Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NASA Engineers Building Mockup of Deep Space Station

Comments Filter:
  • by halltk1983 (855209) <halltk1983@yahoo.com> on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @10:02AM (#41752413) Homepage Journal
    I'm glad to see that they are working more on this. The more we understand about the effects of solitude, the better we will be able to combat them. Glad we're getting this out of the way so that when propulsion and radiation shielding are ready, so are the people that will use them.
    • by Brad1138 (590148)
      I have to say, I was really hoping to see something more like this [0catch.com].
    • by HornWumpus (783565) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @10:11AM (#41752533)

      There are many /.ers who could do the trip to Mars standing on their heads. After decades in their mom's basement with no human contact except mom and the pizza delivery guy, 2 years in a capsule will be a breeze. Just so long as mom can come along.

      • by Baron_Yam (643147) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @10:19AM (#41752649)

        You jest... but people with hermit tendencies who are satisfied getting most of their social contact through a computer interface might be the pool from whom we select deep space astronauts.

        Finding them in suitable physical condition, with appropriate education, and with proper social skills to deal with a small group of people just like themselves would probably winnow that group down considerable. Still, probably a much better starting point than air force pilots.

        • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @10:33AM (#41752791)

          >> proper social skills to deal with a small group of people just like themselves

          "Do you play D&D?"
          "Yes, why?"
          "You're in!"

          • by Jeng (926980)

            The problem with that is they won't be playing online games due to the latency issues so the only people they can play with are their co-workers.

            No escape anywhere.

          • >> proper social skills to deal with a small group of people just like themselves

            "Do you play D&D?"
            "Yes, why?"
            "You're in!"

            Of course, then it turns out after launch that one is a AD&D grognard and the other is a fan of 4E. Interpersonnel violence occurs and the mission never makes it past the moon.

            • Mom says D&D only. You can use Greyhawk, Blackmoor, all the supplements except Eldritch Wizardry (Which mom vetos because of cover art).

              If you need any other rules or monsters the DM can just make them up. Why? Weight savings.

        • Yeah, but don't astronauts have to be in shape?

          • by timeOday (582209)

            Yeah, but don't astronauts have to be in shape?

            "The Right Stuff" aside, why? Only moderate amounts of exercise are required to minimize disease. Living under house arrest at 0G it's hard to see the relevance of being able to bench 300 earth-pounds or run a 5 minute mile. Perhaps excessive exercise would just be a waste of food.

            • if you ever want to experience 1G again, you'd better exercise.

              • by Teancum (67324)

                Interestingly enough, those astronauts who weren't athletes or at least not in strong athletic conditioning here on the Earth before their trips into space seem to have less of a problem in space than those in peak physical condition before going up. There may be some need for exercise in space, but it isn't necessarily the only thing to consider. Overall general health and reasonable diets seem to be a much more important factor.

                The one significant issue that seems to be an ongoing issue is calcium loss.

        • by Sentrion (964745)

          I nominate Westboro Baptist Church, for the following reasons:

          1. The church is a small, tight-knit group of mostly family members.
          2. They won't back down from their mission, regardless of personal cost.
          3. They all share the same very narrow-minded world view, so the possibility of moral conflicts or dissent in any form will be quite limited. Risk of mutiny would be all but eliminated.
          4. Sound does not travel through the vacuum of space, and radio transmissions will grow weaker and take longer the furth

          • by tehcyder (746570)
            The problem is they'd probably decide that Mars was a gay planet and refuse to set foot on it.
    • by khallow (566160)
      No offense, but we understand the psychological effect of isolation pretty well. I think the real value to something like this is just getting an idea of what one needs to live and perform tasks in a peculiar, unfamiliar, perhaps very cramped environment with the property that if you need something, it probably can be delivered to you inside of a few months or years.
      • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@n ... minus physicist> on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @11:15AM (#41753367) Homepage Journal

        It isn't like space stations area new concept that has never been tried before. I'd dare say that unless you are planning on doing something really daring like a space station capable of holding about 100 people simultaneously and deal with significant logistical issues that sort of scale of activity presents, you aren't really cutting new ground in this area of human endeavor.

