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Identifying environmental and forensics aspects of human spaceflight mishaps through extreme case study analysis: Lessons for future human spaceflight mishap investigators and technical authorities

Polk, James D.
This study is an in-depth analysis and case study of human spaceflight fatalities, studying the forensic data, engineering data, and spaceflight environment that separates spaceflight mishaps when compared to other mishaps, but most especially to aviation mishaps. Because the Federal Aviation Administration will be charged with certifying commercial private spaceflights, and the National Transportation Safety Board will be charged with the investigation of private spaceflight mishaps, this information will be critical to future investigators as well as future spacecraft technical developers and engineers. The study will use the qualitative method of Case Study using extreme cases in which fatalities occurred. Cross-case comparison will be undertaken for identification of trends in human spaceflight mishaps, and then comparison of the spaceflight findings to the known literature of aviation mishaps will allow for identification of commonality or disparity between the two populations.