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Additional Lab To Be Added To the ISS

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the heck-what's-one-more dept.

Space 81

Matt_dk writes "Apparently the International Space Station is going to get bigger. NASA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) are preparing to sign an agreement to add another laboratory to the ISS by using a modified multipurpose logistics module (Raffaello) during the final Space Shuttle mission. It will be attached in September 2010 during Endeavour's STS-133 mission. The idea had originally been rejected, but earlier this year ISS program manager Michael Suffredini said using an MPLM for an additional module was being reconsidered."

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No jews in space (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29334341)

Kill 'em all

Re:No jews in space (0, Offtopic)

mcpkaaos (449561) | about 5 years ago | (#29334695)

No jews in space

You'd rather see Hitler on Ice?

What's up with the ISS (1)

abuelos84 (1340505) | about 5 years ago | (#29334361)

I still can't understand the construction-use-burn schedule for the ISS...
I hear some say it's a waste of money
Some say it has been useful to learn to build stuff in space

I still don't know... but anything that has people on it and it's orbiting us, does catch my attention...

Re:What's up with the ISS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29336651)

Well, that's certainly a provocative point of view

I don't see the point of adding to it. (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 5 years ago | (#29334371)

It's going to be decommissioned in 5 years. Maybe they should be planning the lab for the next generation space station.

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 years ago | (#29334379)

It's a masturbation lab, so it won't be needed for a lengthy period of time...

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (4, Funny)

vasp (978274) | about 5 years ago | (#29334587)

Excuse me gentlemen, while I retreat to the masturbatorium!

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29334689)

I'm not a queer or nothin, but even I wonder what a shpritzen of jizm would look like in zero G!

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29334827)

Perfectly round spheres of various sizes.

Perhaps (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29337533)

You make the assumption that semen is a homogeneous inert liquid, which it isn't [wikipedia.org] . You could very well be correct if, in fact, the surface tension of the semen droplet is a much stronger force than other internal forces which might structure the semen otherwise.

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29334787)

iirc, but actually, i don't remember, but it sounds vaguely familiar.

Is that a quote from a movie?

Barbarella perhaps?

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (4, Interesting)

negRo_slim (636783) | about 5 years ago | (#29334401)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station#End_of_mission.2Fdeorbit_plans [wikipedia.org]

As the Russian modules have the motors that would be used for controlled de-orbit, this poses a potential issue if Russia takes that capability to a new, on-going station. Other options include using a European Automated Transfer Vehicle. One option stated for an ongoing station is for Russia to build a ball-shaped, six-port module to which existing modules could be attached.

Decommissioned doesn't necessarily mean EOL.

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (1)

rubi (910818) | about 5 years ago | (#29338947)

Decommissioned doesn't necessarily mean EOL.

For what I have seen previously (Mir), decommissioned means "go down and burn!".

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29334407)

Who is going to fund this "next generation space station" that you speak of?

It won't be the US, that's for sure. The US economy has tanked. And any funding that does make its way to space applications isn't going to go towards peaceful scientific research. That's why there isn't a viable replacement for the Shuttle yet, and likely won't be for at least two decades. Instead, any funding will go towards space-based weapon development.

It won't be the Europeans. The ESA is more interested in probes than they are in orbital space labs.

The Japanese just don't have the resources for something of that scale. Same with the Chinese.

And the Indian space program is a complete joke. It's much like how they develop software. Not very well.

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (1)

mano.m (1587187) | about 5 years ago | (#29334511)

And the Indian space program is a complete joke. It's much like how they develop software. Not very well.

Not very well is now defined as delivering the same goods at a tenth of the price.

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (1)

equex (747231) | about 5 years ago | (#29334747)

Also, very well is now defined as delivering the same goods at a twentieth of the price.An O.K or good is along the same lines, defined to be at around a fifteenth of the original price.

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29334635)

If only there was some other nation with a history of building space stations from Russian modules. Ah well. Burn baby burn!

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (1)

Shag (3737) | about 5 years ago | (#29334437)

There's talk of possibly reallocating some of the money from the next thread down [slashdot.org] (since it's already been determined that there's no way to do what Bush wanted on the money they have) to actually keep the ISS operational long enough to do some of the meaningful science that was promised. :)

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29334447)

MY exact thought when I read the title.... I really hope/believe that they will rethink the 5 year thing if they make a new addition.

do you really want to know? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#29334535)

The point is to get other countries to pointless.

