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RafaelAustin
2003-Feb-01, 03:42 PM
In the interest of having seperate threads for all the discussion that will come, I'm curious to hear what the Shuttle tragedy's immediate and long term effects on the ISS.

How long can it stay in a stable orbit without boosting? In light of the recent rumors/announcements from Russia about not being able provide support, can we mothball the ISS if necessary?

Doodler
2003-Feb-01, 03:44 PM
If the shuttles do not fly for the foreseeable future, we could divert budget money from shuttle flight budget to supporting the Russian spacecraft going up till the Congressional Hearings and investigations are complete. If, of course, that money is available to be diverted.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 03:51 PM
On 2003-02-01 10:42, RafaelAustin wrote:
In the interest of having seperate threads for all the discussion that will come, I'm curious to hear what the Shuttle tragedy's immediate and long term effects on the ISS.

How long can it stay in a stable orbit without boosting? In light of the recent rumors/announcements from Russia about not being able provide support, can we mothball the ISS if necessary?



I think this is the end. At least for manned space flight. If it isn't, then there won't be any significant missions until the 2030's. Mars is now a never-will. In all likelyhood, we'll sell off our interests in the ISS to the Russians or Japanese or Europeans.

I don't say this because I want it to happen; rather, because it's probably going to happen thanks to Sen. Narrowmind (D/R) who hails from Ignoranceville, USA.

g99
2003-Feb-01, 03:56 PM
Bill s. i agree with you on that. Sadly. I just hope that people or the president can change their mind and put more money into the program. We need space. The profit potential and the advancement for the race as a whole need it.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 03:59 PM
On 2003-02-01 10:56, g99 wrote:
Bill s. i agree with you on that. Sadly. I just hope that people or the president can change their mind and put more money into the program. We need space. The profit potential and the advancement for the race as a whole need it.


Other than commercial broadcast satellites which can be put up robotically, there's no profit in space the way it has been managed by NASA. Perhaps when they realize that the agency is about to cease to exist they'll wake up and try to fix things.

Nightfall
2003-Feb-01, 04:18 PM
On 2003-02-01 10:51, Bill S. wrote:
I don't say this because I want it to happen; rather, because it's probably going to happen thanks to Sen. Narrowmind (D/R) who hails from Ignoranceville, USA.


If this happens perhaps we need new senators. We could possibly create a grass roots program to make sure funding still goes to NASA and to manned flight.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 04:19 PM
On 2003-02-01 11:18, Nightfall wrote:


On 2003-02-01 10:51, Bill S. wrote:
I don't say this because I want it to happen; rather, because it's probably going to happen thanks to Sen. Narrowmind (D/R) who hails from Ignoranceville, USA.


If this happens perhaps we need new senators. We could possibly create a grass roots program to make sure funding still goes to NASA and to manned flight.


It'll never happen. Remember, one out of five fools in this country doesn't believe we went to the Moon.

I'm fairly sure we're done.

Nightfall
2003-Feb-01, 04:26 PM
I would not give up so quickly. Besides if we hit these senators and representatives where it hurts, the votes, we should be able to keep funding for NASA.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 04:31 PM
On 2003-02-01 11:26, Nightfall wrote:
I would not give up so quickly. Besides if we hit these senators and representatives where it hurts, the votes, we should be able to keep funding for NASA.


"We", I don't think, are a large enough plurality to affect that.

g99
2003-Feb-01, 04:35 PM
If any senator from florida goes against the space program i a making sure, no matter how much it will cost (money), that they will never be re-electid. Now i am not going to harm them phyically, but they never should be re-elected.

David Hall
2003-Feb-01, 04:37 PM
I don't know. I'm getting a different feeling so far than the Challenger disaster. Maybe it's just my isolation, but it seems calmer, less of a incomprehensible shock. I think that the last accident caused people to understand that this is a dangerous undertaking. There will be accidents. Perhaps that will be enough to let the public accept this loss better and insulate us from those who want to shut everything down.

At least we can hope so.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 04:37 PM
On 2003-02-01 11:35, g99 wrote:
If any senator from florida goes against the space program i a making sure, no matter how much it will cost (money), that they will never be re-electid. Now i am not going to harm them phyically, but they never should be re-elected.


No politician from Florida is that stupid; but you can bet your socks that folks from elsewhere are.

Where in Florida are you?

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 04:43 PM
On 2003-02-01 11:37, David Hall wrote:
I don't know. I'm getting a different feeling so far than the Challenger disaster. Maybe it's just my isolation, but it seems calmer, less of a incomprehensible shock. I think that the last accident caused people to understand that this is a dangerous undertaking. There will be accidents. Perhaps that will be enough to let the public accept this loss better and insulate us from those who want to shut everything down.

At least we can hope so.



Indeed we can hope so. My issue is that the Challenger disaster was a deep bloody cut to the space program. To take that analogy further, it drew in the "budget sharks" who can't see beyond Midnight Basketball and idiotic "Art" funding; now that the space program has suffered again, they will doubtlessly move in to rend it to pieces - in a "nice" way, of course.

