Broadcast 1277 (Special Edition)

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Guests: Capt. Sarah Ford; Dr. John Jurist. Topics: High-Altitude skydiving, bailout from space, space tourism, astronauts. U.S. Air Force Captain Sarah Ford and Dr. John Jurist were our guests today regarding Capt. Ford's thesis for graduating with an MAS from the Space Studies program at UND in Grand Forks, ND. Dr. Jurist was her Adjunct Faculty Advisor for this project. In segment one, Captain Ford explained the subject of her research and the focus on why even look into the problem of high-altitude bailouts, sport space skydiving, and emergency ejection from a spaceship, either government or private. My first question dealt with the impact of a person's body shape and weight on the forces to be encountered in such a jump. You might be surprised with how our guests responded to this question. This led us to discussing drag and the two positions Capt. Ford researched in her paper, the tucked or cannon ball position and the more common skydiving position. Pay attention to the forces that are applied to the person in each position and the green safety zone for a jump using one or the other position. We also talked about the training that a private spaceflight participant might have to go through regarding such an ejection or bailout and as you will hear, its clearly best to avoid having to get out of the vehicle. Both Dr. Jurist and Capt. Ford then talked at length about the Capt. Joe Kittinger jump from about 103,000 feet to test a new Air Force pressure suit. You will find the facts around Captain Kittinger's jump to be most interesting as well as the application of lessons learned to the issue of spaceflight. As we started our second segment, Sarah talked about the famous SR-71 breakup and the pilots coming down from approximately 79,000 feet. One pilot did not make it but Bill Weaver did so listen to the story. Sarah then talked with us about the facts surrounding Columbia at 177,000 feet and Mach 14.4. The destructive events included rapid and extreme depressurization resulting in the astronauts not have enough conscious time to get their suits operational before losing consciousness. The dynamic forces were too great for the restraint systems as they were inadequate to protect them under the conditions associated with the vehicle breakup. In addition, the cold temperature was way outside the operating zone for their spacesuits. When asked for the best corrective solution for these problems, both Sarah and John said to make sure the heat shield was operational. This is an important discussion as it talks about space suits, dynamic forces, restraints, and since some of this was addressed as part of the SUSTAIN Conference Dr. Jurist and I attended this past February, much of our discussion is also applicable to space tourism, even suborbital space tourism. As we began our third segment, the famous Kittinger comment that he did not recommend people try to beat his record for safety reasons was discussed. Dr. Jurist also mentioned three Air Force key people that paved the way for our human spaceflight program, Dr. (Col.). John Paul Stapp, Capt. Joe Kittinger, and Dr. David Simons. During this segment, Sarah talked about her academic program at UND Space Studies, her research and work on this project, and her future journal and publication plans. Toward the end of the program, you will hear important recommendations for future research and study on this subject for all space activities including private, civil, and military. If you have questions or comments for Capt. Sarah Ford and Dr. John Jurist, you can send comments for Sara to John or me. For Dr. Jurist, use and for me use



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20 Dec 2009 Capt. Sarah Ford, Dr. John Jurist
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