   

fucking slashdot (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#29334555)

The point is to get other countries to <3 the USA by showing "global leadership" in space. It's all about "soft power" and, like most political things, it really doesn't matter if it is actually pointless.

   

Re:fucking slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29334651)

The point is to get other countries to pointless.

The point is to get other countries to <3 the USA by showing "global leadership" in space. It's all about "soft power" and, like most political things, it really doesn't matter if it is actually pointless.

Hey, seriously, I liked your first posting more ... so ... mysterious.

Re:fucking slashdot (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 5 years ago | (#29334683)

had a sorta Zen quality to it, didn't it?

Re:fucking slashdot (5, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about 5 years ago | (#29335143)

Sounds like a joke, but it's not -- the world is more likely to look favorably on a country that uses its wealth for cultural progress like significant science. (

Ironically spending $10 billion on the space program would contribute *far* more to US national security than an extra $10 billion to the military.

Re:fucking slashdot (1)

rm999 (775449) | about 5 years ago | (#29336281)

I think an 8 billion dollar aircraft carrier off the coast of North Korea probably convinces them of whatever we want a lot faster than a space station.

Re:fucking slashdot (1)

MrMr (219533) | about 5 years ago | (#29337793)

I think North Korea already knows what the US wants.

Re:fucking slashdot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29337849)

The US already has an aircraft carrier off the coast of North Korea. It's called Japan.

Re:fucking slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29338111)

Nope, it just convinces them to launch the missiles that much quicker because it looks like you are preparing for an invasion.

Re:fucking slashdot (1)

c6gunner (950153) | about 5 years ago | (#29336297)

Sounds like a joke, but it's not -- the world is more likely to look favorably on a country that uses its wealth for cultural progress like significant science.

Ironically spending $10 billion on the space program would contribute *far* more to US national security than an extra $10 billion to the military.

Yeah! I mean ... inventing silicon chips integrated circuits and microprocessors .. the cyclotron and nuclear energy .. freon for use in refrigeration and air conditioning .. the gasoline engine, electric motor, powered airplane and helicopter .. the artificial heart, synthetic skin, heart-lung machine, the BIRTH CONTROL PILL, and vaccines for measles, meningitis and polio .. FM radio, television, the telephone, incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, lasers and lightning rods ... discovering the structure of DNA, decoding the human genome, and creating hybrid corn to feed millions ... not to mention being the only nation to send a probe out of the solar system ... all that stuff wasn't enough. But if you give $10 million to NASA, Osama will immediately call to apologize about that whole 9/11 thing, and we can all go hold hands and smoke weed on the lawn of the White-house. I'm with you man! Now if only we could get off this couch long enough to do something about it ....

Ah, screw it. Wanna go get us a bag of Doritos while I spark the next bowl?

Re:fucking slashdot (1)

Herby Sagues (925683) | about 5 years ago | (#29336749)

Think what you want, but I tell you from a country other than the US: the US was definitely admired because all of that stuf fyou mention, and for being a beacon for democracies around the world. That was until the last decade. The US is now looked with disdain, some fear but zero respect. It is considered a bully that resolves all matters through force, and is willing to invest 10x more in maintaining that attitude than in continuing its historical path of exploration and invention. There's some hope at this moment that things will change, and the last few months look promising. Nobody is expecting Obama to apologize for anything, but there's the expectation that the bullying will slow down and become a last resort, and that the US will resume its old ways of leading the world with science, knowledge and good will. The world is watching with hope, but the odds don't look too good.

That would be nice. (1)

dfenstrate (202098) | about 5 years ago | (#29336939)

The US is now looked with disdain, some fear but zero respect. It is considered a bully that resolves all matters through force, and is willing to invest 10x more in maintaining that attitude than in continuing its historical path of exploration and invention.

It would be nice if we moved past a Machiavellian world, but we haven't. Pretending there are no barbarians left in the world doesn't make it so.

Good will and tender feelings are fickle, and any positive effects from those factors are based on common interests anyway.

For those we don't have common interests with, fear is much more reliable. For those we do have common interests with, those shared interests will weather many a tiff over a variety of issues.

