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Spacesuit Problems Delay ISS Repair Spacewalk

timothy posted about a year ago | from the in-space-cold-boats-mean-death dept.

NASA 70

Ars Technica reports that the next planned spacewalk in the continuing repairs of the International Space Station's ammonia pump has been delayed, because of problems with the spacesuit worn by astronaut Rick Mastracchio. From the article: "According to Deutsche Welle, the problem is with how the sublimator (a cooling unit) in Mastracchio's suit operated when entering ISS airlock. NASA said the question is whether water entered the sublimator at that time. 'During repressurization of the station's airlock following the spacewalk, a spacesuit configuration issue put the suit Mastracchio was wearing in question for the next excursion,' NASA said in a statement. Delaying the next steps of the valve replacement from Monday until Tuesday will give NASA time to address the issue. Mastracchio is scheduled to wear a backup suit and needs this time to have it resized."

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New Suit (-1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45764287)

They should have built simpler, more reliable suits.

Re:New Suit (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764391)

It should also be cheaper, lighter, shoot industrial-level laser from the eyes and include a lightsaber. Stupid scientists can't do anything right. If only they read /. once in a while they might learn something!

Re:New Suit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45764577)

http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/12/16/1524243/nasa-testing-lighter-space-suits-for-asteroid-work [slashdot.org]

Not very bright, are you? They are looking into better suits now, Slashdot is irrelevant.

Re:New Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764793)

That's not a replacement for the suits in question.

NASA has multiple space suits, but the two main ones are the suits they were for launch and re-entry, and the suits they wear for EVA.
The suits in your link refers to a replacement for the former, not the later.

Re:New Suit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45766023)

They should have built simpler, more reliable suits.

They are looking into better suits now

Tense mismatch.

Re:New Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45767217)

They should have built simpler, more reliable suits.

They are looking into better suits now

Tense mismatch.

Who could win? It's anyone's guess. You could cut the air in here with a knife, folks!

Re:New Suit (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45764485)

They should have built simpler, more reliable suits.

I wonder if it would be cheaper to retool the suits, or to select crews of suitably similar size and body type?

I don't doubt that the current hardware has some legacy decisions that NASA would like to rethink, or at least replace with current iterations that are smaller and more reliable; but it's not as though they added complexity for the fun of it the first time around. Keeping things within safe, never mind comfortable, parameters in a vacuum isn't trivial.

Re:New Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764617)

select crews of suitably similar size and body type

They do this already. You don't see any astrocosmonauts who are missing an arm or a leg. They used to select only the body type that includes a penis, but sexists decided that some kinds of discrimination are more acceptable than others.

Re:New Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764877)

They also don't send fat retards into space but you are allowed to post here instead.

Re:New Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45765031)

All right!! There's a place in the universe for fat retards: Earth!

Re:New Suit (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45766021)

I see that they've left at least one of the people with a chip on their shoulder on earth. It was a perfectly serious question: it's not as though the world is burning through astronauts at a terrifying rate, so you can presumably afford to be fairly picky. Why not send them up in batches well, um, suited, to be able to share any piece of expensive, finicky, hardware that might need a spare pulled out at the last minute?

Re:New Suit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45767377)

It's a tradeoff, I suppose. It's so expensive to put people up there that it does make sense to put considerable effort into selecting the best people and training them well. So, it's just a question of what makes one person "better" for the job than another. If you have to move down to 15th place in the astronaut school evaluations to find someone with the right size, are you better off than going with 1st place and building adjustable suits? I don't know, maybe, maybe not.

Maybe #15 can do the job just as well as #1 and you get to enjoy the benefits of improved spacesuit reliability from using a fixed size. Maybe #15 is three times as likely as #1 to make a mistake up there when something unexpected happens and being able to have him up there is worth the tradeoff to make adjustable suits. I guess NASA decided the adjustable suits were the way to go, and there aren't many who know enough about astronauteering (I certainly don't) to second guess them.

