[FPSPACE] London Sunday Times

Charles, John B. (JSC-SA211) john.b.charles at nasa.gov
Mon May 8 16:05:25 EDT 2017

Step 1: send money.
Step 2: don't do other stuff in space because of money spent on Step 1.
Step 3: don't complain because of Step 2.

Less snarky answer. Everything costs money. Liability costs alone for an orbiting mothballed behemoth would be tremendous. NASA cannot afford to mothball and preserve more than a few facilities on Earth--which won't ever decay and fall onto 90% of Earth's populated areas.

Sorry. Appreciate and utilize ISS while you still can, before it becomes a memory.

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On May 8, 2017, at 14:56, LARRY KLAES <ljk4 at msn.com<mailto:ljk4 at msn.com>> wrote:

And at the risk of sounding horribly pragmatic, think of the all the debris it can "collect" out of Earth orbit, sparing any more useful operational satellites in the process.

I too would hate to see the ISS get trashed just because it may be perceived as inconvenient to maintain a decade or so from now. I am certain there are any number of nations and organizations that would love to have the ISS or at least rent space on some it. Ideas include a tourist hotel, a way to test those plans to put modular manned stations in lunar and Mars orbit, and sections dedicated to various small space manufacturing businesses such as pharmaceuticals.

Nothing like having a space structure already in place that just needs a little fixing up rather than having to launch a whole new collection of modules and such.


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From: FPSPACE <fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org<mailto:fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org>> on behalf of David R. Woods <drwoods at stny.rr.com<mailto:drwoods at stny.rr.com>>
Sent: Monday, May 8, 2017 3:44 PM
To: fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org<mailto:fpspace at lists.friends-partners.org>
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] London Sunday Times


I have often thought that ISS is so big, has cost so much, and has delivered such a lot of scientific information, that politics will prevent its being destroyed using reentry.  Like some sort of national historic treasure it might be moved into a much higher orbit for posterity.  Parts do wear out and systems do fail, but it could be mothballed and put into a hibernation state available for researchers into the distant future.


-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject:        [FPSPACE] London Sunday Times
Date:   Mon, 8 May 2017 16:19:18 +0000
From:   Max White <bmews at hotmail.com><mailto:bmews at hotmail.com>

This piece seems more a plug for the sci fest sponsored by the Times, than anything else. So why is Roscosmos talking of operations extending to 2028...

International Space Station to go down in a blaze of glory
Plans are being drawn up to scrap the vessel and send it hurtling into the ocean in a spectacular firework display

Jonathan Leake, Science Editor
May 7 2017, 12:01am,
The Sunday Times

The station has travelled more than 115m miles over 20 years

Nasa scientists are drawing up plans to dismantle the International Space Station and send it hurtling into the Pacific in the world’s most spectacular demolition job.

Tim Peake, the British astronaut, could be among the team that prepares the ISS for its fiery demise — he is due to return to the station between 2021 and 2024 — when its funding runs out.

The massive modules, fuel tanks and other components would generate a series of fireballs as they burn up in the atmosphere.

Jonathan Leake follows the ISS’s incredible journey
The plans were revealed by Ellen Stofan, Nasa’s chief scientist, who helped set them in motion before recently leaving the agency.

“The future of the ISS is a big issue for Nasa. The funding is there till 2024 but then it must start moving money to human Mars missions.

“If we keep it fully funded after 2024 it will compromise the Mars budget and by 2028 it will start failing. It is huge, the size of a football pitch, so the overall plan is to drop it into the Pacific.”

Stofan will be describing the plans when she speaks next month at the Cheltenham science festival.

Construction of the ISS began with the launch of the first modules in 1998, since when humanity has had a continuous presence in space. One idea is that the platform could be dismantled with some elements brought back to earth while others remain in space — a decision which depends on the Russians, who own several sections.

Another is that from 2020 the ISS could be opened up to commercial flights, including tourism. This is linked to Boeing’s development of the Starliner, a spaceship that will take people into low orbit, including the ISS, from 2020.

Stofan said Nasa’s future lay not with the ISS but another more ambitious space station — orbiting the moon. But even this would be just a staging post. “To get to Mars we would need a transfer station. That means launching the modules for a Mars space ship and assembling them in an orbit around the moon.”

David Parker, director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration at the European Space Agency (ESA), a partner in the ISS project, said the space station had taught scientists about surviving the health hazards of space which can include brain swelling, eye damage and skin problems — but its research value would decline.

Pointing out the ISS cost the ESA about £300m a year, he said: “Our plan is to free up this money from the mid-2020s to explore beyond low earth orbit . . . that will eventually mean de-orbiting the ISS.

“The south Pacific is the target and it will be a huge fireworks display.”

1998 construction started
227 astronauts have lived on board
412 tons makes the ISS the largest-ever space structure
664+ days Peggy Whitson will have spent in space when she returns in September, setting a record for continuous stay

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