So really, international admiration and $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee. I have a very limited interest in being abstractly loved by countries around the world, and I hardly think your line of thought accurately reflects the opinion of the 5.7 billion + people outside the US anyway.

Incidentally, 'fear' and 'respect' are often used interchangeably.

Re:That would be nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29337033)

For those we don't have common interests with, fear is much more reliable.

For "regular" bad guys (e.g., Kim Jong Il), maybe yes. For Osama and his friends, I won't be so sure.

How does fear stop a guy who's willing to die anyway, and believes that taking a thousand Americans' lives with him will guarantee a place in the heaven?

There are some who will hate Americans no matter what. There are some who will support the US no matter what. The majority of the world is somewhere in between. Roughly speaking, their attitude may change based on whether you spend your money killing their friends or launching rockets.

Re:That would be nice. (1, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 years ago | (#29337869)

Incidentally, 'fear' and 'respect' are often used interchangeably.

No they are not.

Fear will only ever buy you lip service, respect gives you admiration and cooperation. Base you regime on fear and watch your friends disappear when the going gets tough, just like Saddam. But gain your allies respect and they will stick with you no matter what. This is the only reason the US is not a province of China with China owning most of your 10 trillion in debt, because your Euro and APAC allies are strong enough to say no and will do so without hesitation because the US has had 50 years of gaining their respect despite the last governments attempt to ruin that.

Fear and respect are not interchangeable, not in any way what so ever. They may be used to accomplish a similar goal but fear can never achieve the lasting effect that respect can. That's the difference between the Romans and the Mongols, Genghis Khan made the world fear the Mongols and their empire died in a generation, Julius Caesar made the world respect the Roman empire and it lasted for centuries.

Only to a fool is fear the same as respect and only a fool could think that fear can be used to create the kind of loyalty that respect earns.

Re:That would be nice. (1)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | about 5 years ago | (#29338459)

Incidentally, 'fear' and 'respect' are often used interchangeably.

No they are not.

Perhaps I'm reading more into this than I should but I don't see dfenstrate making the mistake of using fear and respect interchangeably himself; rather, he was suggesting that it is not an uncommon mistake to see made.

Of course, I complete agree with the rest of your post.

Re:That would be nice. (1)

c6gunner (950153) | about 5 years ago | (#29345555)

But gain your allies respect and they will stick with you no matter what.

Yeah, that worked really well in the lead-up to Iraq, huh?

Of course, ideally you want your friends to respect you and your enemies to fear you. Pragmatically, it helps if your friends fear you at least a little bit. That way they won't be so quick to jump to the defensive of a murderous dictator, just so they can keep buying cheap oil from him. Sure, some of them will stay with you out of respect and loyalty, but others are weaselly enough that a bit of fear will go a long way.

That's the difference between the Romans and the Mongols, Genghis Khan made the world fear the Mongols and their empire died in a generation, Julius Caesar made the world respect the Roman empire and it lasted for centuries.

Uh, the Romans conquered almost everyone and intimidated everyone else. I'm pretty sure they didn't stick Jeebus on a flagpole just for shits and giggles - it may have had something to do with instilling fear in the citizens of their colony. If that's your idea of respect then you need to check your definitions in a dictionary.

Re:That would be nice. (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 years ago | (#29345853)

Yeah, that worked really well in the lead-up to Iraq, huh?

Actually it did.

The point of respect is not to gain blind obedience but to inspire loyalty. The US allies have not abandoned it due to their good history. Just beacuse some did not blindly follow you to war does not mean they are not allies.

Pragmatically, it helps if your friends fear you at least a little bit.

No it doesn't. In fact its quite the opposite.

hat way they won't be so quick to jump to the defensive of a murderous dictator, just so they can keep buying cheap oil from him.

Oddly enough, this is what respect does. Fear only works so long as one is vulnerable, if one can find someone capable of protecting them then fear is useless. Fear is also a good motivator, a person (or state) will do whatever they can to remove themselves from threats. Using fear as a motivator will produce results but it will be always be highly inconsistent results, if it didn't work this way then terrorist groups would easily get their way.

Uh, the Romans conquered almost everyone and intimidated everyone else.

