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A Question About The ISS Crew Members  
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3570 posts, RR: 29
Posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3143 times:

I have a question about the ISS crew members. Soon, the station will be finished if all goes well, and that means we will have a station with lots of different systems inside, designed by different agencies.

I recently read Gene Kranz's book "Failure is not an Option" as well as "A man on the moon", and I was pretty impressed how much those persons knew about the systems installed, especially the Astronauts. But it already seemed hard to master the Apollo modules completely, so they had to specialise on certain parts.

How can only 3 crew members manage to master all those different systems on the ISS. Isn't this really too demanding? How much training does a crew need to be able to fulfil a complete 6 month mission? I mean, even an US astronaut staying permanently on the ISS will have to know Soyuz as his lifeboat, even if he launches with Shuttle. He must know the Destiny lab to use it, he must know about the Kibo lab, Columbus, and also the russian part of the station. Isn't this too complex? In aviation, pilots don't fly a 747, 737 and A320 at the same time, either...

Just wondering...

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3131 times:

a. They go to six crew in April, 2009, around the same time all of the systems are finally in place and heavy-duty research really gets underway. With six, you can have 2 crew full-time ISS operations (mostly shared between Destiny and Zvezda) and four to handle experiments in Kibo and Columbus (where the US experiments will be as well.) Eventually, Russia might have research space on MLM, and those four will have to be more widely-trained, but that should still be enough people to not be overwhelmed by all the different research systems.

b. Destiny, Columbus, and Kibo (plus the Nodes) share a common design of their basic systems. That's why they all use the International Standard Payload Rack. To a significant degree, someone trained on Kibo can get around okay in Columbus. Even the ATV shares a lot of Columbus heritage. They can't send up ISPRs in an ATV (they will with HTV, though) but they can send up "drawers" of experiments that can be taken out of an ISPR-like carrier (providing keep-alive power for sensitive electronics and samples) in ATV and plugged into an ISPR in Columbus or Kibo.

c. Experiments will all be different, but they'll all use ISPRs, so astronauts won't be totally in the dark. They'll get familiarization training before flight, and there is always comm back to mission control for one-to-one with the PI or email/fax of detailed instructions to follow. A lot of it is going to be "set oven to 250 and bake for 15 minutes" anyway.  Smile

And the more complicated experiments will probably involve lots of training for one or two of the astronauts who will be on ISS.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14003 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3094 times:

I think, if there is a continuation of a manned station in earth orbit (or a station somewhere e.g. on the moon or mars), there will be mechanics and maintenance engineers needed. The time of the scientists is too valuable to spend it on routine maintenance and fault fixing. they have to concentrate on their experiments, not on repairing broken systems.

Jan


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7952 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3038 times:

Did you already file your application, Jan?  Wink
Seriously, I think you're right.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3570 posts, RR: 29
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3029 times:



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 2):

In the past, it was the other way: Apollo was flown almost by test pilots only, and it took a lot of battles to finally get a scientist on board of Apollo 17.

So, ISS with 6 people on board will be a huge leap forward, thats for sure.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14003 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3015 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 4):
In the past, it was the other way: Apollo was flown almost by test pilots only, and it took a lot of battles to finally get a scientist on board of Apollo 17.

But this also had something to do with the test pilot's egos. They could not admit that a boffin would be able to work in a spacecraft. It took a bit of their "specialness", a nerd who has the "right stuff".
Remember the bollocking Scott Carpenter got from especially Deke Slaiton when he got too excited about science during his Mercury mission and used up too much fuel.

Jan


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3001 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 4):
In the past, it was the other way: Apollo was flown almost by test pilots only, and it took a lot of battles to finally get a scientist on board of Apollo 17.

One scientist-astronaut was scheduled to fly on Apollos 18, 19, and 20, starting with Jack Schmitt on Apollo 18 (with Dick Gordon and Vance Brand). When 18 and 19 were cancelled in 1970 (Apollo 20 had already been cancelled to free up a Saturn V for SkyLab) the science community began a massive push to get Schmitt moved up to 17, replacing Joe Engle. They finally prevailed over strong resistance from the astronaut community, not because the astronauts didn't want a scientist on board, but because Engle had already been assigned and trained for the flight.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 968 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2989 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 4):
In the past, it was the other way: Apollo was flown almost by test pilots only, and it took a lot of battles to finally get a scientist on board of Apollo 17.

So, ISS with 6 people on board will be a huge leap forward, thats for sure.

The leap forward to get non-test pilot scientist into space came with STS. The Shuttle has been carrying huge crews into space for microgravity purposes since the 80s.

Today's "huge leap" will be the fact that we have upgraded our long-duration spaceflight capability from three people to six people, regardless of their composition. We've had the capability to put 6 scientist in space since STS-61C. Soon we will have the capability to keep them up there for longer than 1-2 weeks.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2982 times:



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 7):
We've had the capability to put 6 scientist in space since STS-61C.

Nitpick: STS-61A  Smile (The first and only spaceflight to launch and land with eight crew.)


User currently offlineLockstockNL777 From Netherlands, joined Feb 2008, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2903 times:

A bit off topic, but; do I understand correctly that with 6 crew they are gonna have 2 soyuz lifeboats? And if so, how will this be done with the seatliners? Are the 2 soyuz gonna be parked close together? Otherwise I can imagine an emergency situation where some of the crew are closer to the lifeboat with the wrong seatliners...

User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2884 times:



Quoting LockstockNL777 (Reply 9):
A bit off topic, but; do I understand correctly that with 6 crew they are gonna have 2 soyuz lifeboats?

Yes.

Quoting LockstockNL777 (Reply 9):
Are the 2 soyuz gonna be parked close together?

Yes, probably Soyuz 1 on Zvezda nadir and Soyuz 2 on Zarya nadir (Docking Compartment 1 "Pirs") That's how they're docked today.

Quoting LockstockNL777 (Reply 9):
Otherwise I can imagine an emergency situation where some of the crew are closer to the lifeboat with the wrong seatliners...

If things are that bad, I don't think the seat liners are critical. The "wrong seatliner" crewmember might end up with some minor injuries, but at least he/she'd be alive. But I doubt there is a situation that would happen so quickly that crew couldn't get to their assigned lifeboats. If something bad happens that quickly, they'll probably all be dead anyway. (Of course, they thought the same thing prior to Apollo 13...) It didn't happen this way during the Mir fire or the Progress/Spektr collision/decompression.


User currently offlineLockstockNL777 From Netherlands, joined Feb 2008, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2850 times:

dumb question, but nadir is earth facing?

User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2826 times:



Quoting LockstockNL777 (Reply 11):
dumb question, but nadir is earth facing?

Correct.


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