"Why, of course we don't want to end the space program - but look at the Sojourner Mars probe! Cheap, well-made, did it's job with a minimum of fuss! And why can't we let the Russians worry about putting people in space? Unmanned rockets carry payloads up, too! No, we're not going to call for an end to the Space Program, but all this fol-de-rol with the Shuttle is too much risk for too little gain. Let's..." (etc.)

g99
2003-Feb-01, 04:48 PM
On 2003-02-01 11:37, Bill S. wrote:


On 2003-02-01 11:35, g99 wrote:
If any senator from florida goes against the space program i a making sure, no matter how much it will cost (money), that they will never be re-electid. Now i am not going to harm them phyically, but they never should be re-elected.


No politician from Florida is that stupid; but you can bet your socks that folks from elsewhere are.

Where in Florida are you?


I'm live in Jacksonville but i go to the University of Florida now. Senior there. But i have been to central florida many, many times (specifically longwood. Right outside of orlando) since my girlfriends family lives there and my sister goes to UCF nearby. You?

Heck on a good day i could see the shuttle lift off (well the exhaust) from my house in jacksonville. It will be a sad day when i can't see that anymore.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 04:51 PM
On 2003-02-01 11:48, g99 wrote:


On 2003-02-01 11:37, Bill S. wrote:


On 2003-02-01 11:35, g99 wrote:
If any senator from florida goes against the space program i a making sure, no matter how much it will cost (money), that they will never be re-electid. Now i am not going to harm them phyically, but they never should be re-elected.


No politician from Florida is that stupid; but you can bet your socks that folks from elsewhere are.

Where in Florida are you?


I'm live in Jacksonville but i go to the University of Florida now. Senior there. But i have been to central florida many, many times (specifically longwood. Right outside of orlando) since my girlfriends family lives there and my sister goes to UCF nearby. You?


I live in Longwood. Right at Hwy 434&17/92.

Small world. Maybe we can have coffee one day.

Pity I only thought to ask now.

g99
2003-Feb-01, 04:57 PM
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif sure.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2003-02-01 11:58 ]</font>

RafaelAustin
2003-Feb-01, 04:59 PM
I just heard encouraging words from U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), saying that she is still behind funding NASA and that she understands that space exploration is dangerous. Of course, the Johnson Space Center is a big center of pride in Texas and she will support it, but she's on the committee that oversees funding of NASA, so it's good to hear support from her.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 05:02 PM
On 2003-02-01 11:59, RafaelAustin wrote:
I just heard encouraging words from U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), saying that she is still behind funding NASA and that she understands that space exploration is dangerous. Of course, the Johnson Space Center is a big center of pride in Texas and she will support it, but she's on the committee that oversees funding of NASA, so it's good to hear support from her.


Everything is pure speculation at this point. We need to know what's happened first. The Program's best friends could turn on it in an instant.

AgoraBasta
2003-Feb-01, 05:09 PM
What's really important for the future, is that exactly those who were cutting the NASA financing have to be kept responsible for this tragedy! They are the murderers.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 05:13 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:09, AgoraBasta wrote:
What's really important for the future, is that exactly those who were cutting the NASA financing have to be kept responsible for this tragedy! They are the murderers.


Whoa, whoa. I don't like their politics but until we know what went wrong - precisely - then we can't be slinging around the invective "murderer". Let's try to maintain some perspective.

AgoraBasta
2003-Feb-01, 05:20 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:13, Bill S. wrote:
Let's try to maintain some perspective.Along with your "maintenance" they do their cutting. And then they get their "political dividends" along with that... How imbloodypossibly convenient, ain't it?

James_Digriz
2003-Feb-01, 05:20 PM
On 2003-02-01 11:37, David Hall wrote:
I don't know. I'm getting a different feeling so far than the Challenger disaster. Maybe it's just my isolation, but it seems calmer, less of a incomprehensible shock. I think that the last accident caused people to understand that this is a dangerous undertaking. There will be accidents. Perhaps that will be enough to let the public accept this loss better and insulate us from those who want to shut everything down.

At least we can hope so.



I agree. Thats my feeling from all the various news reports and interviews also.

The Space Program is not just going to self destruct because we took another bloody nose. I have more faith in us then that.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 05:22 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:20, AgoraBasta wrote:

On 2003-02-01 12:13, Bill S. wrote:
Let's try to maintain some perspective.Along with your "maintenance" they do their cutting. And then they get their "political dividends" along with that... How imbloodypossibly convenient, ain't it?


I'm not sure what you mean by "your 'maintenance'". Or any of the rest.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 05:24 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:20, James_Digriz wrote:


On 2003-02-01 11:37, David Hall wrote:
I don't know. I'm getting a different feeling so far than the Challenger disaster. Maybe it's just my isolation, but it seems calmer, less of a incomprehensible shock. I think that the last accident caused people to understand that this is a dangerous undertaking. There will be accidents. Perhaps that will be enough to let the public accept this loss better and insulate us from those who want to shut everything down.

At least we can hope so.



I agree. Thats my feeling from all the various news reports and interviews also.

The Space Program is not just going to self destruct because we took another bloody nose. I have more faith in us then that.


I have more faith in "us" around here, the smarter of us. I have no faith in career politicians and bumpkins around this nation who can't see past the newspaper headlines or hear anything not spat out in a thirty-second soundbite via CNN.

g99
2003-Feb-01, 05:24 PM
lets keep a calm head here folks...

I was talking with my roomates about this. What will happen to the american ISS prigram? Will we send up our parts by Russia? or will we still send up the remaining shuttles?

