Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stiffing Orion

This weekend's macabre revelation that the minions have been preparing for Weekend at Bernie's III sound like a reasonable thing to do on the surface. Crash test dummies and computer models do not provide the fidelity required to assess the potentially damaging impacts to the human body which may result from a hard landing with the clown toe and on water.

But before we put this "socially awkward topic" behind us, we should stop and consider why we are designing a capsule that will put crew into such a risky position in the first place. The bigger the capsule, the bigger the parachutes. But bigger chutes fail more often. So we have to protect for the loss of at least one chute. Can't solve the problem with big shock absorbers either....have to carry Broomhilda's powder room, so the minions shrank the safety factors to carry the Charmin.

So, while we quietly go, "ewwwww" when we read about the test pilots after their time, we really should be asking: why we are building a vehicle this risky to fly in the first place?

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