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Thread: International Space Station

  1. #61
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    Russia will be using a longer route to the ISS so as to check out the new Soyuz MS-02 systems. The article then goes on and explains the reason for the delay and also Russian experience with space stations having built six successful Salyut space stations between 1971 and 1982 and the multi-modular Mir space station that operated from 1986-2001.

    It is the last part of the article that caught my eye as they compare that with what is China puny space station. Even their eventually space station at 60 MT will be smaller than the 1st US space station Skylab which comes in at 77 MT. But is weight the only criteria to use as comparison!

    Instrumentation and support systems today will weigh a lot less than 40 years ago. Even comparing Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2 although physically the same size has differences. Tiangong-2 has more space to increase the comfort level for their astronauts.

    Can the experts do a comparison between the various space stations please. That is beyond me abilities

    http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/new...-station-crews

    Russia has scheduled the Soyuz MS-02 launch for October 19. Delayed from September 23 for technical reasons, it will take one American and two Russians to the International Space Station (ISS). Meanwhile, China is getting ready to launch a two-man crew to its new Tiangong-2 space station sometime this month.

    Soyuz MS-02 is the second flight of a new version of the Soyuz spacecraft, which made its first flight in 1967. The spacecraft has been upgraded several times over the decades. The MS version replaces TMA-M and has improved solar arrays, a new digital computer, and a new docking system, among other upgrades. The first spacecraft, Soyuz MS-01, was launched in July and is currently docked to the ISS. That launch also was delayed -- from June 24 to July 7 -- for technical reasons reportedly related to the new docking system.

    Russia's official news agency TASS announced the new Soyuz MS-02 launch date today adding that the delay was due to a "squeezed cable" in the spacecraft.

    It will take NASA's Shane Kimbrough and Roscosmos's Andrey Borisenko and Sergey Ryzhilov to ISS. They will be welcomed by the three crew members currently aboard -- NASA's Kate Rubins, JAXA's Takuya Ohishi and Roscosmos's Anatoly Ivanishin -- when they arrive two days later. Russia is using the longer 2-day trajectory to get to ISS instead of the short 6-hour journey in order to check out the new spacecraft's systems.

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    I still put Skylab #1 for the fun factor. Very roomy large module. Wish it had been saved and made part of ISS--different pressure level though.

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    Now we get a glimmer of hope that there might be a post ISS from the commercial sector. NASA has agreed to attaching commercial modules to the ISS.

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/10/...space-station/

    NASA will move ahead with an initiative that will allow private companies to attach commercial modules and other technologies to the International Space Station, officials announced today.

    In a post on the NASA and White House websites, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and Presidential Science Advisor John Holdren said the private sector had responded strongly to a space agency request for information (RFI) issued earlier this year offering the station for a variety of commercial uses.

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    Axiom Space, Bigelow Outline Plans for ISS Commercial Module

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/10/...e-discussions/

    The NASA plan for a commercial module was discussed this week in three presentations at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, NM.

    NASA Associate Administrator Bill Gerstenmaier gave one presentation. Michael Baine of Axiom Space and Robert Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace discussed the modules their companies will propose for the station.

    NASA issued a request for information (RFI) earlier this year seeking ideas for the attachment of a commercial module to the International Space Station (ISS).

    A berthing port will be available beginning in 2018 when Bigelow Aerospace’s experimental BEAM module is detached from the space station after a two-year test of inflatable technology in space.

    Below are notes from the three sessions derived from Twitter posts.

  5. #65
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    Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft docks with Expedition 49/50 crew

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016...s-4950-launch/

    After nearly a month long delay to fix a technical issue with the spacecraft, the Russian Federal Space Agency’s Soyuz MS-02 human-rated spacecraft launched three new crew members for Expedition 49/50 crews to the International Space Station on October 19, ahead of completing a two-day orbital rendezvous with the Station on Friday.

  6. #66
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    By coincidence both ISS and China Space Station (CSS) are planting lettuce.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ne...d_ISS_999.html

    Just as farmers on Earth are planting leafy greens for the fall growing season, astronauts aboard the International Space Station are planting their third on-orbit crop of red romaine lettuce.

