Author Topic: Is Commercial Crew Dangerous?  (Read 23532 times)

Offline Ictogan

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Re: Is Commercial Crew Dangerous?
« Reply #100 on: 09/12/2017 09:14 PM »
If we can make it so where then most dangerous thing a passenger on a spacecraft does, ( on the day of space launch) is get in their car and drive to the launch site. 
That's good enough.
We're still a few orders of magnitude away from that.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Is Commercial Crew Dangerous?
« Reply #101 on: 09/13/2017 12:34 AM »
Yeah, that's ridiculous. Even if you ignore the uncomfortable fact that you're riding a rocket to get to space, once you're there you're in space - the harshest environment people have ever operated in. Space is hard... and, get this, dangerous. That's how it is. Deal with it.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Danderman

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Re: Is Commercial Crew Dangerous?
« Reply #102 on: 09/13/2017 04:22 AM »
Valid points all, but I don't think that was as big of a factor. YMMV of course.

It is... the Russians are in the business of milking 10 customers of their money for 1 that actually gets to fly. There's this little game they play where they deny their customers are even customers and then play them off against each other. One would hope SpaceX won't be doing anything like that and maybe the Russians will give it up when they have some competition. Either way, the only reason why commercial crew is not flying right now is that NASA is their customer and to make that customer happy there has to be lots of assurances about safety.

This is wildly off topic, but since I have seen original contracts to fly on Russian vehicles,  I can say the bulk of funds are transmitted exactly as the Soyuz rocket leaves the pad. Prior to that, only small payments are made.

Getting back on topic, the question is not Commercial Crew vs some abstract concept of safety, but rather vs crew on SLS flight 2.

Offline woods170

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Re: Is Commercial Crew Dangerous?
« Reply #103 on: 09/13/2017 05:46 AM »
Getting back on topic, the question is not Commercial Crew vs some abstract concept of safety, but rather vs crew on SLS flight 2.
Insight vs oversight. We don't need say more according to some folks.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2017 05:47 AM by woods170 »

Offline incoming

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Re: Is Commercial Crew Dangerous?
« Reply #104 on: 09/13/2017 03:15 PM »
There's been a lot of discussion about the safety of commercial crew vs. other systems.  And I think without a whole lot more technical insight it's hard to conclude anything other than the commercial crew systems can be at least as safe as other comparable systems out there, and have a reasonable chance of being quite a bit safer (depending on what you are comparing it to) due to the inherent design features (abort system, etc) and the flight heritage of the launch vehicles.

But IMHO equally if not more important is whether the management and decision-making model for commercial crew will be as safe or safer than the analogous processes for shuttle, ISS, SLS/Orion, etc. That's where the commercial crew program is quite a bit different. And, that, frankly, was the common failure in all three of NASA's fatal human space flight accidents. It took these three fatal accidents for NASA to arrive at the decision making process and associated management model they had at the end of the shuttle program. Now they are attempting to apply that model to a program with considerably less in-line involvement of NASA engineers, and with companies who take very different approaches to systems safety than the approaches developed by and/or used by NASA in previous programs.

On COTS/CRS, NASA was able to take a very hands-off role in everything except the portions of the system and operations that interface with ISS, since that's where the risk to the crew was.  In commercial crew, every aspect of the system design and nearly every operational decision has direct implications for crew safety.  So is a model where NASA has less in-line responsibility and the contractors have more latitude to develop their own approaches, and a model where contractors are working to meet their requirements in a fixed-price contacting environment safer than in an environment where NASA has more flexibility to direct changes? Can NASA and the contractors effectively apply the lessons learned from challenger and columbia in terms of not squashing dissent and elevating the concerns of the engineers closest to the hardware to the right decision makers in this very different acquisition & development model? I honestly think those are pretty big unknowns and will be the biggest drivers in terms of the safety of this program vs others.