We Must Go to Stay

As a systems troubleshooter with a mind conditioned to think critically, I have observed how cognitive dissonance takes over people. I have seen it dozens of times at every level, in my work on aircraft and up the ladder to higher rungs in the chain of command. What is bizarre is that when it is over people conveniently forget they were so stupid and make excuses…and often make the same mistakes in the future. Those involved in space have unfortunately always conflated two very different arenas and continue to do so. There is “Space Flight” and there is “Human Space Flight.” They are, besides the common attribute of space travel, almost completely different fields of endeavor. The Space Shuttle is perhaps the ultimate example of this dissonance, as it combined, against all logic, human and cargo missions. This was probably the best feature of the cancelled Constellation program- the separation of crew and cargo launch vehicles.

A Near Sea Level Radiation One Gravity environment (NSLR1G) is the prerequisite.

Birchbark canoes were never going to cross the North Atlantic.

Sending astronauts Beyond Low Earth Orbit has significant risk attached to it due to solar events. Seven Apollo missions carried humans Beyond Earth Orbit and there was a very close call avoiding one solar storm during that less than 4 year space age.

Dosing and debilitation is the elephant in the room NASA will not discuss. There is a “career dose” that once reached means no more space missions. This makes for very short careers for astronauts as without massive shielding humans are not going to live and work in space for twenty or thirty years like they do on Earth. It is likely that a Mars mission cannot be accomplished without exceeding this career dose.

The plan for a lunar return should have been to preposition a shielded habitat and not send astronauts until it was ready. Until that happens there is not going to be a permanent human presence in cislunar space like there has been in LEO.

Published by billgamesh

Revivable Cryopreservation Advocate

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