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Weightless Man: Single-Impulse Trajectories For Orbital Workers

Report Number: AMRL TDR 62-103
Author: Mueller, Donald D.
Author: Simons, John C.
Corporate Author: Aerospace Medical Research Labs Wright-Patterson AFB Ohio
Laboratory: Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1962-09
Pages: 13
Contract: Laboratory Research - No Contract
Project: 7184
Task: 718405
AD Number: AD0289257

While performing maintenance and assembly tasks outside of space vehicles under weightless conditions, a worker may accidentally propel himself away from his vehicle. To determine the speed of such a single-impulse launch, subjects under weightless conditions in a zero-G KC-135 aircraft propelled themselves away from a surface with their legs. They attained maximum velocities of approximately 10 mph. Using various launch speeds and directions, theoretical trajectories have been projected for both coplanar and noncoplanar launches. These trajectories indicate that any launch having a velocity component parallel to the direction of orbital motion will result in a trajectory such that the worker will never return to his vehicle.

Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control
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