Re:New Suit (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45768197)

Oh, I'd certainly suspect that NASA knows much more about astronautology than I do; but given that the world demand for astronauts is, what, a couple dozen at any one time, with relatively low death rates? It seemed within the bounds of reason to wonder about the question.

Were we to try venturing further afield, I'd imagine that (much as some people would hate it) the biological aspect of choosing the right human for the job would grow in importance. If you fancied a hop to mars, say, the differences in metabolic requirements among people of various sizes and builds would become a much bigger deal.

Re:New Suit (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about a year ago | (#45764685)

Isn't the life support part of the suit in the backpack? Why can't they just unbolt that to replace and keep the rest of the suit intact?

Re:New Suit (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45764775)

It's not like when you get a flat tire. You don't have an international space program assisting you remotely. So, while they're sorting the suit issue, can the folks at mission control go get some lunch or-- Hey, why don't they just call us once this suit thing is worked out, then we'll schedule another try again later?

Think of it as a scrubbed launch, but with an astronaut instead of a rocket.

Re:New Suit (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45765335)

A tethered suit (like the early diving suits) would fix any problem with a life-support system. Why not have a tethered backup for suits?

Re:New Suit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45766001)

Why not have a tethered backup for suits?

Same reason laptops don't have a permanently tethered backup for the battery.

Re:New Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45767411)

Why not have a tethered backup for suits?

Same reason laptops don't have a permanently tethered backup for the battery.

Oh, that makes sense. It's because they're trying to go further out in the space suit than a tether could be made to reach.

Re:New Suit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45768425)

Who said anything about your strawman of "permanent". I can run my laptop on life-support, but if my battery is failing, I can pull it out and tether it permanently, if I wish. The existing life support is a man-carried system with connections to the suit. The connections are designed to be removable/replaceable. Plugging them into a ship-mounted support system would be trivial. Battery when it works, tether when it doesn't. That's what laptops do, and no reason to not do that with suits, other than your incorrect assertion that if you build a system for a tether, it must be attached at all times.

Re:New Suit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45770713)

Who said anything about your strawman of "permanent".

It's not a very good back up if you have a catastrophic failure of your life support system and don't have time to plug in.

Plugging them into a ship-mounted support system would be trivial.

Trivial? You want to mount ports all around the station - you'll need them reachable in a reasonable amount of time, after all - all of which will require regular maintenance and checks (you don't want a port venting air or water unexpectedly), and you're introducing more complexity to the suits (which you were arguing to be made more simple).

Re:New Suit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45770899)

Then you design it with a quick-attachment, if that's the requirement. Or a slow-attachment would be fine for the specific issues in this case.

Re:New Suit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45773355)

How will a quick attachment make any difference to my point? You'd need multiple ports installed around the station and you'd be adding complexity - not to mention holes - to what you've already said is an overly-complicated spacesuit.

Re:New Suit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45773539)

What is the use case you are designing for? You don't seem to be trying to make it work, then showing short-comings, but instead trying to make it not work, and demonstrating your limited intelligence and problem solving. But, since you are just here for the argument, and not a discussion on suits, life support, or spacewalks...

Re:New Suit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45773619)

What is the use case you are designing for?

You say tethers would solve any problem with life-support, so you tell me.

You don't seem to be trying to make it work, then showing short-comings, but instead trying to make it not work, and demonstrating your limited intelligence and problem solving.

Should be pretty easy to convince me otherwise, then, shouldn't it?

But, since you are just here for the argument, and not a discussion on suits, life support, or spacewalks...

But, since you aren't willing to defend your ideas or resolve the contradiction between your suggestion to build a spacesuit that is both simplermore complex at the same time...

Re:New Suit (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45766007)

I couldn't find any flow-rate figures, so I don't know how much of a pain this would be; but the the tether would have to include delivery and return for oxygen (fewer tubes if you just let the used air vent into space; but resupply missions aren't cheap so you'd probably have to send it back to the mothership), delivery and return for the thermal regulation fluid (since the astronaut has neither convection nor conduction to work with, he'll mostly need cooling; but may need additional heat at some point), and then electrical and communications lines.

