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Thread: International Space Station

  1. #91
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    The ISS was buzzed by a spy satellite.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2017...one-knows-why/

    "About six weeks ago, SpaceX launched a spy satellite into low Earth orbit from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. As is normal for National Reconnaissance Office launches, not much information was divulged about the satellite's final orbit or its specific purpose in space. However, a dedicated group of ground-based observers continued to track the satellite after it reached outer space.

    Then something curious happened. In early June, the satellite made an extremely close pass to the International Space Station. One of the amateur satellite watchers, Ted Molczan, estimated the pass on June 3 to be 4.4km directly above the station. Another, Marco Langbroek, pegged the distance at 6.4km. "I am inclined to believe that the close conjunctions between USA 276 and ISS are intentional, but this remains unproven and far from certain," Molczan later wrote."

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  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    The ISS was buzzed by a spy satellite.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2017...one-knows-why/

    "About six weeks ago, SpaceX launched a spy satellite into low Earth orbit from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. As is normal for National Reconnaissance Office launches, not much information was divulged about the satellite's final orbit or its specific purpose in space. However, a dedicated group of ground-based observers continued to track the satellite after it reached outer space.

    Then something curious happened. In early June, the satellite made an extremely close pass to the International Space Station. One of the amateur satellite watchers, Ted Molczan, estimated the pass on June 3 to be 4.4km directly above the station. Another, Marco Langbroek, pegged the distance at 6.4km. "I am inclined to believe that the close conjunctions between USA 276 and ISS are intentional, but this remains unproven and far from certain," Molczan later wrote."

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    From the linked article
    Another option is that of a deliberate close flyby, perhaps to test or calibrate an onboard sensor to observe something or some kind of activity on the International Space Station. "The deliberate explanation seems more likely, except that I would have expected the satellite to maneuver after the encounter," McDowell said. "But it seems to have stayed in the same orbit."
    I have a different idea for a deliberate flyby. If they were testing the ability to place their spy satellite close to another satellite in orbit (either to monitor it, intercept information from it, or destroy it) what better way to do that than to do it with a large object in-orbit that they have very precise information on its location. Or if they were testing the spy satellites ability to observe or intercept information from another satellite, the ISS would be a good test bed.
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    ESA is investigating how we keep our body rhythm in space.

    http://m.esa.int/Our_Activities/Huma...hythm_in_space

    "Space is an inhospitable environment for the human body but we adapt remarkably well. Within hours, the brain adjusts to the lack of an up or down, as if floating is all it has ever known. Now researchers are learning how our internal clock similarly adjusts to the restrictions of space. An ESA-sponsored experiment has found that while you can take the body out of Earth, you can’t take an Earth-based rhythm out of the body. "

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    We have not heard much with what Japan is doing with their Kibo module on the ISS. Here is one repot of their activities.

    http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2017/06/...9_protein.html

    "PeptiDream Inc. (PeptiDream), a Tokyo-based public biopharmaceutical company, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), a national research and development agency, has established a strategic partnership for the High-Quality Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiment on the Japanese Experimental Module ("Kibo") of the International Space Station (ISS). This strategic partnership agreement (this Agreement) is a renewal of the current fee-based contract and represents a further expansion of the relationship between PeptiDream and JAXA. Under this Agreement, the number of experimental protein samples to be investigated is increased six-fold over the original agreement, and the term is further extended from August 2017 to August 2020.

    PeptiDream and JAXA originally entered into a fee-based Agreement in February 2016. Under this original Agreement, JAXA has crystallized the HER2 receptor with a non-standard cyclic peptide (the drug candidate) provided by PeptiDream. The first space experiment was conducted on Kibo from February to March 2017, followed by diffraction data measurement and structure determination. The crystal (of the HER2-peptide complex) grown in space gave a substantially higher resolution than those crystals attained on the ground. The crystal structure clearly showed the macrocyclic drug candidate bound to the HER2 receptor and revealed an unprecedented binding mode. These results provide critical information that PeptiDream can now use to further optimize the HER2 targeting macrocyclic peptide candidate and accelerate its development.

    The Strategic Partnership Agreement between PeptiDream and JAXA leverages each other's strengths. Utilizing Kibo as an "Drug-design supporting platform", PeptiDream and JAXA strive to obtain structural information on target proteins and their drug candidates swiftly and efficiently, aiming to produce best-in-class and first-in-class drugs for the world as well as Japan."

