Other Free Encyclopedias » Science Encyclopedia » Science & Philosophy: Adam Smith Biography to Spectroscopic binary » Manned Spacecraft - Ongoing Debate: Crewed Vs. Uncrewed Flight, Overview, One-person Crewed Spacecraft, Two- And Three-person Spacecraft - Technical requirements of crewed spacecraft

Manned Spacecraft - Redundancy Of Systems

loss human mission fuel

One of the challenges posed by crewed space flight is the need for redundancy in systems. Redundancy means that there must be two or three of every instrument, device, or spacecraft part that is needed for human survival. This level of redundancy is not necessary with uncrewed spacecraft where failure of a system may result in the loss of a space probe, but not the loss of a human life. It is crucial, however, when humans travel aboard a spacecraft.

An example of the role of redundancy was provided during the Apollo 13 mission. That mission's plan of landing on the moon had to be aborted when one of the fuel cells in the service module exploded, eliminating a large part of the spacecraft's power supply. A back-up fuel cell in the lunar module was brought on line, however, allowing the spacecraft to return to the earth without loss of life.


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