The Romans taught Latin to native tribes, adsorbed other cultures into their own. Julius Caesar married his generals off to local women (not the only Roman emperor to do so either). Perhaps you need to go and read up on your history, Romans bought culture and education to most of Europe. Many tribes were adsorbed without bloodshed, because the Romans taught them or because the Romans could protect them or make them rich.

I'm pretty sure they didn't stick Jeebus on a flagpole just for shits and giggles - it may have had something to do with instilling fear in the citizens of their colony. If that's your idea of respect then you need to check your definitions in a dictionary.

Sigh,

Such a bad example, also not based on actual history but based entirely on a book written three hundred years after the event that has been revised countless times. Latin is the Roman language, if they were so bad to the Christians then why do German and Polish popes give their sermons in Latin rather then Italian, German or English. You basing your opinions on the bible, not history.

If you go to Europe, you'll find plenty of Roman ruins, most of these are cultural (bath houses, amphitheatres and so on). I don't think you have any idea about the difference between fear and respect, which is why you are having so much trouble telling the difference between the two.

Please read up on ancient cultures before commenting on them.

Re:That would be nice. (1)

c6gunner (950153) | about 5 years ago | (#29356271)

Actually it did.

Hi. Welcome to Earth. Did you have a nice trip?

Fear only works so long as one is vulnerable, if one can find someone capable of protecting them then fear is useless.

Yeah, that's right, France sided with Saddam because they were afraid of the US, and they figured Iraq could protect them. Makes perfect sense!

The Romans taught Latin to native tribes, adsorbed other cultures into their own.

AKA conquered.

Julius Caesar married his generals off to local women (not the only Roman emperor to do so either)

So if General Patreus had married an Iraqi woman, that would have made everything better, huh?

Latin is the Roman language, if they were so bad to the Christians then why do German and Polish popes give their sermons in Latin rather then Italian, German or English.

Hrm .... let's see ... I'm going to go out on a limb here, but, could it be because CHRISTIANS TOOK OVER ROME????

Please read up on ancient cultures before commenting on them.

Ditto.

Re:That would be nice. (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 years ago | (#29373921)

Yeah, that's right, France sided with Saddam because

When did that happen?

Hi. Welcome to Earth.

Where is Earth in the galaxy you live in.

Hrm .... let's see ... I'm going to go out on a limb here, but, could it be because CHRISTIANS TOOK OVER ROME????

The Christians conquered Rome? (HINT: using your logic meaning conversion == conquest, it doesn't and what actually happened is that the emperor and senate converted, not conquered)

The rest of your post is a joke, not only do you fail to understand ancient history, you also seem to have trouble with recent history as well.

Re:That would be nice. (0, Flamebait)

c6gunner (950153) | about 5 years ago | (#29374451)

When did that happen?

Either you're a moron, or a pedant. Either way, you're wasting my time.

The Christians conquered Rome?

I didn't say that, but, now that I think of it, yes, they certainly did. If the US became 99% Muslim within the next few decades, there would be no question that Islam conquered America. It's irrelevant whether the conquest is violent, cultural, demographic, or what have you. The fact that Christians used force and intimidation to propagate their beliefs amongst the citizens of Rome is just the icing on the cake.

The rest of your post is a joke, not only do you fail to understand ancient history, you also seem to have trouble with recent history as well.

You suck donkey dicks. Big throbbing goo covered equine jizz delivery divces. Deep-throat style. And those statements have about as much substance as the shit you just spewed.

It's clear that you've run out of real arguments, and have resorted to ignoring questions you don't like, pedanticism, ad-hom, and yelling "NUHUH, UR WRONG!!!". Do yourself a favor and bow out gracefully. It's better to concede an error than to continue arguing out of a desire to protect your fragile ego.

Re:fucking slashdot (1)

c6gunner (950153) | about 5 years ago | (#29345399)

Think what you want, but I tell you from a country other than the US: the US was definitely admired because all of that stuf fyou mention, and for being a beacon for democracies around the world. That was until the last decade.

And I tell you from a country other than the US that the Yanks have been made fun of and insulted for decades, all over the world. Funny enough, the start of it seemed to coincide with the end of the cold war. If I were a more cynical person, I might think that people were more than happy to hide behind the yanks as long as the Soviet boogyman was rearing his ugly head. The moment that the USSR collapsed, it became fashionable to trash the yanks and their "imperialism".