That probably ends up being a fair-size chunk of cable, especially if you want to send somebody to the further reaches of the ISS, with a bunch of pumps and regulators and things presenting the same reliability issues, just fixed inside the cabin.

Re:New Suit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45768309)

When we were too dumb to understand SCUBA, we had tethered diving suits working in similar conditions with 100+ year old technology. I can't imagine we couldn't fix those problems now, when we solved them once before, with greater limitations.

Re:New Suit (2)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#45769785)

You would be surprised at how much changes in the vacuum environment in an orbit around a star. Suddenly the whole tether needs to be insulated, lest whatever working fluid you carry freezes in the shadow or boils in the sunlight. The insulation needs to survive flexing in those temperature extremes. Earthbound liquid ocean environment is quite thermally benign - it is all within the confines of liquid salty water. Almost none of the non-metallic materials used in this 100+ year old pre-SCUBA technology would withstand the environment of space for any usable length of time.

Re:New Suit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45766047)

A tethered suit (like the early diving suits) would fix any problem with a life-support system.

Really? Any problem?

Re:New Suit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45768293)

Yes. Any problem with the man-carried life support system. However, if you expand the "life support system" to include unrelated items, like the suit itself, then no. If a meteor strikes the astronaut, vaporizing him and the suit, then life support would fail, regardless of the life support system used. I'm sure your counter-example was as likely and relevant as that, or you'd have stated it, rather than insinuating it.

Re:New Suit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45770661)

Yes. Any problem with the man-carried life support system.

Unless the problem kills you before you can get yourself tethered (because as you've stated in another post, you weren't envisaging a permanent tether).

Actually, my example was going to be the flooding of a helmet, as occurred recently. How would your tether solve that?

Re:New Suit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45770929)

I don't have sufficient details on the flooding helmet. Flow the water into the return hose, clearing the helmet. Why are you asking such details. You obviously don't care what my answer is, you don't like the idea. So why keep complaining?

Re:New Suit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45773339)

I don't have sufficient details on the flooding helmet.

Then why do you sound like you think you're an authority on spacesuit and life support system design?

Why are you asking such details. You obviously don't care what my answer is, you don't like the idea. So why keep complaining?

Because I'm trying to demonstrate that "asking such details" is exactly the sort of thing that is required in this situation, and that you seem to think your solution is the obvious one without considering such details.

Re:New Suit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45773519)

Then why do you sound like you think you're an authority on spacesuit and life support system design?

I'm a certified SCUBA trainer, which does make me an expert of sorts on life support.

Because I'm trying to demonstrate that "asking such details" is exactly the sort of thing that is required in this situation, and that you seem to think your solution is the obvious one without considering such details.

Yes, because if I can't solve it for every possible situation you come up with, then the general premise must be false. Or the nay-sayer is more persistent than the person who suggests a correct course of action, but the suggester isn't as emotionally tied to fighting everything. NASA has publicly announced that they are looking for new suits because of limitations in the current ones. If I agree with NASA, I'm an idiot. If I make suggestions of other similar tech, I'm an idiot, because life support in a hostile environment is completely unrelated to life support in a hostile environment.

Re:New Suit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45773577)

Yes, because if I can't solve it for every possible situation you come up with, then the general premise must be false.

I didn't come up with it; it actually happened! Ensuring that problems that have previously occurred don't happen again or have less severe effects would seem to be a good place to start when looking to improve things.

Or the nay-sayer is more persistent than the person who suggests a correct course of action

You've suggested a course of action. You said it would solve any problem with the life-support system (and you've again just implied it to be "correct"). I gave an example of a real problem that recently occurred and asked how your solution would have solved it, and you dismissed it as a mere "detail."

NASA has publicly announced that they are looking for new suits because of limitations in the current ones.

Yes, and you're demonstrating why they didn't start their research by posting a question under Ask Slashdot.

If I agree with NASA, I'm an idiot.

