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SCI/TECH: International Space Station Operating on Oxygen Reserves

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posted on May, 16 2005 @ 10:46 PM
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NASA officials announced on Friday that the International Space Station's oxygen generator has become inoperable once again and can no longer be repaired. As a result, the 2-man crew will have to survive with on-board oxygen reserves until repairs can be attempted again in late August. While the station's oxygen reserves are estimated to be sufficient for only 140 days of operation, a Russian space freighter is scheduled to arrive for re-supply in mid-June.
 



www.space.com
CAPE CANAVERAL - A balky Russian oxygen generator broke down on the International Space Station, but its two-man crew has a reserve air supply that would last about five months, NASA officials said Friday.

The station's primary generator, which has been operating in an on-again, off-again fashion for months, stopped working last week and the station's crew has not been able to fix it.

Mission managers say the unit has failed for good. Consequently, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and U.S. astronaut John Phillips will be relying on reserves until replacement parts arrive at the station in late August.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


More bad news for the ISS. The station has served us well, but appears to be on its last legs. Hopefully, re-supplies will arrive on schedule and the crew will remain safe.

Personally, I wouldn't care what the guys at NASA told me - if the O2 generator failed, I'd start freaking.




posted on May, 16 2005 @ 10:54 PM
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I sure as hell wouldn't want to be stuck on that orbiting hunk of junk. I think the ISS has been the biggest waste of money in space history...



posted on May, 16 2005 @ 11:00 PM
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Wait until they built the elevator the the moon, and not have one running supplies to the space station also. That in my opinion is a huge waste of capital.



posted on May, 16 2005 @ 11:03 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
I sure as hell wouldn't want to be stuck on that orbiting hunk of junk. I think the ISS has been the biggest waste of money in space history...


How do you figuer that?
If it was the American space station would you like it better?



posted on May, 16 2005 @ 11:07 PM
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A lot of it is American, but that has nothing to do with it...in fact let other countries waste their money, why would I care if the U.S. didn't have anything to do with it?

Maybe I'm ignorant, but I just haven't seen much useful come of it, I'd rather spend the money on returning to the moon and going to Mars and sending more advanced probes to the outer planets....

[edit on 5/16/2005 by djohnsto77]



posted on May, 16 2005 @ 11:12 PM
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xpert11 : Is the ISS bring something new or revolutinnary since it's up there? No? Ah! What a waste of money!



posted on May, 16 2005 @ 11:12 PM
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I'd reserve my "worst mission ever" award for the one which augered into the surface of Mars a few years back because someone forgot to check their units.



posted on May, 16 2005 @ 11:16 PM
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Originally posted by ChemicalLaser
I'd reserve my "worst mission ever" award for the one which augered into the surface of Mars a few years back because someone forgot to check their units.


Yeah, but if that thing would have worked, it may have actually done something....I've never understood the point of this space station.



posted on May, 17 2005 @ 02:16 AM
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This reminds me of that scene from the film Armageddon. "American parts, Russian parts...ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!"



posted on May, 17 2005 @ 02:22 AM
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The original concept behind the ISS was and is well thought out and sound. However, Space shuttle problems, changing national priorities, and above all, budget difficulties have prevented the ISS from being all it could be. The station could certainly be expanded back to the original concept if desired.

If mankind ever intends to truely explore this solar system thoroughly and/or begin to exploit the nearly unlimited resources available to us for the taking, then something like the ISS is needed.

[edit on 17-5-2005 by Astronomer68]



posted on May, 17 2005 @ 06:24 AM
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Experiments, in a word, that's the point of the ISS. I would say it's served its purpose, in that regard.

I think they could have been more farsighted in the construction, and utilized it as a space based construction platform for more ships and other specialty products. It could have offset its costs simply by making ball bearings to ship back to earth for use in engineering applications. (Zero G manufacturing of ball bearings equals 99.99% smooth, little to no grease required for operation)

I do think the shuttle is a lame duck, and should be retired, but the ISS is still the only place in the universe that we can do scientific research into how things operate for extended periods in zero G. The rotating crew are experiments in and of themselves, they have demonstrated for scientists the effects of long term space habitation - information that will become invaluable as we start to venture into longer voyages and even, perhaps, permanent colonies, adrift and exploring... One day.

