Vehicle Restraint Considerations for Commercial Spaceflight

Leigh L. Speicher, Rebecca Blue, James M. Vanderploeg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There are currently no direct regulations and few guidelines regarding restraint design for commercial spaceflight vehicles. Operators designing vehicles intended solely for private commercial use, particularly short-duration suborbital flights, have questioned the need for 5-point restraints, instead considering the options of fewer restraints and less stringent application requirements. We sought to identify risks and benefits of alternative restraint designs for the commercial spaceflight industry, particularly for the diverse population of commercial spaceflight participants (SFPs). A systematic review was conducted on currently available information and published literature of human and animal studies as well as industry standards regarding restraint design, common injuries, and patterns of injuries in vehicular trauma, including automobile, aircraft, and spacecraft. Although data are lacking regarding commercial spacecraft or potential mishap forces, extensive studies are available in analogue environments, including motor vehicle crashes and aviation mishaps, which demonstrate variations of restraint design and relative risks and benefits of these systems. These studies demonstrate superiority of harnesses that include shoulder restraint and a negative-G (crotch) belt to limit torso movement. Injury patterns in anthropometrically varied populations, with factors including gender, obesity, and advanced age, demonstrate increased vulnerability to morbidity and mortality in obese and elderly populations and improved outcomes with more rigorous restraint designs. Given the varied population anticipated for commercial SFPs and significant reduction in morbidity and mortality associated with 5-point restraint designs, evidence suggests that the use of a 5-point restraint is most appropriate for commercial spacecraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalNew Space
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Fingerprint

vehicles
Spacecraft
spacecraft
morbidity
commercial spacecraft
elderly population
mortality
Commercial vehicles
obesity
industry
suborbital flight
Aviation
Automobiles
industries
vehicle
motor vehicles
automobile
Industry
gender
torso

Keywords

  • 5-point
  • belt
  • crotch belt
  • harness
  • negative-G belt
  • spaceflight participant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

Cite this

Speicher, L. L., Blue, R., & Vanderploeg, J. M. (2019). Vehicle Restraint Considerations for Commercial Spaceflight. New Space, 7(1), 3-11. https://doi.org/10.1089/space.2018.0026

Vehicle Restraint Considerations for Commercial Spaceflight. / Speicher, Leigh L.; Blue, Rebecca; Vanderploeg, James M.

In: New Space, Vol. 7, No. 1, 01.03.2019, p. 3-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Speicher, LL, Blue, R & Vanderploeg, JM 2019, 'Vehicle Restraint Considerations for Commercial Spaceflight', New Space, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 3-11. https://doi.org/10.1089/space.2018.0026
Speicher, Leigh L. ; Blue, Rebecca ; Vanderploeg, James M. / Vehicle Restraint Considerations for Commercial Spaceflight. In: New Space. 2019 ; Vol. 7, No. 1. pp. 3-11.
@article{beabf7ef85dc433e8cfbeae8276983d2,
title = "Vehicle Restraint Considerations for Commercial Spaceflight",
abstract = "There are currently no direct regulations and few guidelines regarding restraint design for commercial spaceflight vehicles. Operators designing vehicles intended solely for private commercial use, particularly short-duration suborbital flights, have questioned the need for 5-point restraints, instead considering the options of fewer restraints and less stringent application requirements. We sought to identify risks and benefits of alternative restraint designs for the commercial spaceflight industry, particularly for the diverse population of commercial spaceflight participants (SFPs). A systematic review was conducted on currently available information and published literature of human and animal studies as well as industry standards regarding restraint design, common injuries, and patterns of injuries in vehicular trauma, including automobile, aircraft, and spacecraft. Although data are lacking regarding commercial spacecraft or potential mishap forces, extensive studies are available in analogue environments, including motor vehicle crashes and aviation mishaps, which demonstrate variations of restraint design and relative risks and benefits of these systems. These studies demonstrate superiority of harnesses that include shoulder restraint and a negative-G (crotch) belt to limit torso movement. Injury patterns in anthropometrically varied populations, with factors including gender, obesity, and advanced age, demonstrate increased vulnerability to morbidity and mortality in obese and elderly populations and improved outcomes with more rigorous restraint designs. Given the varied population anticipated for commercial SFPs and significant reduction in morbidity and mortality associated with 5-point restraint designs, evidence suggests that the use of a 5-point restraint is most appropriate for commercial spacecraft.",
keywords = "5-point, belt, crotch belt, harness, negative-G belt, spaceflight participant",
author = "Speicher, {Leigh L.} and Rebecca Blue and Vanderploeg, {James M.}",
year = "2019",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1089/space.2018.0026",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "7",
pages = "3--11",
journal = "New Space",
issn = "2168-0256",
publisher = "Mary Ann Liebert Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Vehicle Restraint Considerations for Commercial Spaceflight

