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Eject! Eject! Eject!
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Rancor Pit Forum Index -> Ships, Vehicles, Equipment, and Tech -> Eject! Eject! Eject!
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:48 pm    Post subject: Eject! Eject! Eject! Reply with quote

Let's discuss an X-Wing pilot ejecting into space. How does he stay alive?

The Star Wars Sourcebook says that starfighter ejection seats rely heavily on the pilot's flight suit to keep the pilot alive. This means that an X-Wing's suit, or the helmet, must have some function that allows the helmet to be sealed, protected from outer space.

Now, I've seen some solutions, here and there, in various Star Wars (non D6) books, novels, comics, etc.

What I remember is:

I think a Marvel comic (may have been another comic) showed an ejection one time where the pilot had a miniature forcefield form around the pilot's head.

I've also seen the idea that the ejection chair has a forcefield to protect the pilot once out in space (plus extra air, some food, a battery for warmth, distress beacon, backup comm unit, etc). But, this goes contrary to what is stated in the Sourcebook. I guess that there could be other models or the influence of greater technology as time goes by.

Elsewhere, over the years, I think I've seen a flexible bag shoot out of the pilot's fluffy (water flotation, it looks like) collar.

I've also seen the idea where parts of the helmet shoot out to cover the exposed areas.

Then, there's this...but I don't know how a pilot would get that face piece on quickly in an ejection situation. I think this is from the adapation for Heir to the Empire.







So...how would you say it works? How does the flight suit or helmet cover the open areas of a helmet to seal in the pilot from the zero atmosphere of space?
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that THIS PIC comes from the Dark Horse X-Wing comic. Notice the ejection seat maintaining a forcefield around the pilot.

This does not jive with the D6 Star Wars Sourcebook.
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Zarn
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could combine the two. Contrary to what many believe, space isn't that hostile - short term.

Let's say that the chair, when ejected, generates a short term forcefield (and eats your initial acceleration when getting out of the X-Wing). You'll have time to fit a mask to your face (remember, you're not under any acceleration after the initial blast, so there's no G-force to fight or anything) and to inflate your suit or whatever it is you're doing.

As long as you have a decent seal and some compression in your flight suit, you should be ok - for a few hours. More than that, and you're sucking vacuum - and likely overheating.

The shipsuit is mentioned in Gundark's Fantastic Technology, page 76. The bubble cloak is mentioned in Galladinium's Fantastic Technology, page 42. The shipsuit description should suffice for a flight suit, and the bubble cloak seems to be something that a fighter pilot might want to use part of their storage allocation on.

There's two interesting articles here:
https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19690004637.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_Rescue_Enclosure
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarn wrote:
You could combine the two. Contrary to what many believe, space isn't that hostile - short term.


I don't think I agree with this. I guess it depends on what you call "short term".

One doesn't freeze very fast, as is commonly thought, because heat doesn't radiate away from the body quickly. But, the gas in your lungs and digestive tract would rapidly expand, inducing swelling. If you choose this inopportune chance to hold your breath, your lungs would likely burst and you'd be a goner.

Any water directly exposed to the environment, such as the liquid on your eyes or tongue would boil off in a matter of seconds. About ten seconds into the ordeal, you would lose vision. Moments later, you would likely lose consciousness, a result of gas exchange working in reverse and oxygen being dumped from your blood. Your skin would discolor to a pallid shade of blue. After about one minute, circulation would stop altogether. After another minute, you'd be dead by asphyxiation.

There is some good news to take away from this morbid message. You can likely survive unprotected in space for as long as 90 seconds...

(Source: Real Clear Science.)

So...

You might not die for a minute or two (if that is short term), but you get fuc&@ up real fast.

Still, 90 seconds is 18 game rounds. And, this is SPACE OPERA. So...there's a chance. Wink
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Zarn
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do believe that you haven't read my entire post, or that you're being dense on purpose.

The first link is to the NASA technical report on rapid and explosive decompression. It also goes into some detail about specific soft and hard suits, as well as damage modes when pressure falls rapidly or explosively to (near) vacuum.

I preemptively addressed your point on swelling by pointing out that a flight suit needed compression. This would counteract the swelling you mention, similarly to how Mars suits likely will be constructed, and as explored by NASA and the Air Force through the Space Activity Suit.

