Spacewalk backlash

It was probably inevitable that someone would speak out against Space Adventures’ announcement Friday that it will offer spacewalks as an option for its orbital tourists. While a number of former NASA spacewalkers who advise the company have endorsed the plan, former astronaut Jerry Linenger, who performed an EVA during his stay on the Mir space station in 1997, told the AP he thinks allowing tourists to perform spacewalks is a bad idea. The article is scant on details, although Linenger is quoted as saying that “common sense” makes it clear that only “highly-trained professionals” (in the article’s, not Linenger’s, words) should perform EVAs, and that a tourist on a spacewalk could endanger the life of the cosmonaut he would outside the station with.

2 comments to Spacewalk backlash

  • Brent

    Linenger is absolutely right. Only people with engineering or physics degrees should even be allowed into space. Okay, maybe some doctors. What? Now some guys think they can just buy their way to a spacewalk? Only the genetically and egotistically superior NASA astronaut can even attempt such a risky procedure. And of course, only taxpayers should pay for spacewalks because its only an astronauts natural right to be given everything for free becausee they have worked so hard and proved to everybody they are naturally superior.

    Good Lord. I’m sure many astronauts are fine people. However, its opinions like that and others that betray the superiority mindset that some (and I’m willing to bet all in some measure)astronauts have that they are better than everyone else. NASA astronauts are a main factor in our useless space program for the last 30 years.

  • True, EVAs today are major technical endeavors requiring substantial training and oversight. But the effort to address EVAs conducted by tourists (for lack of a better term) should inspire methods to streamline EVAs by improving suit design, developing more efficient procedures, and instituting more effective safety protocols..

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