Joe Pelton's Latest Thoughts on Safety

New Book on Space Exploration and Astronaut Safety, AIAA

"Part history, part technology and part policy analysis, Space Exploration and Astronaut Safety, a new book by Joseph N. Pelton, reviews the history of NASA's space exploration program, its astronaut safety program, the present status of the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station ..."

Editor's note: I just hope Pelton has spent a little more time on the technical research aspect of this book than was done for the sloppy papers he and his colleagues presented on exactly the same topic back in 2004/2005.

How to Waste $300,000, NASA Watch

"The report makes heavy reliance upon newspaper and trade publication articles. Indeed, with the exception of several GAO reports, there are no technical references whatsoever upon which the report arrives at its findings and recommendations."

SEAS Receives $300,000 Grant to Study Astronaut Safety, George Washington University

Draft Paper Provides Insight Into NASA Space Policy Options, SpaceRef

"There is also the issue as to the level of expertise in place at GWU to fully understand the technical operations of the shuttle and ISS. Looking at the project staff listed on GWU's website no one seems to have any experience working with human spaceflight operations or systems or risk and safety analysis associated with human spaceflight. Of course, I have not seen the proposal they submitted - one which might list additional personnel with that expertise who are assisting in this project. None the less, this apparent lack of expertise in the area of human spaceflight and risk analysis is evident in many places in this paper. This is particularly notable in this passage from another part of the paper dealing with the ISS:

"As far as physical attack on the ISS is concerned there are, in fact, several possibilities. It might be possible for an explosive or more likely a poisonous gas canister to somehow be smuggled onto a re-supply mission coming either from the U.S. or Russia with a timer or remote triggering of such a device. Although this seems unlikely, screening of all materials launched on any mission to the ISS is necessary and a tracking system with UPC codes or other active tracking capability would appear warranted for launches from the U.S. or Russia."
To be certain, in a post 9-11 world, many things we once though improbable or impossible have happened. Yet given the inordinate procedures that go into testing and certifying payloads in both the U.S. and Russian (and other programs) human space flight programs, anyone who would even suggest such a scenario has clearly never spent any time in the very process they suggest might have flaws. They also evidence a certain level of professional ignorance by suggesting the addition of tracking systems that have already long been in place."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on June 23, 2006 11:24 AM.

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