Outbound Operational Plan for Space Migration: Human Suborbital

As KönigKosmos, I would say the next step of an initial operational plan for Outbound would be the development of Human Suborbital Flight. (OPS.4)

Of course, this is another area where we have already explored in human history. This was a particular battle in the Cold War between the United States and the USSR, a battle the communists won. Yuri Gagarin, a lieutenant in the Soviet Air Force, was the first human being into orbit, bypassing suborbital flight entirely. It was a gutsy move, there is no doubt about it, and even though I am an American who grew up during the Cold War, I have nothing but respect for Gagarin. He was a brave man to have gone into space at all, let alone take such a bold mission.

This gallantry on Gagarin’s part is still a farther step than I would be willing to go if I were starting my own program from scratch. I don’t approach this from a sense of timidity, though, rather that the research progression is not served well by skipping this step. There are mission-related factors during flight that only occur during suborbital phases, namely abort scenarios. You have to plan for aborts, because, face it, not every launch is going to work right off the pad. So having a Human-In-The-Loop (HITL) test of abort scenarios tell planners and designers a lot about how the vehicle is going to perform if a real abort is needed.

Also, from an incremental design and systems engineering approach, a simplified mission helps determine the validity of assumptions made on how the spacecraft is configured and how the crew interacts with it. Via testing, such determinations are easier to make when fewer factors are present to filter out. In the long run, Suborbital Human Flight testing gives much deeper insight and speeds up development.

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