We(me and my roomates) think they they will mothball ISS untill the new shuttle programs gets on its feet. It is sad, but i think it is for the best right now. It gives time for people to grieve and still keeps the program alive. I hate the idea that we might be stagnant for a few years, but it is better than taking the chance of another tragedy that could kill the program. I wish we could launch tomorrow, but i would rather take the safe road to the future.

James_Digriz
2003-Feb-01, 05:27 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:09, AgoraBasta wrote:
What's really important for the future, is that exactly those who were cutting the NASA financing have to be kept responsible for this tragedy! They are the murderers.


Wheres your facts for this assertion? I would hope the people at NASA are at least intelligent enough to not send the Shuttle up if its not safe.

How much money would have been enough before it would have been nobodies fault?

g99
2003-Feb-01, 05:28 PM
In addition to my last post, i would like to add that i am very much in favor for the program. I am just afraid that the general public will deem it too expensive and too much of a loss if another shuttle gets damaged or destroyed.

Plus when i said mothball ISS my post was a little confusing. I really ment mothball the new american aditions and just send up americans by way of russians and ESA.

James_Digriz
2003-Feb-01, 05:30 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:24, Bill S. wrote:
I have more faith in "us" around here, the smarter of us. I have no faith in career politicians and bumpkins around this nation who can't see past the newspaper headlines or hear anything not spat out in a thirty-second soundbite via CNN.


I agree. It's only a matter of our interpertation of the future then. I believe "us" will prevail.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 05:31 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:27, James_Digriz wrote:


On 2003-02-01 12:09, AgoraBasta wrote:
What's really important for the future, is that exactly those who were cutting the NASA financing have to be kept responsible for this tragedy! They are the murderers.


Wheres your facts for this assertion? I would hope the people at NASA are at least intelligent enough to not send the Shuttle up if its not safe.

How much money would have been enough before it would have been nobodies fault?


I concur. Let's keep level heads about this.

AgoraBasta
2003-Feb-01, 05:32 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:27, James_Digriz wrote:
How much money would have been enough before it would have been nobodies fault?To make it NASA's fault, it'd take just as much as they asked but never got...

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 05:35 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:24, g99 wrote:
lets keep a calm head here folks...

I was talking with my roomates about this. What will happen to the american ISS prigram? Will we send up our parts by Russia? or will we still send up the remaining shuttles?

We(me and my roomates) think they they will mothball ISS untill the new shuttle programs gets on its feet. It is sad, but i think it is for the best right now. It gives time for people to grieve and still keeps the program alive. I hate the idea that we might be stagnant for a few years, but it is better than taking the chance of another tragedy that could kill the program. I wish we could launch tomorrow, but i would rather take the safe road to the future.



I think the ISS is too expensive and too high-profile to "mothball" for any length of time. We may continue sending individual astronauts up through the Russians via Soyuz; I don't think we'll be sending shuttles up any time soon.

traztx
2003-Feb-01, 05:36 PM
Consider this: if a manned craft is damaged in an orbital mission and re-entry is impossible or dangerous, the ISS might be their only hope for survival until a rescue craft can be sent.
My prayers for the families and friends.

Mokele Mbembe
2003-Feb-01, 05:36 PM
[to AgoraBasta]

Exactly. Maybe this will make the politicians sit up and realize that you can't just keep cutting and cutting funding and expect things to work. Faster, Better, Cheaper rarely works.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mokele Mbembe on 2003-02-01 12:37 ]</font>

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 05:37 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:36, traztx wrote:
Consider this: if a manned craft is damaged in an orbital mission and re-entry is impossible or dangerous, the ISS might be their only hope for survival until a rescue craft can be sent.
My prayers for the families and friends.


I just wish the hell they'd taken a closer look at the starboard wing tiles before reentry. I mean, we could've fixed it up there (if indeed that's what failed.)

g99
2003-Feb-01, 05:39 PM
I was not saying to kill the whole iss program, i just think we should wait to add any american additions unless the russian shuttles can take them up. Sorry for the cunfusion folks. Heck i am still reeling from the initial discovery this morning.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 05:46 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:39, g99 wrote:
I was not saying to kill the whole iss program, i just think we should wait to add any american additions unless the russian shuttles can take them up. Sorry for the cunfusion folks. Heck i am still reeling from the initial discovery this morning.


By "Russian shuttles", surely you mean the un-reusable capsules...?

I'm reeling, too...

James_Digriz
2003-Feb-01, 05:49 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:32, AgoraBasta wrote:

On 2003-02-01 12:27, James_Digriz wrote:
How much money would have been enough before it would have been nobodies fault?To make it NASA's fault, it'd take just as much as they asked but never got...



There's no way to tell if the accident was caused by monies that were not applied. If it comes out that the accident was caused by a part that was not upgraded then of course I'll be outraged and I do not discount the possibility. There's really no evidence yet to say that the accident would not have happened with maximum funding.

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 05:52 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:49, James_Digriz wrote:


On 2003-02-01 12:32, AgoraBasta wrote:

On 2003-02-01 12:27, James_Digriz wrote:
How much money would have been enough before it would have been nobodies fault?To make it NASA's fault, it'd take just as much as they asked but never got...



There's no way to tell if the accident was caused by monies that were not applied. If it comes out that the accident was caused by a part that was not upgraded then of course I'll be outraged and I do not discount the possibility. There's really no evidence yet to say that the accident would not have happened with maximum funding.


