50-Valkyrie’s View: A Year Among the Stars

February 19th, 2552 Troubleshooting
Shuttle pilot/Lab Rat/mechanic’s apprentice – Katherine ‘Kat’ James Reporting

They broke Big Momma again – Different pilots, different pressures, different breakage– same arm. I looked at it, looked at Mac and shook my head – the chances of two different pilots using the same tools, doing the same job and breaking the same piece of equipment in a different way? That didn’t sound right.

So we spent the morning breaking it down.

Okay, we all have a different grip we’re comfortable with, we all have different body chemistries that can cause different hormones and chemicals to be released in our sweat – but they’re wearing suits, which means that the machine is responding to different movements and grips and exposing the equipment to different stress points.

It meant that the arm was getting different signals whether by grip or by positioning or a combination of the two.

In other words, we going to need to make the controls adjustable, force the pilots to apply the same force at the same angle every time, or we’re going to need to get a phone book for some of the shorter pilots.

I spent the afternoon gathering data on the pilot’s grips, pressure points, the pressure applied… you get the idea.

We spent most of dinner redesigning the controls, where the goal wasn’t to make them better and fine tune them, but to make them give an equal, serviceable response.

The Einherjar found it amusing that our solution was to dumb down the controls.

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