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Tags: Dr. Erik Seedhouse, Kirby Cole, Victor Kitmanyen, Chris Nguyen, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Spacesuit Operations Lab, Suborbital Space Flight Simulator, Lynx, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, human factors, gravity prescription, human factors, astronaut training, spacesuit pressure, NASA, commercial spacesuits, spacesuit industry, Biosuit, SpaceShipTwo, glide slopes, Dream Chaser, space development timelines
Guests: Dr. Erik Seedhouse, Kirby Cole, Victor Kitmanyen, Chris Nguyen; Topics: student aerospace training & perspectives. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed back Dr. Erik Seedhouse with three of his students, Kirby Cole, Victor Kitmanyen, and Chris Nguyen. In the first segment of the 90 minute program, Erik introduced us to his students and I asked them why they chose the program, what their interest was in space now and probably into the future. Each of the three students responded to the same questions but there was an overriding theme in the answers. The students had had a long term interest in aviation, space, even wanting to become an astronaut so they started pursuing their dreams, goals, & objectives. Specifically, I asked about their class with Erik. In this regard, each of the students talked about the Spacesuit Operations Lab and the Suborbital Flight Simulator. The flight simulator does not involve motion but it does use video to demo the flight profiles of the former XCOR Lynx vehicle plus it can be programmed for SpaceShip Two and the Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft. Because the simulator is vision only, there is no way at this time to experience the G loads present in each flight profile.
In talking about the spacesuit lab, Erik provided us with some stats on the commercial spacesuit industry. He said a total of 50 spacesuits were sold last year. He talked about the market mix for IVA and EVA suits, their respective pricing, and the burst test pressure for a spacesuit. We also talked about how small the market was for spacesuits and two entrepreneurial companies facing stiff competition and market constraints, Orbital Outfitters and Final Frontier Designs. Don't miss this discussion as it was revealing about the commercial spacesuit industry at this time. He said the total market was about $100 million and EVA suits had the biggest share of it. Note that Erik talked about SS2 and Blue not using spacesuits. I asked him what he thought of not using a pressure suit in a ride to even suborbital space. Don't miss what he said about this. We also compared spacesuit pressure to the pressure of a fire hose.
In the second segment, Kirby led off talking about his research idea. We talked about spacecraft glide slopes and FAA policy. I also asked about business jet power out glide slopes which seem to be about the same as the suborbital spacecraft. With power the glide slope is about 3 degrees. Without power, it jumps to between 20 and 25 degrees.
Listener John asked if their flight simulator included the flight profile for Dream Chaser. It did not because human flight using the Dream Chaser still remains off into the future. Their simulator does not include cargo flight profiles.
I asked all three students several questions about their program, including if the factual, hard nose approach to human factors and challenges taught the class by Erik was a surprise to them. I asked how they reacted to the news that things might not be what they thought they were based on claims and rhetoric that permeate the space world. All of the students were a bit surprised by the Seedhouse reality check but they wanted to meet the challenges and find ways to mitigate or solve many of the problems. I then asked a follow up to a listener question about the possible benefit of having younger people work problems rather than older people who don't necessarily bring a fresh look to the table. This proved to be an interesting discussion team with each student so don't miss it. Each of our four guests offered closing comments which you will want to hear.
Please post your comments/questions in the comments section of this archived program on TSS website. You can reach Dr. Seedhouse or the students through me at firstname.lastname@example.org.