Themes in Lunatics - #5 Failsafes and Adaptation
Continuing with themes in the stories for Lunatics... Here's number five:
Theme #5 Failsafes and Adaptation
Space is a dangerous place, don't get me wrong. But then again, so is Siberia or Alaska. Or the Sahara. There are dangers all over the world that are quite sufficient to kill an exposed human without important life-support or supplies. We don't worry about that most of the time, because we've adapted to these dangers. We do that through the equipment we carry (starting with clothes), through the behaviors we learn, and through the environments we create for ourselves.
Part of that adaptation happens already when engineers work through the problems. It may be a staple of science fiction for an airlock to suddenly and unexpectedly open, venting all of the air in a room. It's a simple plot complication. But it's very unrealistic, because engineers spend a lot of time making sure that things like that won't happen -- it's too obvious. So those things are built to be extremely failsafe. When things go wrong in space, it's usually a lot more subtle than that.
What will matter for space pioneers is developing the new repertoire of equipment and habits that they will need to be as safe in space as people are in hostile environments here on Earth. Space isn't all that different or all that dangerous -- as long as we are prepared for it. And space pioneers will be.