SPACECRAFT EGRESS AND RESCUE OPERATIONS is intended to provide spacecraft operators and designers an understanding of the risks associated with pad, ascent, landing, and post-landing phases of space missions as well as a background of the methods that have evolved throughout the history of US, Russian, and commercial space programs to best mitigate these risks. This book also presents the evolution of the planning associated with crew emergency egress and rescue operations and then presents an overview of the types of egress systems and procedures that have historically been used on manned spacecraft. An understanding of pre-launch and post-landing failures that can lead to egress operations, as with the hazardous environments that these failures might create, are investigated. Further, the uncertainties of the human factors involved with egress operations are assessed, as with managing the effects of deconditioning from long-duration spaceflight and injury potential. The book presents a method to quantify the risks associated with human factors issues, which are generally difficult to quantify. In particular, probabilities of injury, and the effects of deconditioning, injury, dynamic environment, medical factors, and entrapment on the ability of the crew to conduct critical emergency procedures are investigated.
This book is intended as a reference for the professional student of architecture-level design of manned spaceflight architecture and is intended to provide crew members and operators of spacecraft an understanding of the risks associated with pad, ascent, landing, and post-landing phases of space missions and a background of the methods that have evolved throughout the history of US, Russian, and commercial spacecraft to best mitigate these risks.
This book was conceived as the first group of commercial manned spaceflight companies was developing their own disparate designs that would provide access to suborbital and orbital space. Rescue and recovery has long been provided by government organizations in support of government run space programs. But in the days of commercial spaceflight and growing trends towards international crews, contingency support remains a large unknown. Beyond just the technical aspects of vehicle design as a way to mitigate risk, this book encompasses how risk can be modeled and mitigated from the perspective of the complete support architecture.
The author's experience as a system engineer for NASA's Constellation Program provided many learned lessons and an understanding of both effective methods to address multi-faceted issues complicated by human-factors issues, the randomness of environments spacecraft may end up in, and the international complexities of contingency rescue plans. The same experience also provided sensitivity to the pitfalls that could be encountered. It is the author's intention to preserve the maturation of knowledge associated with the contingency planning of space missions in order to better assist commercial space architecture developers and future operators.
In summary, this book presents a methodology of how spaceflight architecture developers might best optimize vehicle design and mission profiles to best mitigate the most credible landing and post-landing risks, and develop mission profiles that reduce risk by minimizing exposure to hazardous or constrained environments, increase overall operability of the system, and minimize cost.