I concur; I think the immediate and long-term causes of this tragedy need to be sorted out before anyone starts slinging around invectives (if we need that at all).

g99
2003-Feb-01, 05:53 PM
Doesn't the russian program have their own version of the shuttle? I thought they did.


You know, now that i have been thinking about my satement i might have been too harsh about it. I think that i was just acting on emotion and not thinking very clearly yet. I take back my satement about ISS. Maybe we can send the additions and the men throught other means. Ther reamining shuttles, unmanned craft, and other countries space programs. But i still think that we should closely study our current shuttle program and seriously think about replacing it very soon.

David Hall
2003-Feb-01, 05:56 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:53, g99 wrote:
Doesn't the russian program have their own version of the shuttle? I thought they did.


The Russian version, the "Buran", had one unmanned flight and was mothballed afterwards. Most of the original pieces have been sold off I believe.

James_Digriz
2003-Feb-01, 05:56 PM
I had high hopes for the Roton vehichle that was being developed but then the developers went out of buisness.


http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/launches/roton_liftoff.html

Mokele Mbembe
2003-Feb-01, 05:56 PM
I wonder if Buran is capable of being launched/docking with the ISS (remember when it was to be called Freedom? Is that still 'in effect'?)

Bill S.
2003-Feb-01, 05:57 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:56, Mokele Mbembe wrote:
I wonder if Buran is capable of being launched/docking with the ISS (remember when it was to be called Freedom? Is that still 'in effect'?)


Buran is, IIRC, a display bird only now. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

AgoraBasta
2003-Feb-01, 06:02 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:49, James_Digriz wrote:
There's no way to tell if the accident was caused by monies that were not applied. She was 21 years old...

On 2003-02-01 12:56, Mokele Mbembe wrote:
I wonder if Buran is capable of being launched/docking with the ISS (remember when it was to be called Freedom? Is that still 'in effect'?)Buran is long dead. Soyuz (non-reusable) can deliver crew and payload there, it did so a few times. I have no idea of the supply of Soyuz vehicles, though, they are built to order.

[later addition]
There are enough Soyuzes&Progresses to run this year's full program through.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: AgoraBasta on 2003-02-01 13:16 ]</font>

nebularain
2003-Feb-01, 06:30 PM
I agree with the notion that we have invested too much money and resources into the ISS to just scrap it because of one mishap (not to downplay the severity of it, mind you). I could be wrong, but I see a delay in the program but an end.

As per the impact, as to why the Challenger seemed to hit harder than this one, I think, from what I remember, that at the time, we (Americans) had a sense of "invincibility," we had so much national pride in the shuttle program (we were still in the Cold War, and hey - we were ahead of the Russians), and we had not known any major nation-impacting disaster (the closest I had known was the attempted assassination on Pres. Reagan when I was in 5th grade - to me that had seemed so long ago as to be forgotten). Now we know we are not so invincible. I think 9/11 may have dulled the impact of the tragedy somewhat; tragedy still feels familiar, not foreign as it did in the mid-1980's.

There's also the fact that the Challenger contained a teacher and there was the emotional impact involved wih that. That is one ting that impacts me with this dhuttle flight - so many students had their hearts and souls in the science experiments going on in the shuttle. Can you imagine their marred pride and joy in this? They'll never see the final products of their designs as they should have.

I hopr this tragedy doesn't end the attempt to involve students and education in the space flight program. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

Irishman
2003-Feb-01, 07:03 PM
I think the conclusions that the manned program will be canceled are overstated and premature. Common people on the street who have been interviewed are mostly repeating the same things that us space enthusiasts are saying - it is inherently dangerous, but it is still something we should do. NASA just gave a press briefing, stating they will find the cause, fix it for the future, and then move forward. NASA is circling he wagons, and the public at large seems to be with them.

It is a tragedy. Certainly there will be a detailed investigation, and caution regarding current activities. We will likely see a pause in the ISS build, because the Shuttle is the only vehicle for launching the elements. However, the Soyuz and Progress modules do travel to the ISS. The Soyuz modules are the current crew escape vehicles, and are cycled every 18 months or so. Progress resupply modules can be used to keep the crew in supplies.

I'm concerned about reboost. I think there are thruster packages on the ISS that handle that, allowing it to continue without Shuttle use. (Certainly that was the eventual plan, but I'm not sure where we are in assembly.) Assuming the thrusters can be resupplied via Progress or Soyuz, then ISS is fine. We can continue to use it via Soyuz till the Shuttle is cleared for return to flight and/or a replacement launch method is built.

Some "Space Historian" schmuck (Kenneth Zurreck?) was on talking about Columbia, and how it is the oldest shuttle. He was blaming it on that fact, and that "it has been refit several times". Um, yes, that means that it is in better shape. Yes, Columbia does not go to the ISS. This is primarily because it is the heaviest shuttle. The other shuttles were built with improvements in design. But that doesn't make Columbia a bad shuttle, just not compatible with ISS.

He also talked about the Auxiliary Power Units (APU). These are the power source used for the control surfaces on landing. He said these should be looked at and updated and replaced. He did add the disclaimer that he's not saying NASA flew a vehicle that was not flight ready, but just that he thinks these devices are old.

