ISS News: April 2010 Archives

NASA Solicitation: Enabling Support Equipment and Services for International Space Station As A National Lab

"NASA seeks to increase the utilization of the ISS by other federal entities and the private sector. To facilitate and increase such utilization of the ISS, NASA is providing access to the ISS for the conduct of basic and applied research, technology development and industrial processing (collectively, R&D) to U.S. federal, state and local government entities, and to U.S. private entities (including, but not limited to, commercial firms, non-profit institutions, and academic institutions) as part of the national laboratory."

Shuttle Mission Delays

Change in Experiment Will Delay Shuttle's End, NY Times

"A $1.5 billion seven-ton cosmic-ray experiment scheduled to be carried aloft July 29 on the space shuttle Endeavour won't be ready until August, according to the experiment's leader, Samuel Ting of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, delaying the end of the 29-year-old shuttle program. NASA officials acknowledged that there would be a delay but said they had not yet decided when the final launching would be. The experiment, known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, was to be installed on the International Space Station as one last scientific errand before the final shuttle launching, of the Discovery, now scheduled for Sept. 16."

NASA ARC Solicitation: Rodent Habitat Systems for Manned Space Flight Opportunities

"NASA is investigating the availability and feasibility of options for expanding its capability to provide in-space habitation systems for rodents (rats & mice) for scientific research on the International Space Station (ISS). NASA seeks the following information about any existing concepts/designs or hardware for rodent habitat systems for spaceflight: ... Vehicle accommodations - Describe any space transportation and in-space interface capabilities of the design or hardware. (i.e. Shuttle Middeck, ATV, HTV, ISS EXPRESS, DRAGON, etc.)"

Will private spaceships have the right stuff? Commercial orbital taxis won't have to retrace NASA's footsteps, MSNBC

"First of all, the space taxis being created to serve the new policy are being designed for an entirely different mission. Unlike America's previous spaceships, these new taxis will be focused only on delivering passengers from Earth's surface to an existing space facility and back again. There's no need for long periods of independent orbital cruising. There's no need for carrying equipment to be later used for moon flights. The plan to reshape the Orion spaceship as a standby rescue vehicle for station crews has profound implications for the requirements of the commercial taxi and its cost. This strategy means the taxis won't have to last for six months "parked" in space, like Russia's Soyuz spaceships. The simplification of the taxi's mission will allow its hardware to be significantly less expensive to build and to validate."

20 Years Later: Hubble, Humans and the Future of Space Flight, The Atlantic

[Story Musgrave] "[The Space Station] does nothing for nobody and it never has," he says. "The cost of space station is 300 Voyager-class satellites. We could have had multiple Voyagers landed or floating in the atmosphere on every planet and on every moon of every planet. That is what we gave up when we went with a jobs program, which is what the space station is. And that's an ungodly sin. And yes, I'm a human space flight person, but listen to me. That's what we could have offered the public."

Keith's note: Oh well. So much for the notion that a whole bunch of college degrees and lots of trips into outer space automatically makes you enlightened.

Space Shuttle Discovery Crew Returns to Earth after Fortifying International Space Station Science

"Space shuttle Discovery and seven astronauts ended a 14-day journey of more than 6.2 million miles with a 9:08 a.m. EDT landing Tuesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-131 mission to the International Space Station delivered science racks, new crew sleeping quarters, equipment and supplies. During three spacewalks, the crew installed a new ammonia storage tank for the station's cooling system, replaced a gyroscope for the station's navigation system and retrieved a Japanese experiment from outside the Kibo laboratory for examination on Earth."

Keith's note: Only a week and a half remain before the much-anticipated Space Summit at NASA KSC on 15 April. While no public mention has been made as to venue, agenda, participants, audience etc., there does seem to be a general consensus forming behind the scenes as to what sort of rethinking might be acceptable to all parties with regard to where NASA human spaceflight is going.



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