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From: (Henry Spencer)
Subject: lifeboats (was Re: Why not X-33?)
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 16:02:59 GMT

In article <>,
Jorge R. Frank <> wrote:
>> You keep mentioning the safety issue.  Has anyone been hurt in a Soyuz
>> capsule since the redesign of after the Soyuz 11 disaster?
>It's not a safety issue for a healthy crew.  One of the goals of the
>X-38 is gentle return of an *injured* crewmember.  Soyuz can't do that.

The question is whether gentle return is really necessary.  As of a few
years ago, some preliminary studies indicated that high-G reentries are
*not* a major added risk for medical evacuation.  About the only real
problem they cause is that they limit medical assistance to the injured
person for a few minutes.

At least one JSC paper said, very nearly in so many words, "low G doesn't
seem to be a real requirement, but we're going to insist on it anyway".
Translation, "we want to build a lifting body, and we will fudge the specs
to exclude all other approaches".
Microsoft shouldn't be broken up.       |  Henry Spencer
It should be shut down.  -- Phil Agre   |      (aka

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