... yes, but, excluding the (much lower or unexisting) safety standards

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:16 am
.

Spacesuits are a waste of time... spacesuits are very important for all vehicles that fly in the vacuum

SS2 is much less complex than a airliner... no, it has new things like the airlaunch and the foldable wings that airliners don't have

colour use... you can cut and paste the article in the windows notepad

Composite materials are very strong... true, but no new spacecraft (Dragon, Cygnus, Orion, etc.) is so thin like the SS2

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:57 pm
gaetanomarano wrote:
.

Commercial airlines are one of the safest ways to travel, and they don't need any of those things! ... but the suborbital spacecrafts aren't made with the same (very hign and very expensive) standards despite they must reach 70 miles of altitude at Mach 4

The suborbital tourism industry has a lot more in common with commercial airlines than fighter jets or regular space travel, for that matter! ... yes, but, excluding the (much lower or unexisting) safety standards

.


Of course SS2 is not made with the same standards because there are no standards for suborbital space flight yet, that does not mean that it can't be safe though!

The first standard for space docking has just seen the world (not finished yet) but still docking in space have been done safely lots of times!

There will probably be some start up issues, and that's why SS2 has to complete a lot of test flights before it can take paying costumers to space!

Regarding space suits: they don't wear them at ISS.
Furthermore the ones they wear during launch, I'm pretty sure that they are not vacuum proof.


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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:08 pm
The ones they wear at launch are vacuum rated. You would not want to do an EVA with one, but they are an emergency measure in case of pressure loss during assent.

They would be of doubtful utility on a sub-orbital flight, especially when you can do more efficient techniques to ensure safety like a self sealing pressure hull and redundant life support.

gaetanomarano - Your concern is appreciated, but at a certain point the pursuit of perfection, be it in performance or safety, becomes a detriment to actually achieving the goal. Eventually you have to just accept the risks and go. Otherwise you will never leave shore.


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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:25 pm
.

there are no standards for suborbital space flight yet... the construction and safety standards must be pretty close to those of other vehicles that fly in the vacuum excluding the thermal shield

SS2 has to complete a lot of test flights... they are useless since, in my opinion, the SS2 is dangerous by design

they don't wear them at ISS... the ISS modules are very thick, strong, safe and well pressurized, so, they don't need to wear space suits

the ones they wear during launch, I'm pretty sure that they are not vacuum proof... true, the "orange spacesuits" are certified for 30 km. of altitude max but the Shuttle cabin is very thick, strong, safe and well pressurized, also, after closing the hatch, the Shuttle's flight technicians use a special instrument to verify its perfect sealing

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:31 pm
.

especially when you can do more efficient techniques to ensure safety like a self sealing pressure... but the SS2 isn't made as you suggest

the pursuit of perfection... I don't suggest to build a "perfect vehicle" but only to don't fly on a, rudimental, primitive,too risky and imperfect vehicle, like the SS2

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Post Re: Why the suborbital space tourism is TOO DANGEROUS   Posted on: Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:55 pm
It really hurts to see how you have virtually no clue at all about the topics you are talking about...

*) Orbital vehicles are so "thick" because of protection against micro-meteoroids and orbital debris (ISS) and/or the stresses they are encountering during reentry (Dragon, Shuttle, etc.) A suborbital vehicle does not need protection against MMOD because before you notice that you have been struck, you are probably already back on the ground. And you can't even compare the stress during reentry: orbital vehicles need to slow down from ~28800 km/h while SS2 reenters from almost standstill and only then accelerates to Mach 1? 2? (whatever). That's not even Apples and Oranges...

*) Airlaunch makes it safer, because it is easier to abort!

*) SS2 is a good and safe design, because it is already proven! SS1 used the same underlying principles and it flew successfully numerous times! On one flight they even lost their instruments during ascent (could not handle the g-loads/vibrations, but that has since been FIXED) and the pilot could still guide it relatively easy.

*) The pressure vessel of a Dragon Capsule isn't really thicker than the hull of SS2. What you interpret as "thick and well pressurized" is actually not pressurized _at all_. It's just insulation, cables, fuel lines, RCS engines, storage for the parachutes, protective layers against MMOD and the heat during reentry, etc.

Don't believe me?
Take a look yourself:
http://www.spacex.com/assets/img/20100506_f9parts.jpg
Those 3 silver parts in the foreground are the walls of the Dragon capsule pressure vessel.
Here is another view:
http://www.spacex.com/assets/img/20101001_vessel.jpg

Compare them carefully to the pictures of SS2 in your article... noticed something? No? Look again! Dragons pressure vessel is actually thinner than that of SS2! :shock: (Can anybody else guess what the topic of gaetanomarano's next "shocking" article will be? :mrgreen: )


And this is where I stop arguing with you because while looking at your "article" (you should rather call it a painting with all those colors!) again I noticed, that you don't even know what a "composite material" is, because you believe that SS2 is made out of "metal" and its parts are welded together... :roll:

That brings us right back to the opening of my post and I realize that I have just wasted some precious time for nothing...

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