Crew Survival Lessons Learned from the Columbia Mishap

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J.B. Clark (2009), JBIS, 62, 246-251

Refcode: 2009.62.246
Keywords: Human Spaceflight, Crew Survival, Mishap Investigation

Spacecraft mishaps involving loss of life are fortunately relatively rare. They always offer tremendous insight into improve- ments in vehicle design and operations. Aeromedical forensic analysis is a vital aspect of every aviation mishap, yet its application in spacecraft mishap investigation seems elusive. Due to the sensitive nature of fatal spacecraft accidents, analysis of human factors and forensics may not always be available for future vehicle designers. The occupant protection and crew survival lessons learned are a vital part of any mishap, and particularly spacecraft mishaps. This article will address crew survival lessons from the Columbia mishap and how they apply to future spacecraft design.

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