No, if you declare your idea to be the correct solution without even considering a recent incident (or, for that matter, not being a NASA spacesuit engineer), you look a bit pompous. Same goes when you contradict yourself:

1. They should have built simpler ... suits.
2. A tethered suit (like the early diving suits) would fix any problem with a life-support system. Why not have a tethered backup for suits?

Re:New Suit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45776507)

So a suit with no life support is more complex than one with CO2 scrubbers, O2, and other functions in a large attachment?

Why did we have tethered diving long before SCUBA? I'll give you a hint. on-board life support is more complex than tethered systems.

Re:New Suit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45776763)

So a suit with no life support is more complex than one with CO2 scrubbers, O2, and other functions in a large attachment?

Since when are we talking about suits with no life support? You said "Why not have a tethered backup for suits?" I assumed (quite reasonably, I'd maintain) that you meant as a backup to the suit's built-in life support.

Are you now talking about a permanent tether with no onboard system?

Why did we have tethered diving long before SCUBA? I'll give you a hint. on-board life support is more complex than tethered systems.

Then why is everyone using SCUBA these days instead of tethers?

Re:New Suit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 10 months ago | (#45778297)

Then why is everyone using SCUBA these days instead of tethers?

They aren't. And even if they were, it is mainly for operational constraints that don't apply in space. If your SCUBA fails completely, you most likely will survive it. Complete loss of life support in recreational diving is easily survivable. If the support pack fell off an astronaut, how survivable is that?

Re:New Suit (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#45764601)

They should have built simpler, more reliable suits.

Oh FFS. Let's see: the whole human race doesn't have 10,000 hours of EVA activity logged, but we've been sailing on the ocean since before recorded history. Yet somehow, somehow, there's still things to be learned about designing, building and sailing better sailboats. Ask any America's Cup team. NASA has eventualities even most good engineers would never dream of already planned for, printed up, and sitting in a binder, waiting for that 1 in 1,000,000,000 Bad Thing (tm) to happen. But /tards will always be there to say "derp, they should have done that, and done it cheaper, after all, my tax dollars <chest thump> droooolll...".

Re:New Suit (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#45765327)

They have complained themselves about their own suits many times. But they don't devote funds to it, because it isn't "sexy" like a planet landing. NASA knows there's a problem and deliberately chooses to not fix it. And it's *my* fault for pointing it out? You are the drooling idiot.

Re:New Suit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764725)

They shouldn't even put people into LEO for the kind of simplistic "science" they do...

Re:New Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45765265)

They should have built simpler, more reliable suits.

Or something.
Man, our suit tech is complete shit. We're not even really at level 1 yet, and we should be at least level 3 by now.
Seriously, our build sucks major ass. Gonna get owned like a buncha fucking newfags, that's right bitchezzzzzzz

Re:New Suit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45766037)

Of course! It's so simple! Man, they'll be kicking themselves at NASA when they read this.

They should have built a simpler, more reliable cooling unit too.

Oh, also, a cheaper, safer rocket to get them up there in the first place.

Anything else you want to ask Santa for?

Wardrobe malfunctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764313)

Pop divas have 'em and NASA astronauts have 'em. The difference is that after such an incident in outer space, the astronauts start worrying about not being cool enough, but with the entertainment chicks that type of worry generally precedes the accident.

Re:Wardrobe malfunctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764729)

That was awful even by Asperger's /. standards. Just terrible.

Re:Wardrobe malfunctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45766073)

I can make it worse for you. Just imagine what its like when one has to fart while wearing a space suit... what then?

These Aren't Suits from JC Penny (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764585)

These suits are meant to keep the wearer alive and somewhat comfortable in some rather extreme conditions - zero g, zero pressure, exposure to radiation temperatures ranging from 4 K to several hundred K. They are encountering some issues with control of the water cooling system, and perhaps some condensation. They need to be understood and dealt with, but all in all they are the nature of the beast.

HA HA - CAPTCHA is "earthly"

how long before gelfield suits are invented (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764639)

Someone has to be working on gelfields. Don't make invent it myself, lazy bastards.