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    Report of other experiments being carried out on the ISS.

    http://www.businesswire.com/news/hom...sults-Seedling

    "Zero Gravity Solutions, Inc. (“ZGSI” or the “Company”) (Pink Sheets: ZGSI), an agricultural biotechnology public company announced favorable results from the previously announced educational research experiment using its BAM-FX micronutrient product on the International Space Station (ISS). A second educational experiment utilizing BAM-FX®, launched to the ISS aboard the SpaceX 11 Cargo Mission to the International Space Station on June 3, 2017 has reached the ISS."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    From the linked article


    I have a different idea for a deliberate flyby. If they were testing the ability to place their spy satellite close to another satellite in orbit (either to monitor it, intercept information from it, or destroy it) what better way to do that than to do it with a large object in-orbit that they have very precise information on its location. Or if they were testing the spy satellites ability to observe or intercept information from another satellite, the ISS would be a good test bed.
    The latest issue of Space Review has an article on the close encounter.

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3277/1

    "On May 25, this author first drew attention to the fact that USA 276, if it did not change its orbit, would physically pass close to the ISS around June 3–4. Initial estimates for this approach (or rather a series of approaches), based on a NASA-prognosed orbit for the ISS and a periodically updated orbit for USA 276 from amateur observations, suggested that USA 276 would pass within 20 kilometers of the ISS in the afternoon of June 3. It would later transpire that it actually came even closer."

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  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    The ISS was buzzed by a spy satellite.
    And it seems their defence capabilities were found severely wanting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Could that possibly be the same JimO in the comments?
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    More on that flyby
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3277/1

    A quote:
    "It took three weeks for the payload to be discovered in orbit"

    Thus my concern here: https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...77#post2410277
    Last edited by publiusr; 2017-Jul-07 at 09:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    Could that possibly be the same JimO in the comments?
    Our JimO is definitely James Oberg. I lost a few arguments about space exploration with him, which doesn't happen too often.
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  11. #101
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    See results from Japan's drone operating in the ISS.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40640039

    "Japan's space agency has released the first images taken by a drone it operates on the International Space Station (ISS).
    The so-called Internal Ball Camera drone was sent to take pictures and video of the work of the astronauts.
    The drone can float in a zero-gravity environment and is operated from earth.
    Dubbed a little ball of cuteness floating about in space it has been offering a window into life on the ISS."

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  12. #102
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    Forbes carries an article on the pro and cons of keeping the ISS.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregaut.../#27fe9836dce4

    "The International Space Station (ISS) circles the globe every 90 minutes. Drifting quiescently over the blue sphere of Earth or posing against the black of space, the starkly beautiful station feels like a permanent element in the celestial dance. Those of us who know when and where to look often watch it pass overhead, one of the brightest lights in the evening sky. However, few are aware that the venerable ISS, born with the millennium, is scheduled to be abandoned in 2024 and will suffer a fiery deorbit, breakup and unceremonious splash into the Pacific."

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    ISS has within it thousands of species that call it home.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.130db86c0b04

    Thousands of species have colonized the International Space Station — and only one of them is Homo sapiens.

    According to a new study in the journal PeerJ, the interior surfaces of the 17-year-old, 250-mile-high, airtight space station harbor at least 1,000 and perhaps more than 4,000 microbe species — a finding that is actually “reassuring,” according to co-author David Coil.

    “Diversity is generally associated with a healthy ecosystem,” said the University of California at Davis microbiologist. A varied population of microscopic inhabitants is probably a signature of a healthy spacecraft, he added. And as humanity considers even longer ventures in space — such as an 18-month voyage to Mars — scientists must understand who these microbes are.

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    More studies of generating oxygen using plants being carried out at the ISS.

    Wonder if the Chinese published any of their results the carried out in space?

    http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Pla...h_air_999.html

    When resources are limited, you have to work with what you have - especially in the harsh environment of space. Though the International Space Station is regularly restocked by cargo vessels, like today's Dragon, self-sufficient spaceflight in the future will require us to recycle and reuse precious resources like oxygen. An experiment on its way to space will look into doing just that.

    Researchers are studying how photosynthesis - the process by which organisms convert light into energy, producing oxygen as a byproduct - takes place in space.

    They loaded the microalgae Arthrospira, commonly known as spirulina, into a photobioreactor, a kind of cylinder bathed in light. On the Space Station, carbon dioxide will be transformed by photosynthesis into oxygen and edible biomass such as proteins.

