# Thread: Ouch! Would you risk it??

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## Ouch! Would you risk it??

It lokks like the odds are barely on our side.

http://www.space.com/news/090106-sn-...ion-costs.html

According to the study, both options increase the risk of losing a crew or vehicle: The two-year extension increases the cumulative risk from a 1-in-8 probability to 1 in 6; extending operations through 2015 increases the risk to 1 in 4. The risk of losing an orbiter or crew on any given mission is 1 in 77, the report said.
1 in 6 ! Look around the room, some of you won't be coming back.

2. 'Risk' numbers like those should be taken with many statistical grains of salt, as I'm sure their report states.

3. Originally Posted by samkent
It lokks like the odds are barely on our side.
1 in 6 ! Look around the room, some of you won't be coming back.
That's going to happen when you scale up any quantity of an individual risk.
Actually; what that stat says is, there is a 1 in 6 chance that any single crew in the pool of crews will not come back (assuming different crews for different missions)

I can't remember what the original odds were slated at, but if it were 1:100, then we could have said back then that the risk was even odds.

In fact, what are the current risk of Ares-1, and the number of flights expected? I'm sure the cumulative risk comes in worse than 1 in 2.

If I were to judge my risk... the 1:77 is the appropriate number to use because I am not going to go on all the missions.

4. I too question those statistics.

But the other part of that is "Would you risk it?". There are two different meanings of "you". I personally would not risk it if those were the odds. But I might be willing to let others take the risk, if they were fully aware of the risks and were still willing to do it. Test pilots and fighter pilots, for example, routinely do things that are higher risk and society not only lets them, but encourages it.

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I am not sure quote where they get there 1/77 probability from. But assuming this is so then my back of the envelope calculations indicates a roughly similar rise in the probability of an accident as shown in the link, if the number opf remaining flights are increased from 9 to 12.

Personally I would have thought that 1/77 was about right for the period between Challenger and Columbia. I am surprised that they have not been significantly decreased post Columbia, given all the modifications.

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I'd risk it, yeah. Give me ANY chance and I'll take it.

And if something did go wrong, what a way to become a statistic.

7. Originally Posted by JonClarke
Personally I would have thought that 1/77 was about right for the period between Challenger and Columbia. I am surprised that they have not been significantly decreased post Columbia, given all the modifications.
Same here, but it could be that along with the modifications, there's been some new risks discovered that may not have been thought of before.

8. I'd risk it, yeah. Give me ANY chance and I'll take it.

And if something did go wrong, what a way to become a statistic.
Words to live by, man.

9. Originally Posted by KaiYeves
Words to live by, man.
I'll go. I drove drag cars for thirty years. My father built "EXPERIMENTAL" aircraft and I flew in them. My drag car had the "EXPERIMENTAL" sticker on the inside driver side door. I had my share of "that wall came at me very fast" and missed them. To quote the movie ID 4, "I'm pilot, I'll fly".

10. Originally Posted by NEOWatcher
Actually; what that stat says is, there is a 1 in 6 chance that any single crew in the pool of crews will not come back (assuming different crews for different missions)
I don't know if that is the right way to state it, though. I wouldn't say "that any single crew", because that makes it seem to me like each crew has a 1/6 chance of not making it back. Rather, I would say something like "there is a 1/6 chance that at least one of the crews will not come back." Or, there is a 1/6 chance that there will be at least one "major malfunction."

11. Originally Posted by Jens
I don't know if that is the right way to state it, though. I wouldn't say "that any single crew", because that makes it seem to me like each crew has a 1/6 chance of not making it back. Rather, I would say something like "there is a 1/6 chance that at least one of the crews will not come back." Or, there is a 1/6 chance that there will be at least one "major malfunction."
That's how I read it also.
That is one is six crews won't make it back.

12. By the way I would risk it.
I was watching one of the many versions of the movie Castaway, when our lost sailor is talking to Friday (the native) about death. Friday said, death itself is not the problem (since we will all eventually die) but how you die. It would be a fantastic send off, if you became a stat.

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Originally Posted by KaiYeves
Words to live by, man.
Huuaaaa !

14. in a heart beat even tho im a dad now id do it

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Would you play one round of russian roulette for a million dollars? It's the same odds! 1 in 6

16. I wouldn't do it for a million dollers, but I would do it to see space face to face. The space shuttle is a nice roomy vessel, especially with Spacelab attached. Room to fly baby, room to fly.

