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Originally posted by CLPrime
reply to post by OUNjahhryn
There is still a crew of 6 on-board the ISS. They've been there since April/June, and are planned to stay until around September. The purpose of the Atlantis flight was to stock the ISS with enough supplies to last until the crew can be replaced.
the Shuttle did bring back things from the ISS, but very rarely was it waste. Most of the garbage and waste is loaded into the Russian Progress cargo ships, and burned up in the atmosphere:
Originally posted by Illustronic
Incidentally, might be little known, but the Space Shuttle was the most efficient vehicle to bring back waste and garbage from the ISS back to earth, (they don't throw it out to burn up in the atmosphere, how green of them). For the time being, the ISS may develop a foul smell.
There are three to four flights of the Progress spacecraft to the ISS per year. Each spacecraft remains docked until shortly before the new one, or a Soyuz (which uses the same docking ports) arrives. Then it is filled with waste, disconnected, deorbited, and destroyed in the atmosphere.