AU - Speicher, Leigh L.

AU - Blue, Rebecca

AU - Vanderploeg, James M.

PY - 2019/3/1

Y1 - 2019/3/1

N2 - There are currently no direct regulations and few guidelines regarding restraint design for commercial spaceflight vehicles. Operators designing vehicles intended solely for private commercial use, particularly short-duration suborbital flights, have questioned the need for 5-point restraints, instead considering the options of fewer restraints and less stringent application requirements. We sought to identify risks and benefits of alternative restraint designs for the commercial spaceflight industry, particularly for the diverse population of commercial spaceflight participants (SFPs). A systematic review was conducted on currently available information and published literature of human and animal studies as well as industry standards regarding restraint design, common injuries, and patterns of injuries in vehicular trauma, including automobile, aircraft, and spacecraft. Although data are lacking regarding commercial spacecraft or potential mishap forces, extensive studies are available in analogue environments, including motor vehicle crashes and aviation mishaps, which demonstrate variations of restraint design and relative risks and benefits of these systems. These studies demonstrate superiority of harnesses that include shoulder restraint and a negative-G (crotch) belt to limit torso movement. Injury patterns in anthropometrically varied populations, with factors including gender, obesity, and advanced age, demonstrate increased vulnerability to morbidity and mortality in obese and elderly populations and improved outcomes with more rigorous restraint designs. Given the varied population anticipated for commercial SFPs and significant reduction in morbidity and mortality associated with 5-point restraint designs, evidence suggests that the use of a 5-point restraint is most appropriate for commercial spacecraft.

AB - There are currently no direct regulations and few guidelines regarding restraint design for commercial spaceflight vehicles. Operators designing vehicles intended solely for private commercial use, particularly short-duration suborbital flights, have questioned the need for 5-point restraints, instead considering the options of fewer restraints and less stringent application requirements. We sought to identify risks and benefits of alternative restraint designs for the commercial spaceflight industry, particularly for the diverse population of commercial spaceflight participants (SFPs). A systematic review was conducted on currently available information and published literature of human and animal studies as well as industry standards regarding restraint design, common injuries, and patterns of injuries in vehicular trauma, including automobile, aircraft, and spacecraft. Although data are lacking regarding commercial spacecraft or potential mishap forces, extensive studies are available in analogue environments, including motor vehicle crashes and aviation mishaps, which demonstrate variations of restraint design and relative risks and benefits of these systems. These studies demonstrate superiority of harnesses that include shoulder restraint and a negative-G (crotch) belt to limit torso movement. Injury patterns in anthropometrically varied populations, with factors including gender, obesity, and advanced age, demonstrate increased vulnerability to morbidity and mortality in obese and elderly populations and improved outcomes with more rigorous restraint designs. Given the varied population anticipated for commercial SFPs and significant reduction in morbidity and mortality associated with 5-point restraint designs, evidence suggests that the use of a 5-point restraint is most appropriate for commercial spacecraft.

KW - 5-point

KW - belt

KW - crotch belt

KW - harness

KW - negative-G belt

KW - spaceflight participant

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063201068&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85063201068&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1089/space.2018.0026

DO - 10.1089/space.2018.0026

M3 - Article

VL - 7

SP - 3

EP - 11

JO - New Space

JF - New Space

SN - 2168-0256

IS - 1

ER -