        The Manned Venus Flyby [wikipedia.org] looked like an interesting project that certainly would require things like radiation protection and long term sustainability in space without immediate or even short-term resupply. On the other hand, I wish they would expand upon the concept of the NAUTILUS-X [wikipedia.org], which instead of simply an Earth-Moon L-5 laboratory like seems to be presented with this article is a genuine spaceship (as opposed to spacecraft).

        The lack of using either a Trans-hab like module or one of the Bigelow modules seems to be a real lack of even seeing what the current state of the art technology in this area is even at. The idea of using cylinders that would need to be limited in size by the the cargo bay of a shuttle seems incredibly old fashioned thinking in particular. There is no particular reason why the quarters need to be cramped, other than the fact that the modules presumably must be built on the Earth and get through the atmosphere in some fashion first before being deployed. Space is huge, so mind bogglingly large that it seems ludicrous that quarters in spaceflight should be cramped at all. Mass has some role to play, but moving a cubic meter or two of air (which is needed anyway) is trivial by comparison.

        Bigelow Aerospace has been studying these issues, and will likely relegate projects like this onto the ashheap of other failed NASA programs like SLS, Constellation, Dynasoar, and DC-X. If they don't actually plan on building these things, I wonder in part why they even bother with progressing yesterday's technology one step further towards today.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      I'm glad to see that they are working more on this. The more we understand about the effects of solitude, the better we will be able to combat them. Glad we're getting this out of the way so that when propulsion and radiation shielding are ready, so are the people that will use them.

      If you want to see the effects of solitude, why not just lock people up in solitary confinement in a prison for a few months? It needn't be wasted time just sitting there staring at the walls, as I'm sure you could give them a pile of relevant tasks to do

      I don't see why you need to build a replica spacecraft to see how people respond to being locked up for a long time.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @10:03AM (#41752423)

    Since this seems to be about how little space do you need to give a human over a long period of time before he/she goes insane, why not start with the actual experiences of our submariners under similar conditions?

    • by f3rret (1776822)

      Since this seems to be about how little space do you need to give a human over a long period of time before he/she goes insane, why not start with the actual experiences of our submariners under similar conditions?

      Fairly certain they did this already, I have faith that an organization like NASA would look at existing data and include it in their study.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        And you are quite right: From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquarius_(laboratory) [wikipedia.org]:

        Since 2001, NASA has used Aquarius for its NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) program, to study various aspects of human spaceflight in a similar environment. Like the environment of space, the undersea world is a hostile, alien place for humans to live. Aquarius provides a safe harbor for scientists to live and work for weeks at a time.

        • Here is a tellephone call with Astronaut Scott Carpenter speaking to President Johnson from the helium atmosphere in the 1963 Sealab II project. The President's operator is very suspicous of Scott's voice and they have some trouble getting connected to the President. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg0pMbc7Opk [youtube.com]
    • why not start with the actual experiences of our submariners under similar conditions?

      What makes you think they haven't already done just that? You can only go so far with field studies - at some point you need to put the rats in a maze.

    • Modern submarines, especially the boomers aren't all that cramped. (Of course, I'm a former submariner so my perception may be... somewhat warped compared to the norm.)

      But seriously, I've been saying the same thing for years. Submariners are used to close conditions. Used to paying 110% attention 24/7/365 to things like life support, propulsion, navigation, and communications. Used to limited and asynchronous communications. Used to missions lasting weeks or months... Etc... etc...

      But turning the spac

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I am not sure about that Derek. I suspect that the ppl that go to the moon and mars, esp. if they are one-way trips, will not be pilots, but more of the submariners like you. The fact is, that pilots are well suited for short trips. But long, tight trips, possibly for life? That is a whole other thing.

        Windbourne (moderating).
      • by Teancum (67324)

        In fairness to the Mercury astronauts, they were working in a very different kind of environment with different mission requirements than what will be expected for the spaceflight missions of the future. When Alan Shepard was going into space, there were so many unknown factors about what would happen while in orbit that they didn't even plan on having the astronaut urinate while in flight. It was a perfect environment for test pilots, with relatively short missions and needing the skills of a pilot to be

  • Is it any surprise that Alabama's interplanetary spaceship is just a shed in a field?