    Early this morning, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough initiated the Veg-03 experiment, one of his first science assignments as a new crew member aboard the orbiting laboratory. As Kimbrough worked, members of the Veggie team watched from their consoles in the Experiment Monitoring Area located in Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    A live video downlink from the orbiting laboratory allowed the scientists to remotely watch Kimbrough's actions and ensure he did not encounter any challenges with the activity or hardware.

    "Operations went great today! A little slower than expected, but all plant pillows were successfully primed for the first time in our Veg series," said Nicole Dufour, NASA's Veggie project manager. Plant pillows are small pouches already containing a growth medium, fertilizer and seeds; to start them growing, astronauts simply add a little water.

    "We previously have had some hardware issues that prevented at least one pillow from each 'grow out' from being successfully primed, so we were very excited to achieve that milestone," she added.

    Astronauts on future long-duration space missions will need to be able to grow their own food to supplement their diets. Using the Veggie plant growth facility aboard the station, Veg-03 builds on the successes of previous studies, including Veg-01, which resulted in the first-ever on-orbit harvest and sampling of fresh produce during the summer of 2015. Techniques learned from Veggie crops will sow benefits on Earth and help NASA prepare for the Journey to Mars.

    The Veg-03 crop will be the Veggie team's first on-orbit attempt at a new, repetitive harvest technique termed 'Cut-and-Come-Again'.

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    NASA television to air the return of three ISS crew members on Saturday, Oct. 29, with coverage of activities beginning the day before on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

    http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/na...crew-members-0

    Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will undock their Soyuz spacecraft from the space station at 8:37 p.m. EDT Saturday and land in Kazakhstan at 11:59 p.m. (9:59 a.m. Oct. 30, Kazakhstan time).

    Their return will wrap up 115 days in space for the crew since their launch in July.

    Together, the Expedition 49 crew members pursued hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the orbiting laboratory.

  8. #68
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    The next launch of astronauts to the ISS has been postponed by 48 hours.

    http://news.asiaone.com/news/science...-iss-postponed

    The launch next month of a Soyuz spacecraft carrying three astronauts to the International Space Station has been postponed by 48 hours, Russia's space agency said Friday, reportedly to ensure better docking conditions.

    The delay came after the previous manned launch to the ISS set for September was postponed for almost a month due to technical issues.

  9. #69
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    Three astronauts returned from the ISS today. That leaves 5 astronauts in space. 3 in the ISS and 2 in the CSS.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/US...m_ISS_999.html

    Three astronauts landed safely in Kazakhstan Sunday following a 115-day mission aboard the the International Space Station, including US astronaut Kate Rubins, the first person to sequence DNA in space.

    Russian mission control confirmed the touchdown of NASA's Rubins, Roscosmos' Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency at 0358 GMT.

    The trio landed southeast of the Kazakh steppe town of Zhezkazgan in frosty conditions after a flight from the orbital lab.

    "Landing has taken place!" Russian mission control stated, with commentators on NASA TV noting that the Soyuz craft had landed in an upright position.

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    Should I call this "a lack of progress"?

    spaceflightnow.com

    Russian mission control said Thursday an unpiloted Progress space station supply ship carrying nearly 5,400 pounds of rocket fuel, food, water and a new spacesuit burned up in Earth’s atmosphere shortly after it blasted off from Kazakhstan, and evidence points to a problem with the third stage of the cargo carrier’s Soyuz booster.

    The Russian space agency — Roscosmos — confirmed the demise of the Progress MS-04 cargo craft in a statement, saying the automated spaceship was lost as it flew nearly 120 miles (190 kilometers) over the Tuva Republic in Southern Russia.
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  11. #71
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    ESA has endorsed the extension of the ISS to 2024.

    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/n...-space-station

    The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) decision to continue its operations aboard the International Space Station:

    "I'm excited all the International Space Station partners have now joined us in committing to operation of this invaluable resource through at least 2024.

