Skip to comments.NASA warns 'risk of losing' space station rising
Posted on 08/30/2011 7:47:13 PM PDT by Nachum
WASHINGTON The risk of an unprecedented evacuation of the International Space Station will spike if Russian craft cannot resume their missions and return by November, a senior NASA official has warned.
"There is a greater risk of losing the ISS when it's unmanned than if it were manned," Michael Suffredini, the ISS program manager for the US space agency, said in a conference call with Russian officials.
"The risk increase is not insignificant," he added.
Russia on Monday delayed its next manned mission to the ISS by at least a month after an unmanned cargo vessel crashed into Siberia instead of reaching orbit on August 24. The head of Russia's manned spaceflight programme also warned that a significantly longer delay would force the six people on board the station to abandon the orbiter due to fatigue and supply problems.
The station crew normally consists of six -- currently three Russians, two Americans and one Japanese -- working six-month rotations.
Staff safety and the "very big investment" that the Russian and US governments have made in the ISS would guide future decisions, Suffredini said during the call on Monday.
"We prefer not to operate in that condition without crew on board for an extended period of time just to make sure we end up in that situation.
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Let’s talk cost effectiveness. ISS is the epitome of a “white elephant”. And it is not actually “in space”... hell, it’s not even in a stable orbit, which is why it needs the rocket boosts to keep it from falling down.
ISS was designed from the ground up to be a contractors’ gravy train. We could have given 1/100th of the money to someone like Burt Rutan and gotten a better product out of the deal.
Our sewers leak and our bridges topple while inflation eats the old folks food budget but hey! Think of the prestige and PR of spending hundreds of billions to sprout some seeds in space! and who can live without a centrifugal toilet?
The discovery of planets orbiting other star systems, including similar binary systems (Gamma Cephei), raises the possibility that planets may exist in the Alpha Centauri system. Such planets could orbit Alpha Centauri A or Alpha Centauri B individually, or be on large orbits around the binary Alpha Centauri AB. Since both the principal stars are fairly similar to the Sun (for example, in age and metallicity), astronomers have been especially interested in making detailed searches for planets in the Alpha Centauri system. Several established planet-hunting teams have used various radial velocity or star transit methods in their searches around these two bright stars. All the observational studies have so far failed to find any evidence for brown dwarfs or gas giant planets.
However, computer simulations show that a planet might have been able to form within a distance of 1.1 AU (160 million km) of Alpha Centauri B and the orbit of that planet may remain stable for at least 250 million years. Bodies around A would be able to orbit at slightly farther distances due to A's stronger gravity. In addition, the lack of any brown dwarfs or gas giants around A and B make the likelihood of terrestrial planets greater than otherwise. As of 2002, technologies did not allow for terrestrial planets like Earth to be detected around Alpha Centauri. But theoretical studies on the detectability via radial velocity analysis have shown that a dedicated campaign of high-cadence observations with a 1-m class telescope can reliably detect a hypothetical planet of 1.8 Earth masses in the habitable zone of B within three years.[7
I daresay we'll know if there are planets long before we'd be ready to go.
I’d like to kill the Education Department. That money is used against our kids every day.
We need the ISS for the physiological knowledge we'll have to have to travel to the stars.
It has to do with the construction of ships in orbit.
Are you just yanking my chain with a question like that?
Straight out of the liberal Democrat playbook. They've been screaming those exact words for 50 years.
What next? Call me racist or an Islamophobe? That’s always good for a few chuckles.
Passing strange how a discussion of spending priorities elicits comments like that.
But when some grandma looks up into the night sky and sees the flash of light as The Billions of Bucks Boondoggle Burns she can be proud that living on $600 a month helped make it possible.
It’s all about priorities not playbooks.
You and a certain president share a similar view of our role in space.
The truth hurts.
You have some issues. Did your Mom make you drink too much Tang as a kid? Or did the moon landings interrupt your soap operas on TV?
I find this disturbing because we still have Americans up there. We have no more flights scheduled, and as has been mentioned, are quickly dismantling our space shuttles so we CAN’T make any more flights. Now the Russians are delaying their next flight. Will they delay again and again? And, if there are Soyuz available to bring the astronauts back, what happens if the Russians decide not to allow the Americans onboard? Dismantling our program and possibly leaving our people stranded is chilling.
We were searching for a cancer cure long before NASA was created. Progress has been made in some areas but a cure is as illusive as renewable green energy. Money and government involvement has never been the answer for those things.
LOL nice one.