My projection is that the investigation will go on for some time. Right now I hear two likely possibilities - the APUs and the insulation bumping the wing on takeoff damaging the heat tiles. It will probably take some time to sort this out. However, I don't see the Shuttle Program being permanently canceled. We are still some time (numerous years) away from a replacement vehicle. I think that once an answer is found, the remaining shuttles will be cleared and resume flight. However, I doubt there will be a new shuttle built to replace Columbia. I suspect we will resume flight with the remaining three (Discovery, Endeavor, Atlantis), and NASA will work on the next generation launch vehicle to replace Shuttle by 2010 to 2015.

My concern for ISS is that a delay in continuing construction will give enough inertia for politicians to keep it from restarting. I hope not, but I'm concerned.

This just in - the President just declared that the manned space program will continue.

David Hall
2003-Feb-01, 07:16 PM
I'm wondering now if this might not actually give a boost to plans for a shuttle replacement. Recently they were been planning to extend the shuttle program even longer and had no immediate plans for a replacement. But it's becoming clear that NASA needs something new, and this might just force them to get something on the drawing board.

Jigsaw
2003-Feb-01, 09:58 PM
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/orbtutor/page1.htm

The station travels from west to east on an orbital inclination of 51.6 degrees. Each orbit takes 90-93 minutes, depending on the exact altitude of the ISS. During that time, part of the Earth is viewed under darkness and part under daylight. The ISS orbital altitude drops gradually over time due to the Earth's gravitational pull and atmospheric drag. Periodic reboosts adjust the ISS orbit. As the ISS orbital altitude decays, the orbit tracks on Earth change slightly.
http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/people/journals/space/dershowitz/10-04-00.html

...the Interim Control Module, or what we call the ICM. This piece of International Space Station (ISS) hardware was designed to be a backup for the Russian Service Module. That has been my primary project up until now, but since the Service Module (SM) has launched and docked successfully to the ISS...

< snip >

The ICM is to serve two major purposes. The most important purpose is to periodically reboost the ISS into a higher orbit, as the ISS orbit gradually decays (begins to fall in altitude above the Earth).

Up until the time the Service Module went up, we really didn't have a way to reboost the ISS, except with the shuttle when it was docked to the ISS. The ICM has a big reboost engine and can hold lots of fuel. It also has smaller thrusters, which are used for attitude control.

The SM only has a limited amount of fuel, so the plan is to use it for reboost as little as possible, using the Russian Progress vehicles (which bring supplies to the station) to reboost when possible since they do have an engine and fuel.
Cool diagram of ISS.
http://www.spacepix.net/iss/schematic.htm

Axeman
2003-Feb-01, 10:40 PM
Bush said "Our journey into space will go on."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2717221.stm

Unfortunately, Buran was mothballed years ago:
http://www.buran.ru/htm/molniya5.htm

WHarris
2003-Feb-01, 11:28 PM
On 2003-02-01 12:37, Bill S. wrote:
I just wish the hell they'd taken a closer look at the starboard wing tiles before reentry. I mean, we could've fixed it up there (if indeed that's what failed.)


No, there isn't the capability to do that.

And Columbia wouldn't have been able to rendevous with the ISS. It didn't have enough fuel aboard to perform the necessary orbital alterations.

RafaelAustin
2003-Feb-02, 12:35 AM
On 2003-02-01 18:28, WHarris wrote:


On 2003-02-01 12:37, Bill S. wrote:
I just wish the hell they'd taken a closer look at the starboard wing tiles before reentry. I mean, we could've fixed it up there (if indeed that's what failed.)


No, there isn't the capability to do that.

And Columbia wouldn't have been able to rendevous with the ISS. It didn't have enough fuel aboard to perform the necessary orbital alterations.


I heard someone today say that on early shuttle missions they did carry a tile repair kit but have since stopped. Also they usually have the robot arm in the cargo bay which would have been used to check the underside of the shuttle with a camera. It was taken out to make room for the science experiments.

RafaelAustin
2003-Feb-02, 12:40 AM
On 2003-02-01 14:03, Irishman wrote:

I'm concerned about reboost. I think there are thruster packages on the ISS that handle that, allowing it to continue without Shuttle use.


I think this question came up a couple of months ago on BABB, but the answer was "No it doesn't have thrusters, currently the shuttle does this job".

AstroGman
2003-Feb-02, 01:04 AM
Okay,Bill S and everyone else,Let,s not jump to conclusions.As I said,the president in his speech said that we need to continue to explore space.And I participated in a poll(albeit unscientific )in which the VAST Majority stated that we should continue manned spaceflight in spite of the risks.That poll was taken TODAY After the tragedy.

WHarris
2003-Feb-02, 01:28 AM
On 2003-02-01 19:35, RafaelAustin wrote:

I heard someone today say that on early shuttle missions they did carry a tile repair kit but have since stopped. Also they usually have the robot arm in the cargo bay which would have been used to check the underside of the shuttle with a camera. It was taken out to make room for the science experiments.


That capability has never been there.

On the matter of the robot arm, it's only there if the mission requires it. And this one didn't.

Doodler
2003-Feb-02, 02:44 AM
They will fly again, but you can bet your tax dollars that most, if any additional funding that comes out of this will go not into more flights, but into inspections, preflight checks and turnaround maintainance. Columbia, as cold as this may sound, was expendable insofar as the current trend in the shuttle's current mission trends, that being the ISS construction. There had even been some talk of mothballing Columbia as a potential cost saving measure. This was a horrific loss, please do not assume I don't realize that, but if it had been one of the other three, it would have hurt NASA even more.

