Interested in what it takes to go into space?
Check out Your Spaceflight, Your Safety by Dr Andy Quinn, the essential primer on the second space race. The book covers all the questions that prospective commercial spaceflight participants should ask. From an in-depth analysis of current operators to a look at the next-generation spaceports being constructed as we speak, the book also has relevance to regulatory bodies, industry partners and journalists looking for insight and analysis on this nascent market.
Andy’s research has shown that centrifuge training is an essential safety control measure in preventing accidents. This view is also corroborated by the Aerospace Medical Association Commercial Space Flight Working Group in their paper:
Suborbital-Crew-Medical-Issues-Rev-11.doc [.doc 130kb]
Below are video clips showing centrifuge runs in the Gx (chest to back) axis; this would represent a typical “Virgin Galactic” type of descent profile. At the bottom you will find clip of a Gz centrifuge run (head to foot or ‘eyeballs down’); this will replicate the ‘pull-up’ phase for most aircraft-like Re-Launch Vehicles/Suborbital Aircraft.
Here, we see Andy encounter 4Gx, where he will feel up to 4 times his body weight is pressing onto him.
Direct Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bebMk7FvGw
Here, we see Andy encounter 5Gx.
Direct Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36JlLWpp_yQ
Andy was subjected to 6Gx in a centrifuge. This the equivalent of 6 times your own weight pressing down on your chest and neck and therefore it is relatively difficult to breath; hence the need for training.
Notice Andy uses breathing techniques to counteract the intense force of the centrifuge.
Direct Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9zmNwuPjig
Andy is using an Anti-G-Straining-Manoeuvre (AGSM) in order to maintain the blood-flow to the eyes and brain in order to prevent him from passing out (Grey-Out, if sustained would become Black-Out, if sustained would become G-Induced Loss of Consciousness and if sustained would end in death)’