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#51 2007-09-03 10:12:10

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

I have been sort of wondering about the food shelf life and why we are not bringing up greater quantities as a means to test out whether it will still be viable for consumpsion along the duration of a mars mission.

Food science is very mature, such tests would be done on the ground far more cheaply. If samples did need to be in space to check for the effects of increased radiation etc etc, then only small quantities would be used.

I would argue that microgravity-grown food science is anything but mature!

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#52 2007-09-04 01:27:15

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

pma3relocationxh0.jpg
PMA-3 being relocated by SSRMS - 30 Aug 2007
(ripped from NASA TV by cIclops)

PMA-3 Relocation

International Space Station crew members moved Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 from the left side of the Unity node to the bottom in process that prepares the station for future growth.

For the relocation, Expedition 15 Flight Engineer Clay Anderson was at the controls of the station's robotic arm. Expedition 15 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin worked with the docking systems. Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov backed up both men.

Intensive preparations for the move began Monday. PMA-3 was undocked at 8:18 a.m. EDT and docked to Unity's lower port at 9:07.

During unberthing operations, fault alarms were seen on two occasions, first in one bolt after it had reached zero load and then intermittently in three bolts. After two delays to study the situation, the crew was told to continue with the unberthing.

PMA-3 was moved to the nadir port to prepare for the arrival of Node 2, the Harmony module, on the STS-120 flight of Discovery in October. Canadarm2 could not reach the end of Harmony if the node were installed on the nadir port.

After Discovery leaves the station, the arm will be used to remove PMA-2 from the end of Destiny and install it on the end of Harmony. Harmony will be moved to the front of Destiny, where PMA-2, at the forward end, will be ready to welcome shuttles again.

Harmony will provide docking ports for the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory and the Japanese Space Agency's Kibo experiment module.

The crew were able to robotically perform a major reconfiguration of the station, an impressive achievement for this project!


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#53 2007-09-25 04:19:42

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Finishing the space station

by Taylor Dinerman
Monday, September 17, 2007

Since the beginning of the Space Station Freedom program back in the days of the Reagan Administration the effort, now the International Space Station, has been denounced as a waste, as a boondoggle, and as a “hole in the sky”. In spite of all the effort of the critics, and in spite of all the problems, tragedies, and setbacks, the program has survived and is now well on the way to completion. To have gotten as far as they have in the face of these obstacles is something that NASA and its partners should be proud of.

Sure, nobody is happy with the ISS as it is. It’s in the wrong orbit to support a return to the Moon or a trip to Mars; it’s too small to support a large crew but too big to be just a simple manned orbital outpost. Yet is has gone from being a precarious toehold in orbit to becoming a substantial base for useful research and a proving ground for future exploration. The experience and expertise that has been built up in several areas, especially in joint human-robotic operations, is going to pay real dividends on the Moon and beyond.

In 1993 the US Congress came within a single vote of canceling the whole program. It was saved in part by the promise that cooperating with the Russians would save money and would improve relations. No one can seriously claim that collaborating with Moscow saved any money, but the project continues to have a positive impact on bilateral relations.

At a time when Russia is once again sending its long-range bombers out to probe the air defenses of Alaska, Norway, and Great Britain, and when, as the cliché has it, “sabers are being rattled,” the ISS represents one area where Americans and Russians, and their partners, are happily working together. Well, sort of. Both sides have too much invested in the success of the station to back out now that it is almost built. The human contacts that have been established are deep and enduring.

Some day, perhaps soon, when the rattles subside and things have calmed down a bit, leaders in both nations will be able to see what they can accomplish when they work together. Russia wants to go to the Moon, but it needs partners to do so and the only logical one is America. Neither the Europeans nor the Chinese have the resources to achieve that goal, at least not in the foreseeable future.

In 2005 Congress designated the US portion of the ISS as a “national laboratory”, giving it the same kind of status that Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore have, no doubt with far less of a Defense Department presence. One early sign of the way this status will be used is the agreement between NASA and the National Institute of Health (NIH) signed last week to work on “…human health issues – including how the human body heals itself, fights infection or develops diseases such as cancer or osteoporosis,” according to NIH director Elias Zerhouni.

This is an interesting statement in that he does not seem to want to confine the research to simply the effects of space travel on the human body, but indicates that knowledge gained about the way it works in space will help advance medical research down here on Earth. It would seem logical that if the body behaves in a certain way in the unique environment of space, this information will increase our understanding of how it reacts in a “normal” situation, in much the same way that medical research on highly trained athletes has lead to advances in treatments for the rest of us.

