Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rand Simberg of Transterrestrial Musings - Safe is Not An Option

Rand Simberg of Transterrestrial Musings - Safe is Not An Option

Rand has written a book: "Safe is Not An Option."  The tag line is "We're Not Kill Enough People In Space."  In the last twenty five years we've lost about 4%.

Rand says we don't get innovation when we are risk adverse.  Politicians say space is important but they aren't willing to risk lives.

The book goes through some history on things like Exploration and settlement.  Magellan sent five ships because he knew not all would make it. Only one ship returned.  Some of the early settles in the United States died.  Even Scientific Research wasn't safe: Franklin, Curie, Lazear, Kittinger and Stapp.

There are two aspects of the problem in space.  NASA pushes hard for safely.  Currently commercial projects are allowed to use their own judgement in regards to safety.

The Orion Launch Abort system may have added more risk than it took out.

NASA considered abandoning the ISS last year, rather than taking the risk.  Why does ISS need a lifeboat at all when the station on Anartic.

Jonathan Goff pointed out that MRSA kills about five people a day.  With a big focus on safety we are delaying commercial crew from doing more research and so every 36 hours than we're saving in potential crew loss.

Rand wants us to be careful that the commercial space industry doesn't adopt NASA's safety standard.

Philosophically people should be allowed to assess their own risk against their own reward.

Recommendations for commercial space industry:

Congress should extend moratorium indefinitely
Amend CSLA to extend recognition of maritime classification societies to spaceflight
Kill SLS and fund competitive commercial crew
NASA should purge from their language "Human Rating" and "safe" without an adjective

Then we can start acting like space is really important

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

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