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NASA warns 'risk of losing' space station rising By Jean-Louis Santini (AFP) – 3 hours ago WASHINGTON — The risk of an unprecedented evacuation of the International Space Station will spike if Russian craft cannot resume their missions and return by November, a senior NASA official has warned. "There is a greater risk of losing the ISS when it's unmanned than if it were manned," Michael Suffredini, the ISS program manager for the US space agency, said in a conference call with Russian officials. "The risk increase is not insignificant," he added. Russia on Monday delayed its next manned mission to the ISS by at least a month after an unmanned cargo vessel crashed into Siberia instead of reaching orbit on August 24. The head of Russia's manned spaceflight programme also warned that a significantly longer delay would force the six people on board the station to abandon the orbiter due to fatigue and supply problems. The station crew normally consists of six -- currently three Russians, two Americans and one Japanese -- working six-month rotations. Staff safety and the "very big investment" that the Russian and US governments have made in the ISS would guide future decisions, Suffredini said during the call on Monday. "We prefer not to operate in that condition without crew on board for an extended period of time just to make sure we end up in that situation. "But assuming the systems keep operating we can command the station from the ground and operate it on orbit indefinitely," Suffredini added. The ISS, which orbits 350 kilometers (220 miles) above Earth, is a platform for scientific experiments bringing together space agencies from Russia, the United States, Europe, Japan, and Canada. Launched in 1998, it was initially expected to remain in space for 15 years until an agreement was reached to keep it operating through 2020. An evacuation of the ISS was planned after the Columbia shuttle disaster which killed seven astronauts in 2003, but NASA later decided to keep staff on board the station at all times. Russian officials expect the next manned launch of its Soyuz craft to take place in late October or early November -- it had initially been scheduled for September 22. A crew comprising Russians Andrei Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyaev and NASA astronaut Ron Garan went up to the ISS in March to honor the 50th anniversary of the first voyage of space pioneer Yuri Gagarin. But this month's failed launch was a spectacular blow for Russia after it had become the sole
Originally posted by pez1975
It would be very sad if we lost the space station.
After all the time and money that went it to building this thing we could loose it.
Its such a good peace building project for the world. I dont see anything else that brings the world together like this project
edit on 30-8-2011 by pez1975 because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by pez1975
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
I agree the pubic space industry needs to step up or maybe the US government should reveal there new space plane to the public and and save the day that would be awesome IMO
On August 18, 2006, NASA announced that SpaceX had been chosen, along with Kistler Aerospace, to develop cargo launch services for the International Space Station. The plan called for three demonstration flights of SpaceX's Dragon capsule between 2008 and 2010. SpaceX may receive up to $278 million if they meet all NASA milestones. Kistler failed to meet its obligations with NASA, and its contract was terminated in 2007. NASA decided to re-award Kistler's portion of the contract after a competition. On February 19, 2008 NASA announced that it had chosen Orbital Sciences as the new winner. NASA awarded a cargo delivery contract to SpaceX on December 23, 2008. The contract calls for a minimum of 20,000 kg (44,000 lb) of cargo over up to 12 flights to the ISS at a cost of $1.6 billion USD, with options that increase the maximum contract value to $3.1 billion.
The first of the three contracted demonstration flights was successfully flown on December 8, 2010.[29 On December 8, 2010, a Falcon 9 rocket carrying an unmanned SpaceX Dragon lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on COTS Demo Flight 1. The launch was a success, and the Dragon cleanly separated from the Falcon approximately 10 minutes after launch. Three hours of orbital maneuvering testing were conducted at an altitude of 300 kilometres (190 mi; 160 nmi) before a deorbit burn was conducted, putting the Dragon on a re-entry course that ended in a successful splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 800 kilometres (500 mi; 430 nmi) west of Mexico's Pacific coast.
The Dragon spacecraft can carry up to seven passengers in crew configuration or carry 6,000 kg (13,000 lb) and 24 m3 (850 cu ft) of payload, optionally extensible to 44 m3 (1,600 cu ft), to LEO in cargo configuration
General specifications for the spacecraft that apply to both crew and cargo configurations include: 18 Draco thrusters, dual-redundant in all axes: any two can fail and still have complete vehicle control in pitch, yaw, roll and translation. PICA-X heat shield designed to withstand Earth atmospheric reentry, even of return velocities from Lunar and Martian destinations.[5