Private firms have been slowly finding ways to make money using the ISS. Space Adventures has so far sold five flights to tourists and SPACEHAB, whose final shuttle mission to the ISS was flown last month, is reinventing itself as a provider of protein crystals manufactured on the ISS for the pharmaceutical industry. There have been a few advertisements filmed in the Russian side of the station and an increasing number of celebrity chefs have found that sending the crews a gourmet space meal is a great way to win some low-cost publicity.

Is all this worth the roughly $100 billion it will cost to build and operate the ISS? It’s far too early to say: a single major medical breakthrough, for example, could pay for the whole thing many times over. After all, the US semiconductor industry long ago paid the US taxpayer back for the investment the government made in the Apollo program. One way or another research always pays off.

The next shuttle mission, STS-120, will carry the Harmony module (formerly known as Node 2) up to the station. Once Discovery arrives the crews will have to perform some of the most complex and difficult maneuvers so far attempted. Harmony will be temporarily attached to a docking port on Unity (formerly known as Node 1) and the older P6 power and radiator module, which had been attached to the station back in November 2000, will be moved to its permanent position on the end of the port-side truss.

The difficulty that the spacewalking astronauts had in furling up the P-6 solar arrays may be repeated when they try to spread them out anew. This is going to be a tricky process at best and the crews and the ground controllers should be prepared for a few very tough hours or even days. The news that NASA has added a fifth spacewalk to test a repair device indicates just how difficult and complex a mission this is going to be.

Once the Harmony node is attached to Unity and the shuttle departs it will be up to the ISS crew to move it to in permanent spot. The next step will be to bring up and attach the European Columbus and the Japanese Kibo modules, after which NASA will install the final solar array. By next summer, if all goes well, the Space Station will have assumed something close to its definitive configuration.

This will be the culmination of one of the most challenging construction projects in human history. The technology used in this project spans at least two—maybe more—generations of computers. Integrating systems from the US, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada have not been easy. The experience has taught everyone involved what can and cannot be done in an international partnership.

After the shuttle stops flying in 2010, the only way to get people back and forth to the ISS will be with the Russians. It will probably be up to SpaceX and their Dragon capsule, working under the auspices of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) effort, to provide the US with a near-term alternative. The Orion capsule and its Ares 1 booster will not be ready until at least 2014 and more likely 2015 or later, especially if the White House and Congress end up forcing another budget cut on the space agency.

In 1980 the late Robert A. Heinlein wrote, “NASA has two remarkable records: first, a space program far more successful than anyone had dared hope: and, second the most incredibly bumbling, stupid, inept public relations of any government agency.” In 2007 nothing has fundamentally changed.


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#54 2007-09-25 14:28:53

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

164461main_soyuz_progress.jpg
Soyuz 14 docked to Zarya  and Progress 26 docked to Pirs

The Expedition 15 crew aboard the International Space Station is busy preparing for numerous arrivals and departures in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, the crew members tagged up with Russian flight controllers to review the relocation of the docked Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft Thursday. The crew will move the Soyuz to the aft port of the Zvezda service module, freeing up the Zarya nadir, or Earth-facing, port for the arrival of Expedition 16 on Oct. 12.

Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov conducted a motion control system test on the Soyuz Tuesday. Flight Engineer Clay Anderson checked the seals on the hatches of the U.S. segment of the station. The hatches will be closed during Thursday's Soyuz move to protect against depressurization.

Later, Kotov and Anderson moved the station's robotic arm, Canadarm2, into position to view the retraction of the Zarya module's starboard and port solar array wings on Friday and Saturday. While space shuttle Discovery is docked to the station during the STS-120 mission in October, the station's starboard radiators will be deployed, followed by the port radiators shortly after Discovery departs. To avoid contact with the radiators, the Zarya arrays must be completely retracted.

On Monday afternoon, the Zvezda service module's engines were fired for about two minutes to raise the space station's altitude by an average of about 5.3 nautical miles. This brings the station into the correct position for the upcoming Soyuz TMA-11 and Discovery dockings in October.

Busy time for Expedition 15!


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#55 2007-09-26 08:10:43

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Expedition 15 recap - (video 53:44 mins)

Comprehensive summary of all the major events with lots of the best video from the activities during Expedition 15.


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#56 2007-09-30 04:21:45

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

160328main_soyuzundock.jpg
Soyuz 14 (TMA-10) changing docking ports with Expedition 15 onboard

Station Crew Moves Soyuz - 27 Sep 2007

International Space Station crew members docked their Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft to the aft port of the Zvezda service module at 3:47 p.m. EDT Thursday, completing a move of 80 feet.