And finally, there's not too much worry of them running out of oxygen. Even if the situation did get dire, they could simply bail out in the reserve soyuz.



posted on May, 17 2005 @ 06:58 AM
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Short sighted? Perhaps, but I don't see the space station as a waste by any means. Sometimes it is as important to find out what you do not want, as it is to find out what you do want.

Just another judicious step on the path to space exploration.



posted on May, 17 2005 @ 11:13 AM
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I agree with djohnsto77. This likened to FRED (friggin ridiculous economical disaster) that we had in Panama. A big C-5 would fly down (with a parts plane in tow lol) and have only a few items on board to "resupply the bases. A real drain on the checkbook if you catch my drift.



posted on May, 17 2005 @ 11:33 AM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77

Originally posted by ChemicalLaser
I'd reserve my "worst mission ever" award for the one which augered into the surface of Mars a few years back because someone forgot to check their units.


Yeah, but if that thing would have worked, it may have actually done something....I've never understood the point of this space station.


You know, there is Google for that. Or the Boeing site. Or any number of sites for that matter.

The amount of science done with ISS is significant. It's not flashy like Mars landing (which is quite useless scientifically) or a Moon base (ditto).

Simple people want simple missions and simple answers. Declaring a largely successful outpost in space "a waste of money" because you don't understand science is ridiculous. Read more about physics and biology, you may find it interesting. And, Deny Ignorance!

Guess what, future missions will learn how to avoid failures of oxygen generators. Was the Shuttle program a waste of money? I don't think it was.



posted on May, 17 2005 @ 01:27 PM
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Time for a new one. Or perhaps replacing older modules. That is the point of a modular design, after all.

*sigh* this darned platform was supposed to be a stopover to assist in building interplanetary craft in orbit-a construction base. A toehold, to help the next stage. It was never designed to be the "only" stage.

Damn short-sighted politicians and those who vote them in. Peple keep screaming about more money for "the poor". They did that since the beginning of the space programs. Well, we spend more annually for the entitlement, disaster relief and internation AIDS industries than we have on most of the entire spaceflight program's history. And we still have steadily (or drastically increasing) numbers of "poor" and others needing constant support from others.

What I don't understand, is why people will support programs designed to severely limit human populations (almost reaching eugenics and "final solution levels), or supporting programs designed to limit lifestyle choices, while spontaneously decrying any means to reduce population pressure by expanding. We know that colonization of other lands reduces economic, social and environmental stresses (and allowing stability and growth of those systems over time) like Europe, or the east coast US, or even, expanding from a densely populated urban area to open territory.

We have the technology to survive and thrive in environment hostile to our species, and even in environments hostile to all life as we know it. Sheer short sightedness and some sort of arrogance (and maybe politics-imagine how hard it would be for a single New World Order to control a second frontier). Failing to do so, will be our downfall. Even with the communist theories spouted by a lot of Santa Monica liberals, the whole "there's enough to go around if we distribute it properly" cannot and will not hold forever, without the enforcement of some sort of brith control regime-more than likely, retroactively. Is it better to become a world where extra children are aborted before birth, and having a eugenics culture make your decision of which of a set of twins is allowed to survive?

Or is it better to expand outward, to allow new societies to be created, to allow cultures to divide and prosper or fail based on their own merits, not whether they are beneficial or a threat to neighboring cultures shoehorned into the same place?



posted on May, 17 2005 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by Phugedaboudet
*sigh* this darned platform was supposed to be a stopover to assist in building interplanetary craft in orbit-a construction base. A toehold, to help the next stage. It was never designed to be the "only" stage.


The ISS's orbit inclination is too high to be useful for that. This was done with the purpose of being able to launch from Russia as well as from the US. In retrospective, it was a good idea as right now all traffic comes from Russia and non from the US.

But, it won't work as a stopover, it would need to be steered into a flatter orbit than the one it currently has.



posted on May, 17 2005 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by Aelita

The ISS's orbit inclination is too high to be useful for that. This was done with the purpose of being able to launch from Russia as well as from the US. In retrospective, it was a good idea as right now all traffic comes from Russia and non from the US.

But, it won't work as a stopover, it would need to be steered into a flatter orbit than the one it currently has.


Even though energy must be expended to overcome the inertia imposed on any space exploration vehicle launched from the vicinity of the ISS because of its inclination, that energy expenditure is still far less than what is required to climb up out of Earth's gravity well every time. So while not an efficient place to serve as a stopover it is still better than anything else available just now.




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