It is considered a bully that resolves all matters through force, and is willing to invest 10x more in maintaining that attitude than in continuing its historical path of exploration and invention.

Yes, I know, I hear such ignorant statements on a regular basis. Thanks for repeating them, though.

Re:fucking slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29338579)

Gawdammit, you're stupid. Really now, if you're going to brag like that you'd better be damn sure your examples are valid. Gasoline engine? Electric motor? DNA??! And half of the others are debatable, it is just plain silly. Lightbulbs, telephone, radio, TV were all in development all over Europe too and Europeans have in fact made valuable contributions to these things. To act as if the world would be without electric light if it wasn't for the US is childish and, I have to say it again, stupid.

Re:fucking slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29339971)

Um... Given that our enemies either don't really care for human rights (North Korea), or have radical religious reasons for hating us (Iran), I fail to see how making significant contributions to "cultural progress like significant science" contributes much to our national security apart from the research done there to improve our military. It is folly to assume that we can somehow win the hearts and minds of these people through programs like this.

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29334619)

So? That's 5 years of work that can be done. Besides: Do you really think they are actually going to decommission it? I bet on a bailout. :P

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (1)

physburn (1095481) | about 5 years ago | (#29335737)

No one even starting planning a next generation space station, except for a few space Hotel Plans. I think we can be pretty sure, that the ISS will get its extension to 2020. It would be too embarrassing to scrap in 5 years, and all the world space programs would be cut back if it was decommissioned.

---

Space Craft [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (2, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | about 5 years ago | (#29337509)

It's going to be decommissioned in 5 years. Maybe they should be planning the lab for the next generation space station.

AIUI, there are plans afoot to extend the station's life. I've heard suggestions that it could be in orbit for around 10-15 more years. And as far as I know, there are no plans for a replacement station.

Plus, there's no reason _not_ to do this. The module is already built. It's designed to be used with the shuttle, so after the last shuttle flight it will be useless if it isn't left up there. So why not leave it up?

Re:I don't see the point of adding to it. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 5 years ago | (#29339271)

> It's going to be decommissioned in 5 years.

Not likely.

Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too? (5, Interesting)

unamiccia (641291) | about 5 years ago | (#29334483)

I don't get why we're not planning to dock the shuttles to the ISS and leave them up there, too, with their useful engines, robotic arms, and so forth. The space museums would be sad, but someone would undoubtably think up some cool things that could be accomplished with them up there.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29334567)

I don't get why we're not planning to dock the shuttles to the ISS and leave them up there, too, with their useful engines, robotic arms, and so forth.

"And so forth"? You certainly mean their crew, don't you ...?

The space museums would be sad, but someone would undoubtably think up some cool things that could be accomplished with them up there.

Yes. Long-term storage of human beings in space.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (4, Interesting)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | about 5 years ago | (#29334627)

Yes. Long-term storage of human beings in space.

Two ships go up, one ship comes down. It shouldn't be hard to leave at least a little bit of equipment up there.

On the topic of leaving them up their with their robotic arms, I would like to see some sort of small, orbital building yard - for now it doesn't have to do much, but even some sort of recycling processor to deal with random bits of junk that float past would be interesting, and pave the way for a whole new set of interesting technology.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29334761)

Leaving my topic of the humans-a-returning (or not):

On the topic of leaving them up their with their robotic arms, I would like to see some sort of small, orbital building yard - for now it doesn't have to do much, but even some sort of recycling processor to deal with random bits of junk that float past would be interesting, and pave the way for a whole new set of interesting technology.

Nice thought, but space debris is so rare an event you have to wait for years for it to even come close. And, if it does, it will do so possibly with several thousand mph. Winky-winky with your little robotic arm ...