    "The European Space Agency contributions to station are essential, and we look forward to continuing to work with ESA, the Canadian Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Roscosmos for extended operations, and to collaborating with other nations to push the boundaries of human exploration, and extend our reach farther into the solar system as part of the ongoing Journey to Mars."

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Should I call this "a lack of progress"?

    spaceflightnow.com
    Still no news on the cause of the failure. Some updated on the investigation.

    http://www.russianspaceweb.com/progress-ms-04.html#1210

    Ten days after the loss of the Progress MS-04 spacecraft, the root cause of the accident largely remained a mystery to the investigators, but a number of posts from industry sources on the online forum of the Novosti Kosmonavtiki magazine shed a great deal of light on the circumstances surrounding the unexplained launch failure.

    Based on the telemetry leading to the accident, investigators established that the launch vehicle most likely had never received the so-called AVD command for the emergency engine cutoff, despite previous reports that such a command had been issued. Nevertheless, it became clear that the spacecraft and the third stage of the Soyuz-U launch vehicle had separated around 140 seconds prematurely during the powered ascent to orbit. The cause of the separation still remains a mystery, but engineers were apparently checking the hypothesis that the flight control system onboard the cargo ship could initiate the process. Under normal conditions, pyrotechnics cut links between the two vehicles on a command from the rocket after it has reached orbit. However, the spacecraft has its own backup process, which could perform the same operation. Observers were especially puzzled by the fact that the physical separation between the two vehicles was even possible at all, with the third stage still accelerating under the full thrust of its RD-0110 engine.

  13. #73
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    Two American astronauts did a space walk to replace the old batteries with new lithium-ion units.

    http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/mi...pleted-at-iss/

    "Two NASA astronauts on the first of two spacewalks outside the International Space Station (ISS) made swift work to help with the replacement of old batteries with new lithium-ion units. They even had enough time left over to perform several get-ahead tasks."

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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Still no news on the cause of the failure. Some updated on the investigation.

    http://www.russianspaceweb.com/progress-ms-04.html#1210
    They have concluded that the most probably cause was an engine related failure.

    http://spaceflight101.com/progress-m...mishap-report/

    "The December 1 loss of the Progress MS-04 cargo spacecraft was most likely caused by a failure within the Soyuz rocket’s upper stage engine which caused the third stage oxidizer tank to rupture.

    This conclusion for the most probable cause of the mishap was reached by an expert commission set up after the accident and shared by the Roscosmos State Corporation on Wednesday."

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  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Two American astronauts did a space walk to replace the old batteries with new lithium-ion units.

    http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/mi...pleted-at-iss/

    "Two NASA astronauts on the first of two spacewalks outside the International Space Station (ISS) made swift work to help with the replacement of old batteries with new lithium-ion units. They even had enough time left over to perform several get-ahead tasks."

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    They completed the replacement with the 2nd space walk.

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017...iss-batteries/

    "Two astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have completed a long-planned process to upgrade the power storage batteries outside the station. The upgraded batteries will give the ISS better power storage capacity throughout the rest of its planned lifetime. The second spacewalk comes one week after the first – highly successful – EVA."

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    Now NASA has confirmed that the ISS will get a new commercial air lock in 2019.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2017...rlock-in-2019/

    "NASA has given a small, Houston-based company the green light to move ahead with development of a private airlock that will be attached to the International Space Station. The large, half-cylinder-shaped airlock, about two meters in diameter and 1.8 meters long, would become the first permanent commercial addition to the orbiting laboratory.

    Ars first reported development of the commercial airlock a year ago, but now the company, Nanoracks, has made substantial progress toward flying the device in 2019. In addition to approval from NASA, the company has reached an agreement with Boeing to manufacture and install a “berthing mechanism” that connects pressurized modules of the space station."

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    After 9 years of operation ISS solar payload shuts down.

    https://spaceflight101.com/solar-end-of-mission/

    "ESA on Wednesday switched off a highly successful instrument package on the International Space Station that had been continuously watching over solar activity for the past nine years. Solar – built for a planned mission of one and a half years – had surpassed all expectations and delivered a vast amount of data for a better understanding of solar dynamics and Earth’s energy budget.