Edited to clarify a point I was trying to make

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Doodler on 2003-02-01 21:46 ]</font>

Irishman
2003-Feb-02, 07:12 AM
The arm is typically removed for weight considerations if it isn't required. It isn't space, it's weight that's usually the issue. I'm not certain in this case, but I'm reasonably sure that was why it was not there.

However, even with the arm, there is no way to inspect the bottom side of the shuttle. The arm cannot reach underneath, as the payload bay doors are in the way. It simply cannot reach in that direction. The joints physically won't reach that way. The crew cannot climb down underneath. There are no handrails. They do not carry the Manned Maneuvering Unit, nor the SAFER (personal thruster devices) on standard flights. (MMU is in mothballs anyway.) Trying to dangle over the side with tethers and cables would be dangerous, tricky, and involve stringing multiple tethers sequentially - not the best idea. It just is not practical.

RafaelAustin
2003-Feb-02, 07:58 PM
I was thinking a reasonable (maybe not as simple as it sounds) solution would be to have a small, compressed-air powered, flying camera. I know NASA has been studying compact robots of this nature, maybe now would be a good time to pursue this.

Peter B
2003-Feb-02, 11:14 PM
On 2003-02-02 14:58, RafaelAustin wrote:
I was thinking a reasonable (maybe not as simple as it sounds) solution would be to have a small, compressed-air powered, flying camera. I know NASA has been studying compact robots of this nature, maybe now would be a good time to pursue this.


I can see where you're coming from, but consider these two points:

How long would an inspection take? What mission tasks would be lost because of the resources required for the inspection?

What if something went wrong with the camera, and it damaged an otherwise intact Shuttle? (Collision like that between the Progress spacecraft and Mir.)

As with previous discussions about ejection seats on the Shuttle, if you introduce too many safety features, you won't be able to use the craft.

g99
2003-Feb-02, 11:26 PM
How about fitting ISS with a emergency docking platform. Something like a giant suction cup to hold onto the shuttle while the ISS astronauts and the crew of the shuttle preform necessary repairs or inspections even if the shuttle can't dock to the station. Is this feasible?

Peter B
2003-Feb-02, 11:37 PM
On 2003-02-02 18:26, g99 wrote:
How about fitting ISS with a emergency docking platform. Something like a giant suction cup to hold onto the shuttle while the ISS astronauts and the crew of the shuttle preform necessary repairs or inspections even if the shuttle can't dock to the station. Is this feasible?

g99, I assume you realise that (1) a suction cup is useless in a vacuum and (2) the "Columbia" couldn't reach the ISS anyway.

Folks, if one thing is coming out of these discussions, it's how good we are at after-the-event solutions. Just imagine how heavy the Shuttles would be if we installed all the safety devices we could think of to cover contingencies at all stages of a mission: ejection seats during launch; individual personal re-entry vehicles for later points in the launch and during re-entry; individual EVA kits to allow transfer to the ISS or another Shuttle; always having a second shuttle ready to launch to rescue the crew in space; additional supplies to allow the Shuttle to stay in orbit if it can't safely re-enter; inspection craft to check the Shuttle prior to re-entry; repair kits to allow repairs in orbit. The result would be a spacecraft too heavy to launch!

No matter what, you can design a high level of intrinsic safety into any object. But you also have to accept that some level of danger exists. For some reason, people want to build far more safety into the Shuttles than they'd ever accept into their own cars or motorbikes.

g99
2003-Feb-02, 11:48 PM
I wasn't trying to say a suction cup, just using it as imagery. I know it would not work in space. Just something to hold the shuttle with no need for extra atachments while someone can go out in a emergency and check it out if there was a problem. Only to be used in a emergency. The shuttle would not need any extra anything, just ISS would.

This is not hindsight. I know Columbia could not do it, but future shuttle might have to.

Irishman
2003-Feb-03, 12:01 AM
Any flight with the shuttle RMS could "dock" to the station simply by grabbing a grapple fixture on the station. Conceivably a shuttle could have a docking fixture somewhere and the station RMS could grab that. That still leaves transferring crew as impractical. But the biggest problem is getting to the ISS. The orbits are significantly different, and the fuel required to change orbits is extreme. They probably wouldn't have enough, and if they managed to get to ISS, they still need fuel to deorbit.

g99
2003-Feb-03, 12:05 AM
[sarcastic voice]But according to armageddon they could refuel the shuttle from the station just by docking to is and opening the fuel tank!!! [/sarcastic voice]



Seriously. So what heppens if the shuttle is damaged so much by something that it will definitely burn up on re-entry? What cna they do?

RafaelAustin
2003-Feb-03, 12:52 AM
On 2003-02-02 18:14, Peter B wrote:

I can see where you're coming from, but consider these two points:

How long would an inspection take? What mission tasks would be lost because of the resources required for the inspection?

What if something went wrong with the camera, and it damaged an otherwise intact Shuttle? (Collision like that between the Progress spacecraft and Mir.)

As with previous discussions about ejection seats on the Shuttle, if you introduce too many safety features, you won't be able to use the craft.


What I was thinking of (and have seen i development) is a small sphere, less than 6 inches in diameter, perhaps tethered by a thin filament, and would only be equiped with a camera. It would only be used in emergencies.

