Evaluation of Methods for Recovering Crew Members and Equipment Adrift from the Space Station

by Thomas Selinka, HQ AFSPACECOM/XPWG, United States,
Stuart Kramer, HQ AFSPACECOM/XPWG, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space


Among the most frequent industrial accidents are those involving falling workers or dropped equipment. There is no reason to believe that such accidents will not occur in space. (In fact, there are already a number of pieces of lost equipment in orbit). As we prepare to begin routine industrial operations in space, we must consider methods for recovering adrift crew members and equipment. This effort first establishes a systematic process for evaluating alternatives for accomplishing this task, and then uses the process to perform a preliminary analysis of the alternative systems proposed for the space station. The numerous alternatives are grouped into several generic classes. The performance of each generic alternative is assessed over a set of representative scenarios. Scores for the different performance measures and different scenarios are combined to get an overall measure of system value.

Subject Headings: Space stations | Equipment and machinery | Accidents | Space exploration | Industries | Human and behavioral factors | Space structures

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