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (3, Informative)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 5 years ago | (#29335087)

Yeah, even a nudged away tool bag couldn't be retrieved, and orbit-crossing paths will tend to be at very high relative speeds.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 5 years ago | (#29343291)

Why can't ISS be used as a Ship Yard for space craft construction? Aerodynamics in space is gravity oriented, not friction oriented. A craft built in space, for space travel doesn't require an exterior skin for leaving the gravity well. Granted, the craft will look like a Tinker Toy project gone wrong, but If something comes up broken, then another can be brought up. The project logistics cost will be massively reduced because of the "Second Chance Option" of holding a craft in a Parking Orbit while a replacement part is brought up. I just hope AIG doesn't read /. or this Proof of Concept will never happen.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1)

Sebastien_Bailard (1034810) | about 5 years ago | (#29354029)

We would launch rockets whose end stages would have to match orbits and velocities with the ISS, and then a small team of astronauts would take hundreds/thousands/tens of thousands of hours to assemble the spacecraft, doing spacewalks and controlling robot arms. And then, once it is assembled, you would have to boost it up out of that orbit. Launching it as one piece from the ground, you can time it and angle it right to catch favorable 'slingshot' trajectories to your planet/asteroid/etc. of interest, and you can have a much larger pool of non-spacesuited specialists assemble it. (This includes 'small' issues like a master welder not having to cross-train as an astronaut.) Assembly in space makes sense once we start mining the asteroid belt and maybe the moon. My question - is it feasible to boost the ISS to a more favorable orbit or one of the Lagrange points?

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1)

bluesatin (1350681) | about 5 years ago | (#29338411)

What we need is a ninja robotic arm, with the ability to catch swords^H^H^H^H^H^H debris moving at high velocities.

Well they seem to have already gotten to work:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfdHY26E2jc&fmt=18 [youtube.com]

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (5, Informative)

MLCT (1148749) | about 5 years ago | (#29334597)

Nice idea in theory, but the practicalities make it next to impossible. Maintenance, costs, complexity etc. If you fly it up there then you need to keep it in working order, potentially for years - and that would mean costs in flying up spare-parts, engineers, undertaking safety inspections - essentially it would require setting up the first spaceship yard - costs NASA no doubt don't want to be liable for. The alternative is to fly it up and then simply agree not to service it, but at that point its usefulness would be virtually zero, as it couldn't even be sued as an emergency escape as they can't put people inside something that isn't being serviced. Then when the space station is decommissioned (whenever that is) they will be unable to bring it back down to earth so it will be burnt up upon re-entry with the station - a bit of a waste.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1)

Derek Pomery (2028) | about 5 years ago | (#29335875)

Seems some use for it could be made in the future. Scrap, airtight or easily-sealable containers, storage bits for a manned mars mission, surely something that doesn't require high reliability could be thought of.

And they could try boosting it cheaply using LAO or ProSEDS.
Might be a nice experiment.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1)

c6gunner (950153) | about 5 years ago | (#29336363)

If you fly it up there then you need to keep it in working order

You do? Why?

All you need to do is make sure it's airtight. You can scrap the engines. You can scrap the avionics and flight controls. You can scrap the radio equipment and the computers and pretty much everything in the cockpit. You can feed electricity and air to it from the station, allowing you to scrap the life support system and generators and batteries, or you can keep them as a backup in case the station craps out. He wasn't suggesting using the shuttle as a shuttle so much as just using it for extra space.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1)

Jared555 (874152) | about 5 years ago | (#29336719)

Also, keep one of two in working order in case there is an failure in the station that puts lives at risk, the shuttle could be used either until the station can be repaired, or a trip can be made to rescue everyone. If the shuttle is in good enough condition, just fly it back to earth.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29341641)

Probably the main problem is you can't even use a shuttle as a dead bulk mass shield for the ISS because it's tacked together.

Park it where it will take a hit from anything coming fast? Nope.

Imagine a cloud of tiles in orbit, coming back around past the station every 90 minutes.

"Widens" says the spamblock recognition software.

Damn, there's an AI reading the drafts and picking the test images now?

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 5 years ago | (#29334607)

I don't get why we're not planning to dock the shuttles to the ISS and leave them up there, too, with their useful engines, robotic arms, and so forth.

Duct taping the remaining shuttles to the ISS, arkansas style up on concrete blocks, has the following problems:

1) There's not enough space on the truss to leave them bolted on and still have space for resupply missions to dock.

2) They will rapidly permanently break down and become more or less useless. Either leave the fuel cells running, in which case they run out of H2 in about a month with no was in space to refuel and no in-orbit liquid H2 transport available (at least they "could" refill the O2 tanks, in theory), or shut them off and let the electrolyte and water exhaust freeze in place, cracking the lines. When the freon leaks out of the coolant system, no way to refill... Most of the onboard systems are like that, limited on-orbit lifetime and no on-orbit maintainability, at all.

