ISS News: July 2009 Archives

Russia says U.S. shuttle delays create a burden, Reuters

"A senior Russian space official said delays in U.S. shuttle launches to the International Space Station (ISS) meant extra work for Russian rocket crews without any financial compensation, RIA news agency reported. Russia and the United States are the main contributors to the 16-nation $100 billion ISS project, but Russia has borne the brunt of sending crews and cargo there since the U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated in 2003, killing seven astronauts. "We are most concerned by the unpredictability of shuttle launches," RIA quoted Russian mission control flight coordinator Valdimir Solovyov as saying."

Keith's note: This is hilarious coming from Russia. Remember the fuss they caused for the U.S. when the Service Moduel was delayed again and again i.e. their "unpredictability"? Once again the U.S. is financing a large chunk of Russia's space program and they complain about when the checks arrive.

ISS End of Life Disposal - US Propulsion Module, 7 April 1999

Keith's note: There was a lot of discussion today at the Augustine Committee's public hearing in Houston about NASA's current plan to de-orbit the International Space Station in 2016. No one on the committee seems to think that this is a good idea. That said, NASA has always been required to have a way to bring the ISS back to Earth once its mission is completed. This briefing first appeared online at in April 1999. The Propulsion Module mentioned in this proposal was never built. It was being considered when Russia's delays on delivering the Service Module to orbit began to mount.

Oh yes, Steve Cook was in charge of this too.

Keith's note: this image was sent to me by someone at NASA and is circulating around the agency. I do not know its origin other than the fact that it was taken by someone in France. Stunning, oui?


NASA STS-127 Report #24 3 a.m. CDT Monday, July 27, 2009

"Inside the complex, Polansky and Mission Specialist Dave Wolf will support the spacewalkers, and Pilot Doug Hurley will continue cargo transfers, which are more than 80 percent complete.

Expedition 20 Flight Engineers Mike Barratt and Tim Kopra will work on several scientific experiments, and departing station crewmember Koichi Wakata will continue handovers with Kopra, the newest station crew member.

Flight engineer Bob Thirsk will install brackets that will allow the new C.O.L.B.E.R.T., or the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, to be set up in the station's Harmony module when it is delivered on the STS-128 shuttle mission."

Clueless at NASA

Space Station Is Near Completion, Maybe the End, Washington Post

"After more than a decade of construction, it is nearing completion and finally has a full crew of six astronauts. The last components should be installed by the end of next year. And then? "In the first quarter of 2016, we'll prep and de-orbit the spacecraft," says NASA's space station program manager, Michael T. Suffredini. That's a polite way of saying that NASA will make the space station fall back into the atmosphere, where it will turn into a fireball and then crash into the Pacific Ocean. It'll be a controlled reentry, to ensure that it doesn't take out a major city. But it'll be destroyed as surely as a Lego palace obliterated by the sweeping arm of a suddenly bored kid."

Keith's note: After several decades of telling Congress that the ISS is vitally important to America and that it should be funded to its completion, NASA is now going to throw it away after only using it in its completed capacity for 6 years? Why would Congress ever be expected to fall for that same argument again - now recycled as Project Constellation? You do not create an amazing resource like this and then just throw it away because you are bored with it or no longer have the will to fight to keep it alive. I certainly hope Suffredini's political advisors were listening to the Bolden/Garver hearings last week. NASA as an institution has corporate ADD and it is well past time to put the agency into treatment for this affliction.

How can you expect to inspire people when you walk away from your most amazing accomplishments?

Keith's note: In his 17 June 2009 presentation to the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee (aka the Augustine Committee) Shuttle Program manager John Shannon presented the Shuttle-derived or "Sidemount" Heavy Launch Vehicle concept. Since that time additional information on this concept has emerged. Due to its commonality with existing Space Shuttle systems (a prime selling point) use of existing payload carriers (MPLMs, external carriers) and other ISS program hardware (ESA's ATV) has been considered as a possible use in addition to its use for moon mission hardware.

Indeed, done properly, one single flight of the sidemount HLV could probably supply the ISS for a year. Two concepts are shown. One uses an ATV and two MPLMs or a mixture of MPLMs and external payload carriers. The other "barge" concept uses a propulsion module and a mixture of MPLM and external payload pallets. [Images]

"Animation of the Sarychev Peak volcano eruption, created from 29 still frames taken by astronauts aboard the ISS."

Video below - you've gotta watch this.



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This page is an archive of entries in the ISS News category from July 2009.

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