Procedures make space flight possible.
When humans are far from home, they will
have to make some decisions for which
their training has not prepared them.
How will folks be prepared to make good
decisions? I submit that they will have
to be trained to go beyond their training.
I proposed a method in a contest
(free one-year subscription on acceptance) at
Science Magazine where contributors were asked
to write a research project for the year 2050 A.D.
Unfortunately, I received
no response at all, and could not resubscribe.
The project I wrote involved giving persons training experiences in responding to major failures. Unfortunately, I think my guardian
angels took that as a request for personal
gremlins to sabotage and harass me in little ways. I did not mean that at all!
In my discussion today with Dr. Stafford
I made the following statement:
"Surely you might agree that you and I, for example can be trusted to go anywhere and do anything.... and in fact, while not everyone SHOULD do what we do, we also would probably not do anything that it would not be "okay" for others to do if they were similarly prepared in the way that you or I were.
In other words, I would not be stealing, assaulting or careles with the safety of others.
I would strive to be faithful to those with whom I am in contract and accord. So why regulate me further?"
(We probably should heed professional & trade standards and traffic lights and things like that ...)
Besides saying,"My hypocritical confirmist streak is more convoluted than yours!" what I am saying
is that EXPLORATION requires going beyond rules
and in space exploration, the stakes are so high
that a person cannot afford to have little psychological mistakes add to the difficulty of their devising a solution to an unforseeable type or category of problems.
They need to have training and experience in operating their own mind under duress, yes...but also while in the midst of adversity OF UNFORESEEN KINDS which are likely to occur in
some kinds of space exploration.