3) So, they're deadweight, whats the loss? Well, they need to boost the station so it doesn't reenter, and boosts are expensive. Plus it adds surface area to speed reentry so you need MORE reboosts but just BIGGER reboosts.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 5 years ago | (#29334885)

Yeah really... It'd be kinda like keeping the old pickup truck out back. Some day some old geezer will go out and charge up the battery and see if it fires up.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1)

canonymous (1445409) | about 5 years ago | (#29335353)

Because the shuttle's batteries run out after 3 weeks and the ISS can't power them.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29336121)

Actually, the ISS can and does power the shuttle batteries. That is why missions to the ISS can be much longer than ones not to the ISS; they get a very valuable powerboost during the visit.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1)

canonymous (1445409) | about 5 years ago | (#29381449)

The ISS doesn't charge the batteries, it just provides power so that the shuttle doesn't draw on its own batteries as much. This only extends a shuttle mission by four days.

Re:Why Don't They Leave the Shuttles Up There, Too (1)

Jared555 (874152) | about 5 years ago | (#29336701)

Since there are so many complaints about this in different locations I am just replying directly to the parent...

In response to:
1. Power: The question isn't if the ISS power system can interface with the shuttle, etc. The issue would be if the station could continuously keep multiple shuttles running. The benefits could potentially be using the shuttle as a reserve power/O2 system in the event of failure of the station systems
2. 'How are the astronauts getting down': The other non shuttle missions that are going to the ISS maybe?
3. What are the extra benefits? Storage, a possible escape vehicle/lifeboat, extra equipment, etc.
4. No way to keep the shuttles and resupply vehicles attached: I would think bringing up an extra module to do this would be beneficial enough it would be considered.

Hilton Or Hyatt Module... (2, Insightful)

Xin Jing (1587107) | about 5 years ago | (#29334565)

I don't know why they didn't open up bidding on the last module slot (for this revised construction proposal) to a hotel chain and start luring consumers to spend the weekend in orbit in luxury. What a missed opportunity, they could have been working on testing sheets and bathrobes for orbital space-worthiness.

I agree. The ISS has enough labs already. (3, Funny)

MarkRose (820682) | about 5 years ago | (#29334999)

Or maybe even a Holiday Inn.

The ISS already has enough labs. Why not go for something at least a little more interesting? Maybe a daschund or a beagle?

Not surprised (4, Insightful)

Bureaucromancer (1303477) | about 5 years ago | (#29334633)

Makes sense, the MPLMs are built like modules anyway, and are going to be useless without the shuttle. Leaving at least one on orbit is the best use possible, marginally usable or not. As for the talk of decommissioning, quite frankly it's not going to happen. It may well get effectively turned over to ESA and the Russians, but giving the station to Russia isn't politically feasible, the Russians aren't going to abandon it any time soon and we can't deorbit the station unilaterally. Actually, I would not be at all surprised to see the other two launched as permanent modules at some point in the future; having a premade pressure hull does save quite a lot over a new build, and some kind of joint ESA/Russian lab would be a nice replacement for some of the stuff cut by the Russians and the abandoned joint capsule project.

Re:Not surprised (2, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | about 5 years ago | (#29334757)

I'm hoping that eventually we can use an Aries V translunar (or transmartian) stage converted into a lab as a Skylab sized addition to the station. Skylab dwarfed any of the modern individual shuttle launched modules. An Aries V stage, if comparable to a Saturn V stage as they should be would be big enough to play a televised 0-G "Spaceball" game in.

Re:Not surprised (2, Interesting)

Bureaucromancer (1303477) | about 5 years ago | (#29335805)

Agreed; although it might be better to specialize a bit more and use the lower stage shuttle tank derived structure as a base. The Earth Departure Stage is comparable to the S-IVB that we got Skylab out of, but is slightly smaller in terms of usable space as far as I know. There's not really a lot saved in using the smaller EDI stage as a base if the thing is going to be launched already converted to a station. On the other hand, if we go for a wet workshop (stage is loaded with fuel, burned, then converted to a station once on orbit) Ares V could get us Skylab like station in lunar and martian orbits. Actually, that all hits on my biggest wish about the Shuttle and ISS; the vehicle had (and still does have actually) every ability to drag the main tank with it to orbit. This could have been used to get a station larger in volume than the ISS, and do it in only one launch. I'll admit that a wet workshop, especially one that big, is hard, but so was the amount of EVA work needed on a modular ISS. Anyway, whats done is done, and theres no time for a tank derived program now, or a need for it with Ares V coming...

