Is there a good explanation on the net somewhere about why astronauts RF?

CRS

Senior Community Member
Is there a good explanation on the net somewhere about why astronauts RF?
 
ADS

Niea

New member
They rear-face? When?

Everything I've always heard and seen was that they forward-face, at least for takeoff and landing. But I'm not always "in the know" so I fully admit I could be wrong.
 

CRS

Senior Community Member
They rear-face? When?

Everything I've always heard and seen was that they forward-face, at least for takeoff and landing. But I'm not always "in the know" so I fully admit I could be wrong.

I was sure they did, because of the G forces. Argh now I'm doubting myself lol
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
They don't. Everyone faces forward. They lay on their backs to take off, but otherwise they need to see forward to steer. At least the commander and co-pilot do. A couple of mission specialists sit up in the cockpit also facing forward, and a couple more sit in the section below, also forward.

See, watching Space Camp and going to Space Academy levels 1 and 2 paid off!! LOL

Wendy
 

CRS

Senior Community Member
Here we go

The Beginning of Modern Child Safety

The impetus for modern child safety was born in Sweden 1963. The first rear-facing child safety seat was designed by Bertil Aldman of Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. While watching an American TV program, Aldman noticed the position of the astronauts in the Gemini space capsule. By lying on their backs, in opposite direction to the force of acceleration, they were better able to withstand the acceleration. Professor Aldman believed that this principle could be applied to protect a child in the event of a head-on collision.

Volvo mirrors Professor Aldman's belief, further adding that children are best protected during the first three years of life by facing rearward in the car seat.

http://www.foxtot.com.au/?p=rearfacing
 

CRS

Senior Community Member
They don't. Everyone faces forward. They lay on their backs to take off, but otherwise they need to see forward to steer. At least the commander and co-pilot do. A couple of mission specialists sit up in the cockpit also facing forward, and a couple more sit in the section below, also forward.

See, watching Space Camp and going to Space Academy levels 1 and 2 paid off!! LOL

Wendy

The words I put in bold is what I meant!
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
That was the Gemini and the Apollo programs, though, when a capsule was in free fall aiming for the ocean. No steering necessary. The ocean is a pretty big place to hit. With the shuttle you're aiming for a runway and so you need to steer. Everyone faces forward, and has for the past 30 years.

Wendy
 

CRS

Senior Community Member
That was the Gemini and the Apollo programs, though, when a capsule was in free fall aiming for the ocean. No steering necessary. The ocean is a pretty big place to hit. With the shuttle you're aiming for a runway and so you need to steer. Everyone faces forward, and has for the past 30 years.

Wendy

Thanks :)

I remember watching a video on here ages ago... it was that myth busters thing where they were discussing some guy many years ago traveling rearwards which meant he could withstand the g forces... crud wish i could remember his name lol It was the same episode they were discussing airline hostesses etc that travelled rear-facing in planes.
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
The words I put in bold is what I meant!

Yeah, but they're all forward. They're being pushed into the seats (they're about four inches thick to make it comfortable).

Coming back down the Gemini and the Apollo astronauts were having the seatbacks take the brunt of it. Now the astronauts' butts take the most of it, given the angle of reentry (like coming in for a plane landing). But they're forward facing.

Wendy
 

CRS

Senior Community Member
Yeah, but they're all forward. They're being pushed into the seats (they're about four inches thick to make it comfortable).

Coming back down the Gemini and the Apollo astronauts were having the seatbacks take the brunt of it. Now the astronauts' butts take the most of it, given the angle of reentry (like coming in for a plane landing). But they're forward facing.

Wendy

Yea I get that they're forward-facing, you said LOL
 

CRS

Senior Community Member
Woo hoo google rocks. Found the name of that guy from myth busters I was talking about.

His name was John Stapp

The first run on the rocket sled took place on 30 April 1947 with ballast. The sled ran off the tracks. The first human run took place the following December. Instrumentation on all of the early runs was in the developmental stage, and it was not until August 1948 that it was adequate to begin recording. By August 1948, 16 human runs had been made, all in the backward facing position. Forward facing runs were started in August 1949. Most of the earlier tests were run to compare the standard Air Force harnesses with a series of modified harnesses, to determine which type gave the best protection to the pilot.

By 8 June 1951, a total of 74 human runs had been made on the decelerator, 19 with the subjects in the backward position, and 55 in the forward position. Dr. Stapp, one of the most frequent volunteers on the runs, sustained a fracture of his right wrist during the runs on two separate occasions.

Dr. Stapp's research on the decelerator had profound implications for both civilian and military aviation. For instance, the backward-facing seat concept, which was known previously, was given great impetus by the officer's crash research program, which proved beyond a doubt that this position was the safest for aircraft passengers and required little harness support, and that a human can withstand much greater deceleration than in the forward position.

here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stapp
 

Niea

New member
When you think about it, it makes sense that astronauts FF.

In a car, you're not concerned about the forces exerted on the body during regular driving, but you are concerned about the forces exerted during a sudden stop (ie a collision).

Normal driving forces do push you back into your seat, but because cars don't go that fast, FF is safe while just cruising along. The forces exerted during a frontal collision are much higher, though. . but since the collision causes your vehicle to quickly change velocity and sometimes direction too, your body actually continues to move forward away from the FF seat. Thus, RFing is safer because in this situation you'd actually be pushed into the seat, protecting the body.

The space shuttle does exert tremendous forces during normal take-off and landing, but doesn't usually collide with anything.

In this case, the forces experienced during the take-off and landing are not minor like you would experience in a car. There's no change of direction during takeoff/landing and the astronauts' bodies continue to be pressed into their seats. Just like RFing in a car during a collision, this is the safest configuration. If the astronauts were RFing, they'd have nothing but their harnesses holding them and that could cause injury (just like a FF person in a car collision).
 

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