    Just look at Alabama's most respected scientist [youtube.com].

    • by Teancum (67324)

      It was the folks in Huntsville that designed and largely built the Saturn V and were heavily involved in the construction and maintenance of the Space Shuttle.

      Yeah, they are a bunch of hillbilly hicks that don't know a thing about spaceflight.

  • Sexbots. All other priorities are rescinded.

    • by Loughla (2531696)
      Funny, but really if this technology follows most of what we have today, it will be either the sex or liquor industries who lead the way.

      And that, folks, is one prospect that GREATLY excites me.

  • by 19thNervousBreakdown (768619) <davec-slashdotNO@SPAMlepertheory.net> on Wednesday October 24, 2012 @10:18AM (#41752635) Homepage

    *runs around in circles with arms out*

    "Ooooooh I'm soooo deep, ohhh the vast emptiness and hard radiation, a bloo bloo bloo look at me I'm the only hope for humanity's long-term survival, I'm soooo important!"

  • My bet is still on the space madness.
  • Note the absence of a golf course or driving range.
  • Didn't anyone see Aliens, Aliens 2, Aliens 3, that other one that I am still not sure what it's about.. Deep space stations inevitably get taken over by aliens and then we gota send another group of people who also have to fight aliens and then only 1 will survive. Then all the scientists want to see what happened so they send more people and they all die. This is a really bad idea. Someone tell NASA
  • Does it have the pylons? They looked cool but I never understood their purpose.

    Are they going to hire Colm Meany and Max Grodénchik as consultants

  • If a few prototypes get mysteriously destroyed with possible sightings of black spider-like silhouettes that scream inside your mind, just keep going, should be ironed by about the fifth iteration or so.

  • Give em' some exercise equipment, and tell em' to buck up and stop bein' a sissy.

  • They are using quite popular shielding from cosmic rays: water. Good. Food also works nicely as shielding. It's amazing for me, but still there is no better protection from cosmic rays than lots hydrogen. A 2 meter thick layer of water protects enough.

    I'm disappointed that they do not use inflatables. Of course it's more challenging to design and built, but there is a lot more space to win. This design here looks a lot like skylab.

    Where does the crew sleep (I really do not see a place for that on this pictu

    • by BranMan (29917)
      I'm wondering if the water can do even more shielding - on Mythbusters they demonstrate that you can hide from gunfire under water - 3 to 4 feet of water and you are safe from everything up to a .50 cal sniper rifle bullet. Can 2 meters of water disrupt / absorb the energy of meteorites as well? As long as the water tanks can self-seal (military aircraft fuel tanks do) after punctures... I don't see why not.
  • Issue 47d: Peter Griffin: "...but after awhile the inside looked like a snow globe."

  • We don't have a craft that can carry humans anywhere interesting, land them, and let them survive for a suitable amount of time. Until we have all of that, there's no point in doing the easy stuff. Instead, send more robotic missions until you can land really heavy stuff on Mars with suitably low G forces, and high chance of survival. These "practice" missions can be used for all kinds of cool science projects. Then send robots to prepare a habitat. When that is all done, start thinking about sending humans
  • Why does everything have to be the size of a sardine can? The module shown is so cramped because of payload restrictions for the launch vehicles. Why can't they send up a handful of these into LEO and assemble the spacecraft there? Let it be designed to remain in space, there's no need for heat shielding or aerodynamics in that case and it can be made larger. It may take longer but you'll have fewer constraints. Bigelow already has inflatable modules in orbit..add a couple of those and you get much more roo

    • by Robotbeat (461248)

      Why does everything have to be the size of a sardine can?

      Because they aren't there for a luxury cruise, that's why.

      The module shown is so cramped because of payload restrictions for the launch vehicles. Why can't they send up a handful of these into LEO and assemble the spacecraft there? ...

      Ummm.... That is the plan. To assemble it at ISS, at least for the prototype. But you are forgetting that it takes a lot of propulsion to move these things around in space... your mission costs are hugely impacted by having a more massive deep space module. It's not the cost of putting it into LEO that is the expensive part. It's all the propellant and propulsive capability and RCS/power systems needed for a larger module. Or, if you have a smaller m

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington

Working...