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    Russia wants to add a 5 star hotel module to the ISS.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/spac...ury-hotel-iss/

    Space tourism isn't a new idea. SpaceX announced plans this year to send civilians skyward and Virgin Galactic is still working toward its goal of regular space flights. Just this week, Blue Origin released footage of its future space tourism ambitions. But all these plans aren't exactly a first-class experience. Even after paying millions, a few super-wealthy adventurers have to brave spartan accommodations in orbit alongside well-trained astronauts.

    But in a few years, space tourism agents might be offering five-star orbital adventures, courtesy of the Russian space agency. The amenities will include a luxury orbital suite parked at the International Space Station (ISS) offering private cabins with big windows, personal hygiene facilities, exercise equipment and even Wi-Fi. In addition gazing at our tiny blue orb from a dizzying altitude of 400 miles, space tourists will have an opportunity for space walks accompanied by a professional cosmonaut.

    The entire trip, lasting from one to two weeks will cost $40 million per person and going with the spacewalk option and an extended month-long stay will set the traveler back an additional $20 million.

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    Former NASA astronaut Michael Foale wants private companies to step in and take over the running of the ISS in 2024.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/spac...crash-in-2024/

    For almost two decades, the International Space Station (ISS) has been a shining example of international cooperation in the name of scientific research. But a former astronaut warns that the space station, which has been continually inhabited since November 2, 2000, could be abandoned and deorbited if additional funding for the mission is not found.

    A veteran of six space missions, veteran NASA astronaut Michael Foale has spent over a year in space, living on both the Soviet/Russian Mir space station and the ISS. In a recent interview with the BBC, Foale expressed concerns about the current plan to deorbit the ISS in 2024, sending it to disintegrate over the Pacific Ocean.

    “Year by year, Russia is launching the fuel to fill up the tanks of the ISS service module to enable the space station to be deorbited,” Foale said to the BBC. “That’s the current plan–I think it’s a bad plan, a massive waste of a fantastic resource.”

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    Russian astronauts broke their own record doing an EVA to replace a very old communications gear that was not designed for replacement.

    https://spaceflight101.com/russian-e...d-outside-iss/

    Two Russian Cosmonauts had a trial of patience on Friday when working on the Service Module of the International Space Station to replace antiquated communications gear with new electronics to enable the Russian ISS Segment to connect to Russia’s Luch satellites positioned in Geostationary Orbit as high-altitude relay points.

    Veteran spacewalkers Aleksandr Misurkin and Anton Shkaplerov spent eight hours and 13 minutes outside the Station, facing a task involving a high-gain antenna not designed to be serviced by spacewalking crew members. Dealing with tight clearances, tedious bolt manipulation and numerous electrical & data connectors, the duo successfully removed an out-of-date electronics box and threw it overboard as a means of disposal before installing a new & improved unit that is compatible with the current generation of Luch relay satellites to give ISS additional downlink bandwidth and support the constantly-growing data stream from the orbiting complex.

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    NASA has been requested to study how to reduce the crew size on the ISS.

    http://spacenews.com/advisory-commit...uced-iss-crew/

    A NASA advisory committee, concerned about delays in the development of commercial crew systems, wants the agency to look at options where the International Space Station is operated with a reduced crew.

    At a May 14 meeting of the ISS Advisory Committee, its chairman, Thomas Stafford, said that NASA should consider training Russian cosmonauts on key systems in what’s known as the U.S. Operating Segment (USOS) portion of the ISS, which includes elements from the U.S., Europe, Japan and Canada, in the event extended commercial crew development delays reduce the size of the station’s crew.

    “For years, we have observed delays after delays in the development, flight test and qualification milestones in commercial crew, and therefore we believe the current schedule is optimistic,” Stafford said of schedules that call for flight tests of commercial crew vehicles in the latter half of 2018.

    His committee recommended that NASA and the other ISS partners should plan for ways to operate the station with a reduced crew if commercial crew vehicles aren’t ready to enter service by the fall of 2019.

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    NASA’s inspector general, Paul Martin, opinion is, the plan to hand the International Space Station off to the private sector by 2025 probably a non starter.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/16/1...-industry-2025

    The Trump Administration’s plan to hand the International Space Station off to the private sector by 2025 probably won’t work, says a government auditor. It’s unlikely that any commercial companies will be able to take on the enormous costs of operating the ISS within the next six years, the auditor said.

