View Full Version : ISS completed estimation - The finished space station

Launch window
2005-Jul-29, 09:55 PM
Few of us here know the answer about finishing the ISS science and construction, getting Hubble repaired, saving Voyager or making Shuttle safe. But let's for a second look at what we all understand about the ISS. Some of us on the BA work in geology, computing, writing and are not experts on this stuff but we could make a good educated guess. So what do you guys think it would take to finish the station ? There is a lot to the ISS, the big Solar pannels, Unity, Zaria module, the USA's inegrated truss structure, photovoltaic module, docking node, the US laboratory module. Today the station mass is about 187,000 kg and is aprox 70 meters wide and 50 meters long, building this had included 16 American Space Shuttle flights and 22 Russian flights. ESA were supposed to be sending up their astronauts by getting on USA's Shuttle and doing work on the ISS, the International Space station is suppoed to be 110 metres long, the Space station can not accommodate the expected crew and Canada is supposed to install sophisticated robotic systems, Japan announced that due to reduced funding and technical problems the Centrifuge Accommodation Module (CAM) would not be ready for delivery to ISS until 2008. ISS current mass 187,000 kg - it is missing an integrated truss structure, the ISS has no real photo-voltaic modules, the Japan-JEM is not there, SPP solars arrays are missing, Brazil should also increase their efforts. There is also a heap of work ahead, many lauches due and a lot of construction to start on.

Here are some pics and info on the ISS station for you folks.

its a complex and massive station


Maybe there are a lot more Progress launches needed, the US still have to do more Shuttle launches, and we need a lot more Soyuz. Russia could do some big lifts and Russian Progress-M is very helpful and Russian's already have great knowledge from MIR launches Mir Core had a Mass of about 21,000 kg and a lenght and diametre of 13 by 4 metres. ESA have done good launches with Ariane-4, now Europe has the Large Ariane 5 launches and they are already paying Russia for setting up a Soyuz pad and they are looking at the Russian Klipper Spacecraft. ISS is supposed to have a pressurized volume of about 1,200 cubic meters, a mass of almost 420,000 kilograms and energy supply of 110 kilowatts power output. The future of NASA's work with the CTV or X38 could be very important, science labs and a free-flying platforms and the number of flights that Russia can add will help matters more, ISS is what is needed for long term space plans as it is the only current long-term orbiting laboratory. The Anik F2 launch weighted about 5,950 kg ArianeV double can launch 10,000 Kg to 800 Km at 98 inclination. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA and Canadian Space Agency CSA/ASC should help out more, perhaps have more of their people go up on Russian or US launches to finish work on ISS. Brazil could add more effort into the station, Europeans could be sending more ATV to carry up to tonnes of ESA cargo including provisions, future space telescopes had plans to be alongside the ISS design and to get service or upgrades from the International Space Station, a lot of work must be done. Brazilian Space Agency the AEB and the European Space Agency should send their people up to spend much needed time on the ISS to finish its construction. ISS is supposed to have multiple docking ports, the massive photo voltaic solar pannel, larger living quaters, labs, and experiment modules and have a mass of 420,000 kilograms, the station isn't even half finished. Perhaps try out a Shuttle derived system to complete ISS - I had a thread on it called - STS launch without Shuttle ( Polus / Skylab method ) could this work ? I estimate that ISS could be finished with 20 Soyuz, 12 of NASA's STS Shuttle, 6 JulesVerne ATV, and 28 Russian Progress. We we also have other lauches to use such as Euro-HLLV ( Ariane-M ), Angara 100, Energia design, American SDV/HLLV. NASA could pay Russia for extra Soyuz if needed.

All ISS major parts launched - and total assembly completed by year 2009
with minimum risk to Shuttle ( 12 launches ) - the rest are STS launch without Shuttle ( Polus / Skylab method )
USA has honored its international partnerships and stayed true with the joint ventures with other nations in space

Next stop - build the return to the Moon and Mission to Mars

Now what is wrong with my great plan ? :lol:

2005-Jul-30, 03:29 AM
Now what is wrong with my great plan ?

Well for starters, the Shuttle-C/SDLV doesn't actually exist yet, and it won't for at least 5 more years. By the time it's ready the STS (assuming it doesn't stay grounded) can probably complete the ISS construction at least to an acceptable level.

You propose launching modules on rockets like Proton, Angara, Ariane etc. Fine, you can get em up there, but how do you dock with the ISS? You would have to design and add automated navigation systems, maneuvering thrusters, fuel tanks etc. to the ISS modules. Keep in mind that many of these modules already exist. Some are just sitting in warehouses waiting to hitch a ride on the shuttle. Refitting them would be costly, and perhaps even impossible. Which would mean scrapping what you've already built and starting over again.

Why do you need so many Soyuz and Progress launches? Those things aren't capable of transporting anything of substance. All Progress does is deliver food and water and bring back trash. Soyuz just delivers and recovers a maintenance crew. Why does the ISS need to be manned while it's under construction? Just send the occasional Progress to boost it to a higher orbit.

I'm not sure what to do right now. If Discovery had flown without a hitch, we could have just used the STS to bring up a module every 4 months or so. Get it to "core complete" and retire the shuttle. Go to a 4-6 man crew and use the Soyuz to stagger their duty rotations. Occasionally send up Progress or the Euro transport to deal with resupply. Finally ask the Russians/Euro's to take over entirely and wash our hands of the whole mess.

As the situation stands right now, we have to try to fix the STS. If we can't fix it, cut our losses and pull out of the ISS. Whatever modules we've already built, give them to whoever wants to take over the project, gratis.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Jul-30, 08:23 AM
Yes the ISS has been costly, badly managed, and ran way over budget but I think the USA should continue with the ISS, the Amercians have put so much work into it and it would be a shame to turn back now. The ISS can become a great station like the fantastic materials-science and Solar discoveries on Skylab. It can also be there to study constructions, zero-G biology, how to shield craft from big flares and CME's on a long trip to Mars, they can study planet growth, and perhaps use it as a constuction port for other missions if the USA is serious about Mars the ISS can become very useful for such study into a trip that will perhaps take 2 years to the red planet.

Like I said before and others posters like formulaterp are saying there may still be a big problem, yes you can get a large payload into a similar orbit with the ISS,
but then how do you get it within range of the stations' robot arm safely, accurately without ramming the station.

Also much of thestations clamps, docking and future nodes were designed expressly for the Shuttle, and the ISS has a port for docking with it and without Shuttle it is in trouble.

Launch window
2005-Jul-31, 12:47 PM
There is still a lot of work to be done by NASA and being grounded for 2 and a half years hasn't helped


Photovoltaic systems, nodes and Solar pannels...a big bulk of stuff still has to be launched by Shuttle

2005-Aug-03, 08:34 PM
ISS won't be the last space station. HLLV lofted stations will follow that will make ISS look tiny--so I hope.