Re:how long before gelfield suits are invented (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764687)

Don't make invent it myself, lazy bastards.

I think you a word there.

Re:how long before gelfield suits are invented (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45765013)

Where we're going, we don't words!

For those "Slashdot" Basement Guys (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764653)

Hairy pussy. Big juicy hairy pussy. Throbbing hairy pussy.

OK?

Re:For those "Slashdot" Basement Guys (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764667)

Ebony jutting phallus for the basement gayniggers.

Alas! (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | about a year ago | (#45764693)

The Sartorial Tragedy! We must send a tuxedo.

space concierge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764801)

"to have it resized." by whom?

Re:space concierge? (1)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#45764909)

You don't have an orbital tailor? Get with the program. This isn't the 20th century any more.

Re:space concierge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45765133)

Garak.

trollkOre (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45764883)

please skip this story (3, Interesting)

swell (195815) | about a year ago | (#45764911)

Slashdotters are clever and generally well informed, but this is way out of your league.

I'm trying to moderate today but the fact is that none of you know anything about space suits.
Consider yourselves modded down one point.

For many years, many well trained people have devoted time, energy and tons of money to devise a better space suit. It's hard to imagine even a very clever reader here having anything worth contributing to the issue. Please move on to a story where your comments will be competent.

Re:please skip this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45765093)

Here's what I know about space suits. They're only needed to play space cowboy. There is no need for people in space, except as a political show or stunt.

Re:please skip this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45765185)

There is no need for people in space, except as a political show or stunt.

66 million years ago, the dinosaurs were telling each other there was no need for dinosaurs in space, and then they all died.

Re:please skip this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45765223)

I love how ridiculous your argument is. It makes no sense whatsoever. Fantastic! Space Season's Greetings to you sir!

Re:please skip this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45767573)

There is no need for people in space, except as a political show or stunt.

66 million years ago, the dinosaurs were telling each other there was no need for dinosaurs in space, and then they all died.

Citation Needed.

Does Google even have a Sleestak to English translator?

Re:please skip this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45767343)

Well I'd like to point out at a guess that Space Suits have to be closed to the vacuum of space.

I think it's safe to say that, and I feel comfortable having said it.

Why space suits at all? (1)

Xylantiel (177496) | about a year ago | (#45767669)

Why is there no remote manipulator robot to do this? Is the goal here to test space suits or maintain a space station?

The space station should have the most advanced remote manipulator system available. Deep-sea work is not done by guys in complex suits, it is done by remotely controlled manipulator robots. The continued dependence on space suits for basic construction/repair/maintenence operation just seems like a bad idea given current remote maniplulation technology.

Re:Why space suits at all? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#45770387)

The space station should have the most advanced remote manipulator system available. Deep-sea work is not done by guys in complex suits, it is done by remotely controlled manipulator robots. The continued dependence on space suits for basic construction/repair/maintenence operation just seems like a bad idea given current remote maniplulation technology.

Deep sea work is different - when you have external pressures higher than internal ones, the demands are different.

And no, a lot of deep sea work isn't done by remote manipulators, but by divers - often saturation divers (where divers work and live "at depth" because decompression can take up to a week. And accidents have happened because the saturation chamber is above atmospheric pressure, and catastrophic decompression has happened.

One reason is that when external pressures are higher, you only deal with "suit squeeze" where the suit presses on the body (This assumes the use of regular diving equipment, and not NewtSuits which allow a shirtsleeve environment, and are highly complex beasts). In this case, all one needs to do is inflate the suit to equalize pressure.

In space, though, inflating a suit is the last thing you want to do, because it leads to ballooning - in effect, a space suit is a human-shaped balloon, and if you've ever blown up a latex glove, you know the main air chamber gets the biggest (i.e. chest area) while the extremities don't really inflate at all Lots of special fabrics are involved in this under control, but it's unavoidable. If you ever seen the strap that connects the helmet ring and runs to the crotch, that's to keep the helmet from ballooning away from the head.