During the flight they were traveling at 17,500 mph -- almost five miles a second – and went about a third of the way around the world.

Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft Image to right: The Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft moves away from the International Space Station shortly after undocking. Image credit: NASA TV

Station Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, Flight Engineers Oleg Kotov and Clay Anderson moved their Soyuz from the Earth-facing port of the station's Zarya module to clear that port for the arrival of Expedition 16.


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#57 2007-10-01 01:49:33

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Nations Looking For a Piece of the Exploration Pie - 30 Sep 2007

The future of the ISS itself is unknown. NASA told its partners it wants to shift ISS funding to lunar exploration after 2015—but Europe and Japan are eagerly awaiting launch of their long-delayed labs in the next few months.

“We are convinced that we must have something after 2015,” says ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain. “We cannot just say to the scientific communities that in 2015, everything stops.” Dordain declares, “ESA is not ready to pay the share of NASA when NASA has left the space station.”

Anatoly N. Perminov, head of Russia’s Federal Space Agency, says that Russia isn’t ready to assume the burden either. “We are interested in extending this program up to 2020, but in case the U.S., the EU, Canada or any other participants decide to leave, one thing is very obvious—Russia will be not ready to carry on this project alone.”

Perminov says the possibility of a U.S. withdrawal from ISS suggests the need for “more strict rules and conditions for participation from the very beginning” of lunar collaboration to avoid a “situation when some of the participants will try to leave without taking into consideration the interests of other parties.”

One possibility for continuing ISS operations is to allow for new partnership members. Permanov says he first raised the issue at the January 2005 ISS Heads of Agency meeting in Montreal. “This question is still pending,” he tells Aviation Week & Space Technology. “No one says yes. No one says no.”

A potential partner could be India, which has targeted Apr. 9, 2009, to launch its Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter on a Polar Space Launch Vehicle, says M. Annadurai, the project director for the mission at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).


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#58 2007-10-02 15:58:40

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)


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#59 2007-10-02 22:26:25

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Where's Neo?  big_smile

I guess those astronauts must be fans of the Matrix movies.

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#60 2007-10-05 04:40:39

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

191008main_adv1_jsc2007e045197.jpg
Commander Peggy Whitson (right),
Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko (center),
Spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor

Expedition 16 Crew to Launch from Baikonur - 1 Oct 2007

Commander Peggy Whitson and Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko of the 16th International Space Station crew are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at about 9:20 a.m. EDT on Oct. 10 to begin a six-month stay in space.

With them will be spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. He is a Malaysian flying under contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency.

He will return to Earth with Expedition 15 crew members, Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, Oct. 21. Expedition 15 launched to the station last April 7.

Expedition 16's Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft is scheduled to dock at the station a little after 10:50 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12.


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#61 2007-10-09 16:24:55

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

191885main_jsc2007e050757_small.jpg
Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft ready for launch at Baikonur

The Soyuz rocket that will launch Expedition 16 to the International Space Station was placed at its launch pad over the weekend. Commander Peggy Whitson, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko and spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome Wednesday at 9:22 a.m. EDT. Two days later the Soyuz TMA-11 vehicle carrying the new crew will dock to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Zarya module.


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#62 2007-10-10 09:11:15

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

192094main_exp16_soyuz4_small.jpg
Expedition 16 Crew Launches from Baikonur

Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko of the 16th International Space Station crew launched in their Soyuz TMA-11 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 9:22 a.m. EDT Wednesday to begin a six-month stay in space.

Less than 10 minutes after launch their spacecraft reached orbit, and its antennas and solar arrays were deployed shortly afterwards.

With Whitson and Malenchenko is spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. He is a Malaysian flying under contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency. He will return to Earth with Expedition 15 crew members, Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, Oct. 21. Expedition 15 launched to the station last April 7.


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#63 2007-10-10 10:13:21

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,360

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Just like clock work, right on time....
I wonder if the 1, 2 punch in Ares family will be so lucky as to be able to preform as well...

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#64 2007-10-11 15:13:45

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Expedition 16 overview (video 9:42 mins) - 11 Oct 2007


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#65 2007-10-12 13:19:07

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

192399main_exp15_16_greeting.jpg
Joint Expeditions 15 and 16 crews together - 12 Oct 2007

Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko and spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor have arrived at the International Space Station. Their Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft docked to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Zarya module at 10:50 a.m. EDT Friday. The station’s new residents and their Malaysian guest launched at 9:22 a.m. EDT Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Oleg Kotov and Clay Anderson welcomed the new crew aboard the station when the hatches were opened at 12:22 p.m. Both crews will work together for about nine days before Yurchikhin, Kotov and Shukor depart in their Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft.