    Solar’s prime mission objective was to measure the solar spectrum with unprecedented accuracy to gain very accurate knowledge of the ‘solar constant’ and its variations – an extremely important parameter when assessing the total input of energy into the Earth-Atmosphere System for studies of atmospheric dynamics and Earth’s energy cycle. Scientists never expected Solar to collect data for nearly an entire solar cycle, but the instrument package showed stellar performance, measuring the spectral distribution of 99% of incoming solar energy."

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  18. #78
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    Space experiments often exceed their stated expectations when given a chance. I think proposals should start being a little bit more optimistic. Might help getting approved.

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    Actually, that's the opposite of what happens. If a mission proposes to go 10 years, NASA review panels will ding them for high risk and high cost. Proposing a 2 year mission is a lot cheaper and less risky than a 10 year mission. If the equipment continues to work well the project can propose more time in extended missions.

    NASA rarely guarantees money for long durations. They are so constrained by congress and the president that any promise of long duration is a risk itself.
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    Okay.

    That's explains why so many experiments exceed expectations. Proposers are sandbagging.

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    Well, they hope so anyway. Another way to look at it is that they're hedging their bets.
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    It looks like SLS/Orion may visit ISS
    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017...maiden-flight/

    Remember, there was a five meter water cube calorimeter planed to fly on Ares V. That might allow a lot of water for ISS--for all kinds of things.

  23. #83
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    This was causing some outrage in the forum as it smacked of Kruschev type space stunts.

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    Theve needed a robust lifeboat up there for awhile.
    Some have it that the X-37 is back after over 600 days in space
    https://sputniknews.com/military/201...eplane-return/

    That's longer than most any capsule left up there. Maybe a case for X-37C

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    Quote Originally Posted by crosscountry View Post
    Well, they hope so anyway. Another way to look at it is that they're hedging their bets.
    Things that fly in space also tend to be over-engineered.
    Design constraints that reduce the probability of failure during the primary mission tend to also tend to increase longevity.
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    At last NASA is putting in more effort in researching how to grow crops in space. The Chinese already have a plan for their space station to generate most of their oxygen and food needs from plants.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ne...ation_999.html

    A new, nearly self-sufficient plant growth system by NASA is headed to the International Space Station soon and will help researchers better understand how plants grow in space. The Advanced Plant Habitat will be used to conduct plant bioscience research on the space station, and help NASA prepare crew to grow their own food in space during deep-space exploration missions.

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    NASA has a problem with the spacsuits it has currently for use on the ISS according to an audit.

    http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/new...uttle-shutdown

    "NASA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report today assessing NASA's management of its existing spacesuits and development of new models. It expressed concern about Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuits used on the International Space Station (ISS) for extravehicular activity (EVAs, or spacewalks, which cannot be returned to Earth easily for maintenance following termination of the space shuttle program. As for new spacesuits, NASA Headquarters was criticized for continuing one contract for 5 years after Johnson Space Center recommended its termination. Overall, the OIG is concerned whether NASA will have the spacesuits it needs in the next decade."

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  28. #88
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    NASA not having continuity in capability? How uncharacteristic.

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    That's going to change--give it time. Saturn to Shuttle took a long time. I would have kept Saturn IB and Apollo flying along with shuttle--but I'm not king of the world

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    China will be conducting scientific experiments on the ISS.

    https://america.cgtn.com/2017/05/31/...ace-experiment

    "Scientists from the Beijing Institute of Technology are putting the finishing touches on an experiment that will be conducted in the unforgiving environment of space.

    It’s work that will help determine whether humans can survive a prolonged journey in space-where astronauts are bombarded with ten times the radiation levels on earth.

    “Space radiation could cause harm to the astronauts, especially when they are in space for a long period of time. One of the biggest risks from space flight is gene mutation, we hope to do more research on this and learn how big the risk of gene mutation is for humans in space.”, Deng Yulin of the School of Life Science at BIT said.

    Potentially ground-breaking research but Professor Deng, and his team have already made history. Despite the fact, there is a strict U.S. law that prohibits NASA from doing work with China – this will be the first Chinese experiment ever flown on the International Space Station."

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