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Micro Space, Message from Richard P. Speck

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Fri Jan 28, 2005 5:50 am
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chabot imageRichard P. Speck President of Micro Space told me in an email: that he had hoped to provide information to the entrepreneurial spaceflight community, and encourage an exchange of expertise, to aid developers in general. His nonprofit corporation “Entrespace”, (www.entrespace.org), was created for this purpose. His background in amateur rocketry (charter member of NAR #74), Ham Radio (K0HWA), astronomy+ telescope manufacturing, Pulmonary Physiology (as in life support systems), with a degree and graduate work in Physics, equips him to analyze some of the problems facing explorers.

For example, preliminary research has shown that some of the materials used in “technical diving” (particularly related to “NitrOx” techniques and “Rebreathers”) will work in life support systems for spaceflight with minimal change. Similarly, the “Gamow Bag” used in high altitude mountaineering is already usable as a temporary, one man space habitat.

He noted that he personally thinks they are a lot closer to Kitty Hawk than to the DC-3 airliner, and that a lot of rather crude pioneering work will need to be done with entrepreneurial spaceflight before they see slick passenger systems developed. At the moment, only two entrepreneurial groups have passed 100 Km altitude, CSXT – unmanned, and Scaled Composites – manned. (Both actually using scaled up versions of rocket motors used daily in TRIPOLI (TRA) rockets). Orbital flight requires 36 times the energy, and Lunar landing 100 times the energy (per pound payload). These are not small factors. A “user friendly” suborbital flight system may be on the horizon. But the first private adventurers to walk on the Moon will not travel in comfort! He has no interest in waiting for luxurious travel, but want to walk on the Moon as soon as possible.

He has some specific, relevant questions, of interest to all developers. For example, what is the air pressure used in “Positive Pressure” breathing equipment (for firefighters, for example), and in “Partial Pressure” suits (for the F-22 fighter for example) which provide “chest banding” with the “G suit” (and prevent lung rupture from overexpansion of the chest). This information is relevant for emergency pressure suits which could be sewn from mountaineering materials.

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