Then there's the whole mobility problem - air-tight bearings just aren't easy to move, and in fact, there is always leakage (how much is acceptable varies.

Finally - ventilation - getting heat away from the body, getting extremities cool or warmed (as necessary) isn't an easy task, and having pools of sweat gathering around just isn't fun (try wearing a sauna suit all day - after a workout it's fine, but it'll get clammy, cold and just plain yucky after a while).

  NASA actually documented the history of pressure suits and their problems - "Dressing for Altitude" - http://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/dress_for_altitude_detail.html [nasa.gov]

It's a great read on all the intricacies of pressure and space suits. And how even now we still are in the learning phase.

As for robots - they're getting there - the problem being that there's a lot of feedback issues - one wrong move can put a nasty dent in the structure, which weakens it. While the pressure vessel is isolated, there's only a small difference between "minor dent" and "major problem".

Re:Why space suits at all? (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | about a year ago | (#45784457)

Have you ever looked at some of the equipment on the outside of the space station? Most of it is is quite delicate as opposed to oil rigs that are mostly very large steel pipes that you can pound on with a sledge hammer and do very little damage to. Everything on that space station is built as light as possible / practicable because it has to be pushed into orbit by chemical rockets.

Lots and lots of it is behind something else, lots of it has complex cable connections. The more robotics you send up that more and more things have to be designed to be accessed by those robotics and therefor become less compact which on the outside of a space station is not good since there is limited surface area all the crap that must be there to begin with.

They have yet to build anything with as much dexterity ( even in a space suite glove ) as the human hand. They have yet to build camera's that are as good as the human mark 1 mod 0 eyeball at catching sight of something, if even for the briefest of moments and reacting immediately to that, if required.

Quite simply put, there is not a robot built yet that can replace humans doing some of the most delicate and difficult tasks. Think about cross-threading. Even in a space suit you can feel that slight resistance of threads not quite aligned and stop twisting before you mangle them, stop, turn the thing in reverse a bit and feel the threads align and the resume turning the coupling, screw or bolt.

Every day they get closer, but for now there is not a manipulator that can do that. Remember repairing the Hubble and they had trouble with the access door closing? The guy in the suit could feel which section was not aligning correctly and apply pressure in a different vector to get the access door to click into place. I for one would be quite happy if they had a manipulator / robot that could do that since it would not require risking a life to do the work that needs to be done; however, until that day then people in those pesky suits are going to have to put em one, head out of the hatch and play mechanic in a very hostile environment.

Re:please skip this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45768337)

Sometimes an outside perspective helps. Get over yourself...

Re:please skip this story (1)

Bensam123 (1340765) | about a year ago | (#45771769)

This sort of haughty attitude seems to be regarded with anyone with a outside view when confronting a well entrenched area of science. Perhaps, maybe, people outside of whatever academic circle you're in may have a fresh set of ideas and views that are otherwise hammered out of you when you're brought up through a set of rigorous courses made to make you think in a certain way.

A great site for space news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45765777)

Re:A great site for space news (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about a year ago | (#45766253)

Man, after reading that I feel like I could suit up and go out there myself to help. A really great article (and link). Thank you. Just in case, if the ISS needs help, I'm ready and willing to go.

Science fiction never really deals with the detail (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | about a year ago | (#45766809)

Consider how often, in book and film and TV, our heroes just "suit up and go for a walk". No big deal, just get dressed. From Robert Heinlein's scenes of combat suited soldiers preparing for a drop in "Starship Troopers", more like cleaning their wiper blades than tuning up their car; Space Hulk terminator armor through lots of movies since, suits aren't much more inconvenient, and mecha - hah! just hop in the chair, click on the four-points, and drive away.

Yet in real life we have seen that even enclosed pilot flight gear needs more complexity, and the balloon jump within the atmosphere wasn't exactly simple. The comfort we normal passengers experience on an airplane, with shirtsleeve environment and acceptable noise level, shows just how much detail has been considered by others - and the fact that we ride in calm equanimity shows how little we consider those 1 in a million events like a rock being in the way.
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