14 thoughts on “Safety Third”

  1. LoL

    So Rand, just out of curiosity, what should come first and second? I’m thinking First: I get paid. Second: I’m doing something productive.

    Humans are shockingly delicate creatures, and most everything we encounter can scar us in one way or another.

    x1000 in Space. We will have to relearn this bitter lesson. The folks who will live and work off the Earth will have a deep, intimate and personal appreciation of this.

    1. A small for instance. We don’t know many people on Earth with blown lungs, except maybe deep sea divers. You’ll see a lot more victims of strange medical conditions like this in Space. Sounds like a fertile field for some interesting SF stories.

      1. Want to see what risks people used to tolerate to pursue a dream? Watch the Amazon Prime miniseries “1883.” It’s outstanding. It’s also quite accurate. Believe it or not, my wife’s grandmother crossed the United States in a covered wagon in the late 1800s, and though her grandmother passed away when my wife was 2, her older siblings knew her grandmother quite well. (My wife was second to last of 11 children, as was her grandmother)

        My grandparents went through two world wars and the Great Depression, and my parents experienced the latter as well. I recently found a letter from my paternal grandfather’s brother, who was a soldier who had fought in WW-I. He wrote the letter in a hospital in Paris, where he was spending a month recovering from the Spanish flu – an experience he trivialized, with cheery humor, because it was trivial compared to the nightmare of the war. I was just amazed at the light-hearted tone of his writing.

        Today’s snowflakes aren’t prepared for exploration – they couldn’t handle migration. But there will be a great Darwinian event sometime soon, and those who can adapt will. Humanity will be better off for it.

  2. Exploration is not a normal job. In normal jobs safety can and should be first because the task is not particularly important. I think about this often because I have done dangerous work that I decided was worth my life or limb, and many more things that were not.

    1. I’ve worked in a sewer plant, a foundry, and aboard nuclear submarines in drydock. I really enjoyed those jobs, though you did have to be careful (falls, burns, sharps, deadly gasses, to name a few). I’d do them again if someone would hire my elderly carcass. I’d probably be as useful as anyone aboard an interplanetary vessel, so long as I could grab the occasional nap. I too up IT for the money. I’ve sometimes regretted the decision.

  3. Space exploration will be dominated by risk-taking young people.

    I’m old enough that I have real fear of slipping in the shower, rolling out of bed while sleeping, falling down the stairs.

    I would be mostly useless/untrustworthy to fellow crew mates.

    1. Yeah, but none of those things can happen in zero-gee. Seeing the number of astronauts who ram a hard surface with their head, I’d want a bump cap if I lived aboard a space station, or was on a starship headed for Mars. I’m in pretty good shape for 72, but I still take precautions against falling. I guess once I got to Mars, there’d be someplace to fall to….

        1. But there’s no air in space, so surely your asthma wouldn’t be triggered.

          And William is 72 here, but on Mars he’d only be 38.

          Space travel solves so many problems.

          1. Now you might be onto something there. This could easily self-fund if properly marketed….

          2. So I’d be unborn on Uranus! Of course, my anus would still be 72…

            More seriously, the meds keeping me alive are cheap and compact. Twenty years’ worth would mass about a half kilogram. I’d need to ditch the disposable syringes, but any starship worth its methane would have an autoclave and glass syringes.

            I was thinking about this last night, and realized the only thing relating to spaceflight I haven’t experienced is actual zero gee. Assuming I can’t count floating in a pool testing a repaired rebreather for an hour. I did spend an exciting couple of hours in a gas-tight suit with a canned air supply one night, in a confined space full of chlorine gas. That’s the one time I was really scared.

    1. I just did the math, but you have to scale by 100 first in order to be in the realm of integers. That’d make me 27 in Pluto years.

  4. George Turner

    “But there’s no air in space, so surely your asthma wouldn’t be triggered.”

    Sucking empty space is asthma, only briefer.

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