Topic: Tightening space shuttle seat belts for landing
Posts: 215 From: Round Lake, IL, US Registered: Jan 2009
posted 05-12-2011 10:07 AM
I was reading this NASA.gov feature about the necessity of tight seat belts on the space shuttle and made me wonder how do they get the seat belts tight for reentry in microgravity. Especially the last guy; do they have a mechanical way of tightening them?
In space, when the crew is getting ready to enter the atmosphere and land, one of the crew members has to make sure the rest of the astronauts are secured in their own seats. Love had that role during STS-122.
The strapping in is not done lightly or necessarily for comfort, Love said.
"Especially since Columbia when it became evident that being strapped securely into your seat would improve your chances of survival if something bad happened," Love said. "And they are big guys and they are pulling hard. So you're really in that seat."
Posts: 1571 From: Atlanta, GA, USA Registered: Feb 2007
posted 05-12-2011 10:58 AM
This is a great question and relevant to research being carried out for Orion and similar vehicles. I work for HANS Performance Products who make restraints for auto racing and we're consulting with NASA. Ratcheting systems might work well if the strength of the crew is compromised after a long mission. Solid bearings designed into the suit might interfere with harnesses needed to properly restrain the crew. Should the harness system pass through the pressure garment? This is a very complex problem.