09 December 2021

Stupid Design For People Who Live There

Doing a rewatch of The Expanse in preparation for the sixth season.

Season 3 episode 2 has a moment where Prax cannot breath because the umbilical to ship's air gets disconnected because unsecured tools knock his hose off the bulkhead.

FFS, I don't even live in space, but I didn't have my systems set up like that.

Your vacc suit is always a stand alone, self sufficient system unless you deliberately do something fucking stupid.

The kind of deliberate stupid that spacers who live there don't do.

But then, I'm the GM who let FuzzyGeff's Hiver wrap up Warren's character in a vacc sleeping bag and not secure them to the deck only to have Warren get sucked out the cargo lock when FuzzyGeff opened it to space some hijackers.  His Hiver was, decidedly, NOT a spacer.

1 comment:

  1. Even a tethered and supplied-from-craft suit will have lots of excess air in it, and only a truly bad design would not have some one-way valves and shutoffs included. Which should allow the person to survive a few minutes at least, maybe up to 10-15 without real issues. Even the standard Traveller rescue suit is better designed than that.

    With the TL available in "The Expanse" universe, any decent space-suit or survival suit should have built-in scrubbers and high-pressure O2 supplies which would allow the suit to be self-sustainable for at least half an hour, if not more.

    We are at the TL right now that our space suits could have that already. But since NASA is NASA, no, we won't, at least for NASA. And the Russians and ChiComs and Indians all are stuck on late 20th Century suit design, because it's robust, cheap, easy to make and doesn't need to involve high-tech materials.

    But imagine the EVA suit that SpaceX would design if they were given a bid (or may be designing right now as a workaround the piece of kludge that NASA has decided will be the next-gen EVA suit, which is a POS using fabulous late 20th Century materials and design.) Their (SpaceX's) flight suit is already 10x better than Boeings and NASAs. Using modern materials, lots of thought into less-restrictive movement and restricting bulk, it is almost the SciFi skin-suit of so many scifi stories.

    Then there's the people who have been working on an actual basically skin suit with built-in kevlar/carbon armor fabric, built in heaters and coolers, and such. Which could be built now, and allows the wearer to have almost full range of motion in vacuum. That would be MIT and Dava Newman who have been working on the systems since the mid 2000's and NASA has given them the cold shoulder because Legacy Aerospace garbage (like the Space Launch System and Orion crew capsule) are better than private industry and not-made-by-NASA.

    As to the Hiver in question... Well, if anyone deserves (as a race) to go Flying Dutchman in a sleeping bag, the Hivers are right up there at top. Manipulating space squid...


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