ISS News: July 2008 Archives

Extend The Shuttle?

Glenn pushes for money to extend shuttle operations, Houston Chronicle

"The White House blueprint, Glenn said, forced NASA to "cannibalize" existing programs such as the shuttle to finance the new direction. Chris Shank, a senior official at NASA, acknowledged in a telephone interview that NASA had not received additional funding to cover the president's blueprint. NASA also had shouldered unforeseen return-to-flight costs after the loss of the shuttle Columbia on re-entry in 2003. Shank declined to discuss the agency's reaction to Glenn's appeal or apparent effort to shape the space agenda for the next administration."

John Glenn's prepared testimony

Houston, we have a problem: Nasa will struggle when shuttle retires, says boss, Guardian

"It is more than a matter of pride. Griffin likens the space station to a miniature Antarctic research base, which needs a regular supply of food and water, which suffers technical glitches, and needs to have its staff rotated on a regular basis for their sanity if nothing else. Both the US and Russian space agencies agree that at a minimum, it needs two independent supply chains - read rockets - to ensure the safety of the station and those on board. Nasa's push for the moon and Mars will leave just one. "Anyone who doesn't understand why that is a problem, from my perspective, just hasn't done enough real things in their life."

Editor's note: I agree Mike. So why is NASA creating the gap in the first place? Why has the gap grown during your tenure?

Gutting COTS - Update

NASA eyes buying Japan's cargo spacecraft, Reuters

NASA eyes purchasing Japan's HTV spacecraft, Daily Yomiuri

"In April, NASA started a project to assist U.S. companies' development of a spacecraft to succeed the space shuttle. However, it is uncertain whether it will be possible for the successor vehicle to be developed in the two years left before the space shuttle is to be scrapped, prompting NASA to discuss buying foreign spacecraft. The U.S. Congress has a psychological resistance to buying Russian spacecraft, and the ATV's transport capacity is smaller than that of the HTV. NASA, therefore, is considering ordering HTVs."

Editor's note: If this is true, it is clear that Mike Griffin is going out of his way to undermine COTS and the American companies that seek to provide these services to the ISS. And where is the money going to come from to buy these flights? I guess we can just call this J-COTS from now on.

Editor's Update: NASA released the following statement;

NASA Statement on Inaccurate Reports About Japanese Cargo Services

"Contrary to news reports, NASA has not officially or unofficially been discussing the purchase of H-II Transfer Vehicles (HTV) -- uninhabited resupply cargo ships for the space station -- from the Japanese Space Agency, or JAXA."

Baseball On Orbit

Murcer's Jersey Made a Journey to Outer Space, NY Times

"A friendship of a lifetime began through static. Doug Wheelock loved the Yankees and listened to every game while growing up in the 1960s in Windsor, N.Y., a small town upstate. He would sneak a radio into bed for late games, his mother saying, "That radio better not be on!"

NASA Solicitation: Scale Models on International Space Station With Logistic Vehicles

"Elements to be included in the Configuration: ... Centrifuge Accommodations Module ... Science Power Module"

Editor's note: I do not see these large, expensive ISS components listed on the Consolidated Launch Manifest for the ISS. Why include things on these models that have been cancelled and will never be placed on the ISS? Why do so for models that you are ordering that serve represent the "Assembly Complete Configuration as identified July, 2008, including changes identified at that time"- a configuration where the "Assembly Complete Configuration" is determined by the publicly issued final manifest for station assembly missions?


Heads of Agency International Space Station Joint Statement

"The heads of the International Space Station (ISS) agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States met at European Space Agency (ESA) Headquarters in Paris on July 17, 2008, to review ISS cooperation. As part of their discussions, they noted the significantly expanded capability that the ISS now provides for on-orbit research and technology development activities and as an engineering test bed for flight systems and operations that are critical to future space exploration initiatives. These activities improve the quality of life on Earth by expanding the frontiers of human knowledge."

ISS Is Prepared For Russian Module, Aviation Week

"The two Russian crewmembers of International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 17 have installed a docking target and made other preparations for the arrival of a new pressurized module next summer in the second spacewalk of their mission."

It's All Decked Out. Give It Somewhere to Go., Washington Post

"I have an alternative proposal: Send the ISS somewhere. The ISS, you see, is already an interplanetary spacecraft -- at least potentially. It's missing a drive system and a steerage module, but those are technicalities. Although it's ungainly in appearance, it's designed to be boosted periodically to a higher altitude by a shuttle, a Russian Soyuz or one of the upcoming new Constellation program Orion spacecraft. It could fairly easily be retrofitted for operations beyond low-Earth orbit. In principle, we could fly it almost anywhere within the inner solar system -- to any place where it could still receive enough solar power to keep all its systems running."

Editor's note: Where do I start - the author is clearly confused as to how the ISS is constructed and what it does and does not have (it does have a "drive system and a steerage module"). As for his proposed mission scenarios, if only this man had a clue as to how much mass is involved, the energies required, and what the propulsive capabilities are of the things he wants to use to push the ISS around the inner solar system. As currently designed, Orion can barely get itself to the ISS!

According to the Post "Michael Benson, the author of "Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes," writes frequently on space science issues.". Well it sure is not evident from this article.

ISS EVA Underway

Space Station Crew Performs EVA To Remove Explosive Soyuz Bolt

"International Space Station Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko began a spacewalk at 2:48 p.m. EDT Thursday to inspect and retrieve an explosive bolt from their Soyuz TMA-12. The bolt will be returned to Earth for examination. The spacewalk comes in the wake of two consecutive ballistic entries by the previous Soyuz spacecraft, entries that resulted in high-G rides for the crews and landings hundreds of miles short of the planned recovery area. Russian engineers say they have evidence that failed explosive bolts that help separate two modules likely are responsible."



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This page is an archive of entries in the ISS News category from July 2008.

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