NASA Wanted To Vibrate Dead Astronauts’ Bodies To Dust With A Robotic Arm

titch2k6

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The freeze-drying process must be 100% efficient, or when it thaws it won't be dust, it will be goo.

If in orbit, just let them de-orbit. You can't buy a more complete cremation than re-entry.

I actually think this is a good idea.

Using some type of jettison tube (yes, I have been watching too much sci-fi...........), expel the body back towards Earth and let it re-enter the atmosphere. Poof! As long as the body reaches the pull of Earth's gravity, physics and nature would take over.......

As far as any distance travel goes, i.e. to Mars, just cryogenically freeze the body (or use some method to depressurize the storage area to the conditions of the vacuum of space) to prevent decomposition until on the surface and then give them a burial or cremation. A separate, and restricted access (to medical personnel and the mission commander), morgue 'cabin' could be fitted out to keep the deceased away from the remaining crew members during the journey.

Sometimes, I think that the thinkers overthink and complicate the thinking process.............
 
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Duke

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Assuming this would have worked, I'd question the practicality of the solution. I find it difficult to believe they would have accepted the weight/volume penalty of putting a dedicated, single function (corpse shaker) apparatus into space. Even a multi-axis/multi-role robot arm similar to what was used in Shuttle bay would be difficult to design from a systems engineering perspective to provide capabilities needed to lift/deploy and vibrate at a high enough frequency to shake apart a body. Not saying it couldn't be done, but it would be necessary to ensure the vibrations of the shaker, if used for this purpose, would not impact the arm's primary role.
 

GoneWestUtah

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Any corpses strapped to a ship exterior for an extended time in space would be unrecognizable after just a month of cosmic-ray exposure. I'm not sure what condition the remains would be in after that. Organic compounds are especially hit hard by radiation.

Anybody dying on Mars, the moon, or some other off-world base would probably be composted for use in the station greenhouses. That's what I would prefer be done with my body if I were a member of such a crew. Just too expensive to send them back to earth for burial, as Duke pointed out, and the chemicals & water contained in a human body can easily be recycled through natural decomposition. No shaking required.