Friday, September 22, 2006

Mechanics in space


Courtesy of famous scfi author Jerry Pournelle comes some helpful suggestions to NASA as it addresses the awesome task of finishing the ISS:
“It would be easier with better space suits. And perhaps with young mechanics rather than old PhD types?”
If we checkout the crew of STS-115, they're not wimpy "old PhD" types, however Jerry's point is not a foolish one. With Bigelow planning its own private space habitat by 2010, we can see the start of something interesting. But I wonder whether there will be a need for simple old human muscle + brain power in building in space? At first they will be mission specialists like these ones on STS-115, guys with multiple degrees and lots of ways of helping in space - but at some point we might just need cheap labour - people willing to put up with atrophying muscles, and other zero-G conditions in order to put some hard yakka in.

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