From what I've read, it seems almost merciful that the crew was spared the knowledge of their fate. I've yet to see anyone propose a scenario that could have saved them if they'd known that the tiles were fatally damaged.

I'm sure that after the Congrssional Hearings are done, a rescue plan will be required for missions stranded in orbit.

WHarris
2003-Feb-03, 12:49 PM
On 2003-02-02 19:05, g99 wrote:
Seriously. So what heppens if the shuttle is damaged so much by something that it will definitely burn up on re-entry? What cna they do?


Pray. That's about all anybody can do at that point.

Graham2001
2003-Feb-03, 03:28 PM
In the 10:30pm (West Australian Time) news program NASA officials were shown making all the right statements about the ISS, it was also announced that a Progress rocket had been launched to the ISS.

The Russians are of course asking for more money, hopefully they will get it.

Here are a couple of links to stories on the above items.

"ISS to stay operating"

http://www.spacedaily.com/2003/030203000506.po94ibj9.html


"Russians launch new supply ship"

http://www.spacedaily.com/2003/030202143958.ql3mkne5.html

Unsure how long these will remain up so look before they are gone.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Graham2001 on 2003-02-03 10:39 ]</font>

calliarcale
2003-Feb-03, 05:38 PM
A few facts....

Remaining US components of the ISS, as well as the Japanese and European components and the Russian Science Power Platform, simply cannot be launched by unmanned vehicles. They were designed to be carried by the Shuttle, which means their structures are designed with Shuttle launch criteria in mind, not Soyuz or Proton or Titan 4B or Ariane V or whatnot. (Shuttle has a somewhat gentler ascent than most vehicles.) These components also are not built to fit in the available payload shrouds, nor can they be mated to a propulsion package. They would have to be redesigned and rebuilt almost from scratch if the Shuttle is gone. Or cancelled altogether. For that reason alone, I would be extremely suprised if the Shuttle program were cancelled. NASA is going to do its best to avoid having to return the ISS crew on Soyuz TMA-1, but if they have to, they will.

The Russian Buran orbiter flew one unmanned test flight before the political bigwigs lost interest and cut its funding. It was placed into storage at Baikonur Cosmodrome along will all remaining flightworthy Energia booster hardware. These were all damaged beyond repair when the assembly hall containing them unexpectedly collapsed, killing seven workers. There are a few test articles on display around the world, but none are in a condition to be refitted as spacecraft without far more work than is worthwhile. (Meaning it would be simpler just to build a completely new vehicle.)

ISS does have a propulsion system. It is located in the aft portion of the Zvezda module. Zarya also has a propulsion module, but this is inactive. Zvezda is refuelled every time a Progress arrives. Progress also performs reboost maneuvers, using up extra fuel that it will not be needing.

As others have said, there is no capability to inspect the belly of the orbiter in flight. And Columbia could not have rendezvoused with ISS -- rendezvous maneuvers have to be planned out pretty much from liftoff or they cannot happen due to the enormous fuel required.

RMS cannot "dock" the shuttle to the station. It has certain load limits, and these would be exceeded by the torque produced by the Shuttle's own mass. The SSRMS could grapped the Shuttle, however, as SSRMS is built extremely tough. But normally Shuttles are not equipped with grapple fixtures for the simple reason that they are expected to grab objects -- not *be* grabbed! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: calliarcale on 2003-02-03 12:39 ]</font>

Bill S.
2003-Feb-03, 06:43 PM
On 2003-02-03 10:28, Graham2001 wrote:
In the 10:30pm (West Australian Time) news program NASA officials were shown making all the right statements about the ISS, it was also announced that a Progress rocket had been launched to the ISS.

The Russians are of course asking for more money, hopefully they will get it.

Here are a couple of links to stories on the above items.

"ISS to stay operating"

http://www.spacedaily.com/2003/030203000506.po94ibj9.html


"Russians launch new supply ship"

http://www.spacedaily.com/2003/030202143958.ql3mkne5.html

Unsure how long these will remain up so look before they are gone.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Graham2001 on 2003-02-03 10:39 ]</font>


I'd also like to point out that on http://www.cnn.com there's an article indicating Bush is going to allot (or at least request) another .5 billion US for the space program...

Captain M
2003-Feb-07, 12:26 AM
It's now looking possible that a replacement crew will be sent to the ISS in late April or early May. Their job would be primarily to maintain the station until the future of the shuttle program becomes clearer. This fresh crew will travel up on the Soyuz capsule that had been intended for the next 'taxi flight'. If this plan goes ahead, the current Expedition Six crew will return to Earth on the Soyuz currently docked to the station. Concerns over the level of the ISS's drinking water supply, which was to have been topped up by the shuttle Atlantis in early March, may dictate that the next station crew consist of only two people.

