Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ivan Ivanovich Is Dead

The poor, hapless astronaut floated away from the International Space Station yesterday full of life and hope, speaking fluent greetings to the myriad earthlings below in six languages on your FM dial at145.990 MHz. Not even an hour later, poor Ivan died, probably frozen to death. Which is probably a good thing, in the long run. Ivan will re-enter the atmosphere in several days and burn to a crisp on the long fall down from 354 kilometers altitude.

Ivan Ivanovich was an unmanned Russian spacesuit that apparently had been deemed to be trivial garbage and not even worth a dignified ride back on a Progress garbage run. So astronauts Valery Tokarev and U.S. commander Bill McArthur worked hard (presumably in their spare time) to convert the Orlan spacesuit into a ham radio transmitter and rigged an “onboard” recorder to say hi to all of us folks stranded down at the bottom of the gravity well. You have to hand it to them. Imagine it – they worked industriously and managed to pull off this extraordinarily interesting experiment, presumably without an army of ground based safety and quality inspectors breathing down their necks. That alone should be worth some kind of award when they get home – unless they are reprimanded for it, of course. And that’s not even getting into the woes of the hapless, powerless property custodian who was responsible for the government property and so on and so forth. No wonder mankind longs to get away from the ground based madness!

PS. I'm relatively certian that it occured to no one that the cost of that spacesuit probably approached or exceeded the entire budget for manned seafloor exploration over the entire planet in FY2005.

QuantumLimit News – Aquanaut Part II Is On The Way!

QuantumLimit has a weekly blog in depth which can be accessed by clicking on the link on the right or by clicking here. Two weeks ago we began a look at A DAY IN THELIFE OF AN AQUANAUT. Part I has been posted. Last week I was on the road and this week I got bogged down. But, I can tell you that in a day or so Part II will be posted and hopefully by next week the site can get caught up on some detailed issues. There are some very interesting topics in the queue.

PS. Server Woes Resolved

Our good friends at had all kinds of server woes yesterday. So if you missed the daily dose of QLCOM - I apologize. But it appears they are now up and back on line and things are working well! (Do you hear 'it wasn't my fault' embedded in here anywhere?)