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Would you play one round of russian roulette for a million dollars? It's the same odds! 1 in 6

You're misreading the statistics. The odds of any one crew being lost on a mission is 1 in 77. They claim that over a period of years, the odds that one of the missions will fail resulting in the loss of a crew is 1 in 6.

Russian Roulette has a 1 in 6 (depending on the pistol) chance of killing you on any pull of the trigger. Play multiple rounds and the odds of dying are much higher.

Individual astronauts have to weigh the odds of dying against the rewards of flying in space. The rewards of playing Russian Roulette escape me.

18. The space shuttle is a nice roomy vessel, especially with Spacelab attached. Room to fly baby, room to fly.
Wasn't Spacelab destroyed in the Columbia disaster?

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Originally Posted by KaiYeves
Wasn't Spacelab destroyed in the Columbia disaster?
A Spacehab module was, not Space Lab. Two very different structures.

20. Sorry. When your spelling's as bad as mine is, one letter is easy to miss.

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I am not the one to complain about that....

22. Originally Posted by Larry Jacks
The rewards of playing Russian Roulette escape me.
Money, I would think. I'm reminded of the film The Deer Hunter.

I'd go up in the shuttle tomorrow. I'd go up in a Soyuz tomorrow.

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Originally Posted by Larry Jacks
...You're misreading the statistics. The odds of any one crew being lost on a mission is 1 in 77. They claim that over a period of years, the odds that one of the missions will fail resulting in the loss of a crew is 1 in 6...
Correct; it's also important to understand (a) the above figure is essentially an educated guess, and (b) the current shuttle is much safer than it previously was.

IOW if the odds of loss of crew are truly NOW 1 in 77 per mission, by the same calculation method it previously was much worse.

E.g, before the Challenger loss, there was no bailout capability and more limited abort options. Losing two engines -- even late in the ascent -- could result an ocean ditching which was unsurvivable. This almost happened on mission 51-F. They lost one engine and a 2nd almost failed before they reached single engine TAL capability.

By contrast the shuttle can now theoretically sustain a triple engine failure right off the pad, ride the SRBs up then establish a glide and do a bailout.

The Saturn V could not survive even a single engine failure within the first 15 sec of flight. Thrust-to-weight ratio would drop below 1:1, and it would fall back to the pad. In theory the launch escape system might save the crew, but the pad would be destroyed.

We tend to focus on the last disastrous problem since it's fresher in mind. However the riskiest area remains powered ascent. In that critical area the current shuttle has many more abort options than it previously did.

We also focus on the vehicle technical aspects. However in both shuttle disasters a greater contributor was poor management decisions. If you were really going to ride the shuttle, it would be more relevant to examine management than the vehicle itself.

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If you were to be granted one ride before the end of the shuttle, wouldn't your odds be 1 in 6 over all?

25. Originally Posted by samkent
If you were to be granted one ride before the end of the shuttle, wouldn't your odds be 1 in 6 over all?
You can't 'carry over' a certain percentage of risk calculated over many launches to the last launch. There is a certain risk per mission that catastrophe happens. If that has not happened in the last 5 flights, that risk per mission does not suddenly increase for the last flight.

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Another way of saying that is "dice have no memory."

Your odds of rolling a 5 with a standard (non-loaded) set of dice is 1 in 6. If you roll the dice many, many times, a 5 will come up on average 1 out of 6 tries. However, dice have no memory of previous rolls. You could possibly roll several 5s in a row, or go 20 rolls without ever rolling a 5.

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Originally Posted by Larry Jacks
Another way of saying that is "dice have no memory."

Your odds of rolling a 5 with a standard (non-loaded) set of dice is 1 in 6. If you roll the dice many, many times, a 5 will come up on average 1 out of 6 tries. However, dice have no memory of previous rolls. You could possibly roll several 5s in a row, or go 20 rolls without ever rolling a 5.
Which is why many astronauts have flown 6 or 7 missions and others who died on their first.

28. Originally Posted by samkent
If you were to be granted one ride before the end of the shuttle, wouldn't your odds be 1 in 6 over all?
Any single ride is 1:77
1:6 is if you rode every remaining shuttle.

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