How water works in a low-pressure environment or hard vacuum is all well and good. There's no doubt that in hard vacuum, you're well beyond the Armstrong limit. I also pointed out that you would need to fit a mask to your face. Your own illustration shows a full face mask.

Trying to hold your breath would likely lead to lung damage. The recommended action in a rapid or slower decompression scenario is a slow exhale for as long as one is conscious. If and when one goes unconscious, this is a moot point as the body will stop trying to hold its breath.

Unfortunately, as data up to FL500 shows, one would only have a few seconds of TUC (time of useful consciousness) if rapidly or explosively exposed to hard vacuum. In an explosive decompression scenario (faster than half a second), you won't have time to react and will likely be dead or dying immediately afterwards.

As for how much oxygen (or other life-supporting gas) that the pilot can have when ejecting - likely something on the order of half an hour to an hour or so; figure a couple of kilograms worth of pressurized gas. The 'enviro-suits' - full-on space suits - of Star Wars handwave their endurance as "a few standard hours of average activity", and doesn't seem to be particularly encumbering (as compared to the rather JIM-style enviro-suit at least).
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarn wrote:
I do believe that you haven't read my entire post, or that you're being dense on purpose.


No need to be rude. It's bad form.

I did read your post. All of it. I didn't read the linked articles. I must have misunderstood your point with the suit. I thought that you were saying that a person could survive in space, and then you offered an alternative with the suits and ejection seat stuff.
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DirkCorman
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did have a concept a long time ago whereas the entire cockpit could be ejected as a survival capsule with a limited life support capacity.

It would contain survival equipment and rations.
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DirkCorman wrote:
I did have a concept a long time ago whereas the entire cockpit could be ejected as a survival capsule with a limited life support capacity.

It would contain survival equipment and rations.


Yeah, sort of a cockpit that is also a life pod. I dig it.
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Mamatried
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
DirkCorman wrote:
I did have a concept a long time ago whereas the entire cockpit could be ejected as a survival capsule with a limited life support capacity.

It would contain survival equipment and rations.


Yeah, sort of a cockpit that is also a life pod. I dig it.


Awesome idea.

I was thinking, if we look at the pictures, we see luke doing repairs, he does have a face screen and breath mask.

If you look to the armored jumpsuit it states that is does provide limited protection in space.

I would think however that a "regular" rebel pilot would not survive.


I am not sure where I read it, but I think was this space rescue corps ship that actually had this gun that shot some "air bubble" thing on drifting pilots and then tractored them into ship.
If such a thing is not too heavy it could be part of the "box" we see on the jumpsuits.

I'll look for the link to the air bubble thingie
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ZzaphodD
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, one of the major ideas of an ejection seat today is to get clear of a misfunctional airplane that is going to crash down and be able to parachute.
Most of the time a spacecraft will not be in atmosphere when ejecting, and if it is the above problems do not apply.
In space you need to get clear of the wreckage and control your trajectory, and be able to wait. So the 'pod' idea seems more logical when designing an ejection system..
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
DirkCorman wrote:
I did have a concept a long time ago whereas the entire cockpit could be ejected as a survival capsule with a limited life support capacity.

It would contain survival equipment and rations.


Yeah, sort of a cockpit that is also a life pod. I dig it.


I've seen several players do just that with the cockpits on their freighters. Make the entire cockpit sealed off, and its own escape pod..
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
DirkCorman wrote:
I did have a concept a long time ago whereas the entire cockpit could be ejected as a survival capsule with a limited life support capacity.

It would contain survival equipment and rations.

Yeah, sort of a cockpit that is also a life pod. I dig it.

I've seen several players do just that with the cockpits on their freighters. Make the entire cockpit sealed off, and its own escape pod..

That's practical.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But costly. Plus looking at the layouts for most cockpits, 3-4 people seems to be a max carry capacity..
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Wajeb Deb Kaadeb
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In The Truce At Bakura, Wedge pops his canopy and goes EVA using what Luke calls his "space pilot's light weight pressure suit and emergency closed face helmet."

Here's a pic from the TaB Sourcebook.

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