    NASA’s inspector general, Paul Martin, laid out his concerns over the space station’s transition during a Senate space subcommittee hearing May 16th, helmed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). During his testimony, Martin said that there’s just no “sufficient business case” for space companies to take on the ISS’s yearly operations costs, which are expected to reach $1.2 billion in 2024. The industries that would need the ISS, such as space tourism or space research and development, haven’t panned out yet, he noted. Plus, the private space industry hasn’t been very enthusiastic about using the ISS either — for research or for profit. “Candidly, the scant commercial interest shown in the station over its nearly 20 years of operation gives us pause about the agency’s current plans,” Martin said at the hearing.

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    US House Committee looked at US future in LEO and struggle to come out with an answer. One option not looked at was using China's Space Station and the US concentrating on the space station around the moon.

    https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/h...future-in-leo/

    The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee tackled the issue today of the future of the United States in low Earth orbit (LEO). Committee members and witnesses agreed that the United States needs to have a presence in LEO, but the questions are how long to maintain operations of the International Space Station (ISS) and when the commercial sector will be ready to assume the primary role of LEO operations to support human spaceflight. No easy answers emerged.


    ISS is a partnership among the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, and 11 European countries operating through the European Space Agency. The first ISS module, Zarya, was launched in 1998 and it took 12 years to complete construction. International crews have permanently occupied the facility since the end of 2000 rotating on roughly 4-6 month schedules. NASA spends $3-4 billion a year on ISS operations and, as Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) elicited today, the international partners spend another $1-2 billion a year. That makes its annual operating costs about $4.5 – 5 billion, according to Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations.

    At the same time, NASA and many of those partners want to move on to the Moon and Mars, another expensive endeavor. The question is what capabilities will continue to be needed in LEO and the relative roles of the government and the private sector.

  22. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    NASA has been requested to study how to reduce the crew size on the ISS.

    http://spacenews.com/advisory-commit...uced-iss-crew/
    That is shocking.

    Tom Stafford is still around?

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    NASA is set to test the ability of the Cygnus cargo craft to boost and deorbit the International Space Station.

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...oost-test.html

    Yesterday morning, a Cygnus resupply spaceship pulled into port at the International Space Station, loaded with more than 3 metric tons of science, food, and equipment. Cygnus will stay at the ISS for two months while astronauts unload and refill it with trash. After undocking, Cygnus will fly to a higher orbit, deploy some CubeSats, and fling itself back into the atmosphere for destructive reentry in July. But before the cargo ship departs, NASA and Orbital ATK, which builds and flies Cygnus, want to try something new: using the spacecraft's thrusters to boost the station's altitude.

  24. #114
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    Test its ability to boost, fine, but I wouldn't recommend testing its ability to deorbit.

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    Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), which was installed on the ISS, is major source of data which scientist hope to solve the source of dark matter by 2024.

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/201..._137308909.htm

    Scientists are expected to have a "decisive outcome" on search for the source of dark matter by 2024 after analyzing the huge amount of data on cosmic particles, said Nobel Prize winner Samuel Ting Saturday.

    Ting, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1976 for discovering the J meson nuclear particle, made the remarks at a press conference held in Shandong University in east China.

    Ting leads the team that gathers particle data from Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) which was installed in international space station in 2011.

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    There has been a leak on the ISS. It was traced to a micro fracture on the on the Soyuz ship that brought astronauts to the ISS in June that brought astronauts to the ISS in June. It is being fixed from the inside by the astronauts.

    My question - will a fix from the inside enable the Soyuz ship to withstand the intense heat on re-entry?

    http://www.spacedaily.com/afp/180830....ut9wznkg.html

    The International Space Station crew on Thursday was repairing a small "leak" most likely caused by a collision with a small meteorite, the head of the Russian space agency said, adding the incident presented no danger.
    "Overnight and in the morning there was an abnormal situation -- a pressure drop, an oxygen leak at the station," Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

    "A micro fracture was found, most likely it is damage from the outside. The design engineers believe it is the result of a micrometeorite," he said.
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2018-Aug-31 at 01:10 AM.
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    No. It's in the orbital module, not the descent module.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    No. It's in the orbital module, not the descent module.
    Thanks, that is a relief.
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    The International Space Station’s cabin pressure is holding steady after the Expedition 56 crew conducted repair work on one of two Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the complex. The repair was made to address a leak that had caused a minor reduction of station pressure.

    After a morning of investigations, the crew reported that the leak was isolated to a hole about two millimeters in diameter in the orbital compartment, or upper section, of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the Rassvet module of the Russian segment of the station.
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    What would be the effect had it been in the descent module? Do returning astronauts not wear suits anyhow?
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