HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS FOR THE MERCURY PROGRAM The first astronauts Slayton, Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Wally Schirra and Alan Shepard also had to be no taller than 5’11” in order to fit into the tiny Mercury capsules www.nasa.gov/50th/50th_magazine/astronauts.html
GEMINI AND APOLLO: Three years after that first selection, NASA issued another call for Gemini and Apollo astronaut trainees. Experience in flying high-performance aircraft still was stressed, as was education. The limit on age was lowered to 35 years, the maximum height raised to 6 feet, and the program was opened to qualified civilians. www.solarviews.com/eng/astronts.htm
Moonman: "I also challenge NASA to flight around the moon on any of their next shuttle missions. They don't need to land on it, just fly around it."
What a straw man. The conspiracy theorists to whom I was specifically responding cite the width and/or height of the door as the limiting factors. To fail to answer those claims would have missed the mark. If you want to raise a different issue yourself, then go ahead. But you're the first person to mention the distance from hatch to forward bulkhead.
...with PLSS velcroed to his back...
No, just hung from straps over his shoulders and attached at the chest.
...it cannot be negotiated by an astronaut in a pressurised suit...
Really? You've tried it?
The primary reason NASA didn't formalize procedures for using the LM door (other than as a prop)... it could not be used by men of this earth.
You realize that all you've done is simply say it was impossible. The primary reason NASA didn't formalize the egress procedure is that it makes sense for each astronaut to figure out the way that works best for his physical ability. The conspiracy theorists don't have a problem claiming that other fictional procedures were formulated for things that were allegedly never done -- procedures made up just for show and unworkable in real life. Why is that such a limiting constraint on this point?
You're right about it being a three-dimensional problem. Some people seem to be quite ingenious at getting rigid couches around the seemingly impossible bend in the hallway. I suggest your mind's-eye assessment of one isolated shape versus another is not much of a bloody glove.
Whatever format is adopted, I agree with making myth and fact visually distinct, but I also think the most important thing is to provide a short, clear statement of fact in the form of a heading, then back it up. Then the next fact, etc..
The old lots-of-whaffle-followed-by-a-conclusion is not good, in my opinion, because sometimes it's hard to figure out what the writer is getting at and to absorb the right information. In fact I've sometimes been surprised near the end of a long spiel to find out what the subject really was and have had to waste time re-reading. But if a factual variation of the "conclusion" is provided first, I immediately know what the following text is about, so it's easier to understand it.
Additionally, this format makes refreshing one's memory easier. If I understand and agree with the argument, I often only have to read the basic fact, then the next, and the next, to refresh my memory.
The flags don't flutter in the wind Because... And because...
There is very little dust on the footpads Because... And because...
The Van Allen belts were not a great danger to the Apollo astronauts Because And because...
A fully suited astronaut with PLSS on could get through the hatch Because... And because...
Another thing is to use, as much as possible, lists, instead of long narrative paragraphs filled with facts.
Don't criticize what you can't understand. — Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” (1963) Some people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices and superstitions. — Edward R. Murrow (1908–65)