Irishman
2003-Feb-09, 01:23 PM
Zvezda - the Service Module - doh! My brain shorted. Of course they can reboost. That's part of its purpose. The ICM was a temporary assist package flown because of delays the Russians had in completing the Service Module. Silly me.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Jul-06, 12:27 AM
Some ask is the Shuttle able to do this with 3 out of 15 recomendations still with questions above them, and no plan for a US cargo vehicle. Return to flight activities for the Shuttle program are funded at $4.3 billion. There are people who say Shuttle will have to be pushed a bit hard to catch up on the Space science left behind and finish the over due work on the ISS. People here on the BA forum said purchase of Soyuz flights might help ease pressure and we might not have to push shuttle so hard. Russia’s cash-strapped space agency said it would stop giving U.S. astronauts free rides into orbit in the future. Under the proposal, the United States would write off debts of man-hours that Russia owes for work carried out on the station in exchange for Russia launching its astronauts. Jules Verne is the Euro Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) and ex-admin O'Keefe had visited the ATV spacecraft during tests at the ESA site in Netherlands, the European ATV delivers tonnes of equipment, fuel, food, water and air for the crew.
http://esamultimedia.esa.int/images/atv/compareatv_array_low.JPG
Getting Russian crew to help more or ask the Euros to send European astronauts to do more work on the Spacestation, Shuttle costs can get very expensive per flight and there are always some safety risks. The USA's scientist must think of the correct needs and the safety and payload capacity, everything must be done very well.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Jul-06, 10:59 AM
On 2003-02-01 12:24, Bill S. wrote:
I have more faith in "us" around here, the smarter of us. I have no faith in career politicians and bumpkins around this nation who can't see past the newspaper headlines or hear anything not spat out in a thirty-second soundbite via CNN.


I agree. It's only a matter of our interpertation of the future then. I believe "us" will prevail.

The Russian MIR space station had its problems in its day, it had some leaks and power problem but Russia's MIR had a very long lifespan and outlived the Soviet Union. Some great space science has been done on MIR, Americans did great with Skylab but its also had problems, the Freedom station project might be the US roots of the ISS. On today's International space station Brazil promised to build special carriers, the ISS had a design to be 80 metres wide, ISS has been far more expensive than originally anticipated. It is thought that perhaps about 40 Space Shuttle flights will be needed to assemble parts and over 30 Progress Russian spacecraft flight, 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, 2 years behind schedule and back in 2002 Japan citing reduced government budgeting but not technical problems, announced delay of its Kibo Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) by one year to 2006, Japan's NASDA contributed into the project but the original plans expected that Japanese launch vehicles and mini-shuttle could support the program, but neither was ready and today the international station has a only a capacity for a crew of three it is thought it will have a mass of about 420,000 kilograms. Russia has announced the design of the Clipper spacecraft, the successor to the Soyuz TM/A manned spacecraft and on the USA's side Congress decided not to terminate the X-38/CRV program but to simply reduce its funding and Loss of the CRV would have meant that the crew sizes onboard ISS would not be able to increase beyond 3 so O'Keefe gave his assurances that "after 2007" a Crew Transport Vehicle (CTV ) along with a Habitation Module would be delivered to ISS and thereby allow for the expansion of permanent crew sizes onboard the space station.. The ISS is needed for many future sciences and the study of the long term survival of biology in outer-space, other future space telescopes also depend on being able to get service from the ISS crew. Research modules have not been installed, Russia have not added their docking compartment, the USA have yet to put in the other Thermal control systems, Russians have not put in SPP solar arrays, the Japanese economy is somewhat stagnant so they now have bad budget problems with the ISS and Japan JEM's may be years behind the timetable, Hope-X space vehicle with H2 launch is in trouble, ESA were supposed to send up European astronauts on Shuttle flights, NASA has been behind on adding the integrated truss structure and Brazil didn't put up the Express pallet. 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. 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.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Jul-06, 10:37 PM
Reminds some of a crazy video-game
"Project: Space Station". It was an old little computer simulation of managing NASA’s humans in space program,
http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?name=Project%3A+Space+Station
very hard to get a self sufficient station

Sadly the real ISS seems to have a budget that's even more crazy than the video game and the real ISS is way behind on the timetable

Launch window
2005-Oct-05, 02:12 AM
NASA downsizing its plans for space station

USA TODAY

NASA is scaling back its plans for the orbiting
International Space Station, a result of its goal of retiring the space shuttle and sending Americans back to the moon.

A centrifuge laboratory to study the effects of gravity on animals won't be added, NASA Assistant Associate Administrator Mark Uhran said Monday. Another laboratory and a compartment that would have held life-support equipment are also "at higher risk" of being left on the ground

Ken Vogt
2005-Oct-05, 11:19 AM
Here's a link (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2005-10-03-nasa-downsizes-iss_x.htm) to the USA Today story... :):)

Wolverine
2005-Oct-05, 11:31 AM
The two remaining crewmembers will have little time for science because of the demands of caring for their orbital home.

This has been the case for so long now that in all honesty it wouldn't break my heart to see it deorbited. I'd advocate reallocating funds on projects which would offer much better scientific return, but what do I know...

Ilya
2005-Oct-05, 03:40 PM
This has been the case for so long now that in all honesty it wouldn't break my heart to see it deorbited.
It would break mine (okay, not break, but cause a mild case of heartburn). Russia would lose its best tourist designation.

publiusr
2005-Oct-05, 09:15 PM
The Senate looks to have mandated ISS completion. Now if they'd do the same fo the STS replacements.

Launch window
2006-Mar-03, 01:57 AM
The heads of the five space agencies in charge of the International Space Station (ISS) have held talks on the future of the facility

http://www.addict3d.org/index.php?page=viewarticle&type=news&ID=18802&title=ISS%20'to%20be%20completed%20as%20planned'

The agency chiefs from Canada, Russia, the US, Europe and Japan met at Nasa's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


ISS 'to be completed as planned'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4768462.stm