Anderson will remain onboard with Expedition 16 and return to Earth next month aboard Discovery on its STS-120 mission.


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#66 2007-10-13 04:44:17

EuroLauncher
Member
From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Peggy Whitson has a well established career and she's already taken part in a six-month duration flight onboard the Station. In October 24th we will see two female mission commanders in orbit as STS-120 joins the crew. Yuri Malenchenko is a real veteran cosmonaut with lots of experience from his stays on the MIR station, he's done joint US-Russian Shutte flights and done the ISS. Happy to see Malaysia getting into space, the more nations that join the club the better. I wonder who will be the next country in space, this 'Tourism' thing has really kicked off

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#67 2007-10-13 06:25:27

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Yes the station is really busy and will soon have STS-120 visiting to add a new module and expand its pressurized volume.

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is not a "tourist", he's flying under an agreement between the Malaysian and Russian governments


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#68 2007-10-13 08:16:04

EuroLauncher
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From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

My mistake

but ScientificAmerica reported him as a 'space-tourist'

New crew and a tourist arrive at space station

:oops:

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#69 2007-10-13 10:07:44

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

SciAm have gone downhill a lot in their fact checking.


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#70 2007-10-14 00:58:30

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Expedition 16 Press Kit (10.6 Mb PDF)

Yuri almost manages to smile in this comprehensive document smile


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#71 2007-10-14 11:52:34

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,360

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Expedition 15/16 Flight Engineer Clayton Anderson will return to Earth from the space station aboard shuttle mission STS-120. That flight will carry his replacement, Daniel Tani, to the station. Tani will return on shuttle mission STS-122.

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#72 2007-10-15 05:35:54

EuroLauncher
Member
From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Expedition 15/16 Flight Engineer Clayton Anderson will return to Earth from the space station aboard shuttle mission STS-120. That flight will carry his replacement, Daniel Tani, to the station. Tani will return on shuttle mission STS-122.

It's getting very busy up there, the space station may finally be starting to live up to its design. On November 2nd there will be another spacewalk, this is from Quest airlock. It will be great to see another NASA Shuttle crew onboard, looking ahead to supply ships : Russia's Progress M-62 launches in December.

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#73 2007-10-15 06:02:51

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Yes it will be getting busier and busier:

190470main_exp16_ridings_03b.jpg


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#74 2007-10-15 09:34:21

cIclops
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Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

Internal NASA Reports Explain Origins of June Computer Crisis -  James Oberg 4 Oct 2007

The connection pins from the power-monitoring device they'd bypassed earlier, they found, were wet—and corroded. The final report described the “change in appearance” of fasteners on one box's connectors and noted “the presence of deposits and residue on the housings, and residue and spots on the contact surfaces.”

Continuity checks found that specific wires, called command lines, in the cable coming out of the device had failed. And one of those lines had short-circuited. Also, in a shocking design flaw, there was a “power off” command leading to all three of the supposedly redundant processing units. The line was designed to protect the main computers, which are downstream of the power monitor, from power glitches too great for normal power filters to protect against. It does so by turning the computers off when it senses trouble. But in a failure unanticipated by its designers, this one command path itself was able to kill all three processing units due to a single corrosion-induced short.

...

To add to their headaches, the cosmonauts discovered that one of the new cables was about 40 centimeters shorter than the one it was supposed to replace—and it wouldn't reach. After careful visual inspection of the original cable , the cosmonauts decided there were no signs of corrosion, so there was no need to replace it. They also decided to rig a thermal barrier out of a surplus reference book and all-purpose gray tape. As a last step, they removed the jumper cables, verified the system was functional, and closed the access panels.

Oberg blames the Russians for the design problems, but these computers were designed in Germany.


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#75 2007-10-16 14:55:16

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: International Space Station (ISS / Alpha)

China hopes to join Int'l Space Station project

BEIJING, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- China hopes to become the 17th nation joining the International Space Station (ISS) project, Vice Minister of Science and Technology Li Xueyong said on Tuesday.

    "China sincerely wants to cooperate with the United States in space exploration and join the International Space Station project that has already involved 16 nations," said Li, a delegate to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on the sidelines of the event.

    The Chinese government has been pursuing a policy of peaceful use of airspace, Li said.

While ISS critics want to give it away, the Chinese want to take it away.


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