Re:Not surprised (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about 5 years ago | (#29335941)

That's a good plan, have one cargo "stage", connect them all together after arrival get life support working, and as long as everything plugged in together the cargo stage can have enough disassembled racks to build everything else.

An Offer you Can't Refuse (1)

Macrat (638047) | about 5 years ago | (#29334681)

ISS Mafia Lab 1

Re:An Offer you Can't Refuse (1)

Extremus (1043274) | about 5 years ago | (#29334991)

Mama mia! Now they can start developing the bistromatic engine!

But what happens... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29334755)

What happens when it gets too heavy? Won't it fall?

Poor astronauts.

Wasting money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29335405)

Wasting money, wasting money, wasting money, and wasting money.

Why are they even bothering when they want to blow the fucking thing up?
Billions in effort just to go whack off the atmosphere, explode in to googols of bits and land at the bottom of the ocean never to be reclaimed by humans for centuries, possibly never.

The space agencies are a joke, they are huge wasters, they don't deserve to do such things and just get away with it.
That space station could be recycled pretty easily if only they'd send up a module WITH such facilities, but do they? NO!
They can even use the sun better than we can due to their being no atmosphere, a few mirrors focusing light could melt metals with ease.
And they say that they employ the smartest minds at these places? Yeah, and the hairs on my ass wrote Shakespeare.

Yeah, i expect to get modded troll, but it still won't stop it being true. You know they are wasting money just as much as i do.
And the fact that they get such a little budget compared to most of the other industries, they should be doing every single thing they can do to recycle "junk" up there and stop wasting it. Every single piece of junk up there is worth more than gold.

Decommissioning != De-orbited (2, Interesting)

scratchpaper (1175477) | about 5 years ago | (#29335511)

I'd bet money on private corporations "buying-out" ISS or "renting" time/space for things like manufacturing insanely pure insulin crystals (e.g.) in microgravity, or something along those lines. I've no doubt ISS will be useful for many more years to come.

This has been discussed for several years (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 5 years ago | (#29336265)

It is amazing that we are not going to add all of the MLM, but the reason is that Raffaello was done differently then the others; It has electrical and HVAC hookups. But this is better than nothing, since it is already going up.

Personally, I would really like to see us add a Sundancer AND a BA-330. If we put these up in the next 2 years, they will get a nice shake out (similar to how the 2 are running around). If NASA is really concerned about lifetime, then the easy answer is to use these for storage for a time and keep the hatch closed. Though, I would not be surprised if the crew do not push to have space there. Apparently, the regular ISS is VERY noisy. The BA* should be very quiet.

Re:This has been discussed for several years (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 5 years ago | (#29336627)

Ooops. It was donatello that had the extra electrical and HVAC. I wonder why they are not using it?

Question (1)

petrus4 (213815) | about 5 years ago | (#29338239)

Has any research with useful, practical applications actually come out of the ISS yet?

Not saying there hasn't been, necessarily, but if there has, I haven't heard about it.

There was a joke which went around about the Mars Rover, which I think really personified the problem of the genuine usefulness of space exploration, for me.

"Scientists today were stunned by the revelation, received from the Mars Rover, that the Martian landscape consists primarily of rocks, apparently similar to those commonly found in the Nevada Desert.

The scientists have said that they will not rest until every one of these Martian rocks have been thoroughly analysed and catalogued."

Why another Lab ? (1)

BlindRobin (768267) | about 5 years ago | (#29338345)

I think that smaller and less active breeds would be much preferable in orbit for all of the obvious reasons.

Finally! (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | about 5 years ago | (#29350999)

I've been saying this all along, about recycling parts for the space station, to make the life last longer then predicted, and also, maybe send up one way trip shuttles that will be reconfigured or dismantled to use the parts up for other stuf...even maybe a smelt up there to remold iron / steel for other stuff then first designed. The cost is pretty high to travel up there but once up there, it can even go so far as to harvest broken satellites that instead of coming back down to earth, can be smelted down to be reused for repairs or whatever...!!!

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