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#1 2015-02-27 22:19:56

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,527

202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

The Us and Partners have been working to use the ISS past the 2020 date. Thou with the troubles of the past years it has still been a point of not totally on firm footing. With the increased statements from Russia I thinks its time to create a topic with the starting data to track its possibility of happening in the next decade.

SpaceNut wrote:

Russia and U.S. to sign treaty prolonging ISS operations until 2024 - Energia corporation president

Russian ISS segment can be used as port for future orbital station
Russia’s ISS segment will be finally created and filled with research equipment by 2018-2020

Once the modules are placed into orbit I would expect that another extension would be granted if the scienctific efforts are truely put forth to help get us back to exploring space beyond LEO.

SpaceNut wrote:

Seems like it was only yesterday that this was posted but now the odds of seeing the use go beyond is getting slimmer. Russia to only use ISS until 2020: official "After 2020 we would like to use those resources on other promising space projects."

If that was not bad enough Final ATV assembled for Arianespace Ariane 5 launch of the fifth and final European ATV to the ISS. Designated Georges Lemaitre after the Belgian physicist and father of the Big Bang theory. In addition to the fuel and air it will carry to the crewed space station, ATV Georges Lemaitre will deliver more than 2,600 kg. of dry cargo.

SpaceNut wrote:

NASA: Russia alone can't end space station work (Update)

"There is no single partner that can terminate the international space station," Bolden told reporters in Berlin, where he was attending the city's annual air show.

Head of US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, Charles Bolden, speaks during a press conference in Berlin, Monday, May 19, 2014. The head of NASA has dismissed concerns that friction with Russia might spell the end of the.

"There is no one partner that is indispensable on the International Space Station," he said Japan, Europe and Canada are also members, all currently depend on Russian Soyuz capsules to take astronauts to the space station since NASA retired its shuttle fleet.

SpaceNut wrote:

The leverage that Russia thinks it has is through the seat purchase and shift of personel on the station for Russia but that is short lived once we have a man rated ship to take crew to the station.

Just how much of the station is Russian supplied...
rorus1.jpg

SpaceNut wrote:

just posting to keep data on topic in the correct thread as well...

Yes one use of the space Taxi's as I would call them is to the ISS but why is there no other useages? As to the components modules that are Russian owned from what I understand there are only 5.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Russi … 3_999.html   by Staff Writers
Korolyov, Russia (RIA Novosti) Apr 23, 2013

Russian-built modules: the Zvezda service module, the Zarya cargo block, the Pirs docking module, the Poisk ("Search") research module and Rassvet ("Dawn") research module.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Russi … egment.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Orbital_Segment

Developed by Russia and the former Soviet Union, construction of Zarya was funded by the United States and NASA, and Zarya remains a US-owned module

http://jalopnik.com/how-the-us-can-run- … 1576359569

Let's assume that the Russian announcement means the very worst for the station, that the ISS will not be allowed to have any further use of Russian-owned modules and hardware. With that in mind, let's look at exactly what parts of the station the Russian segment comprises.

rzmdyjv6zyz7kpdak5mp.jpg

So, of these five modules, what is critical to the ISS? The two airlocks and the storage/docking module are completely expendable. While more airlocks and docking modules are absolutely a good thing, the ISS has the Quest airlock on the US side, and there's three PMA (Pressurized Mating Adapters) on the US side to allow for spacecraft docking. One is in use connecting the US side to the Russian side, and the other two are available for visiting spacecraft, like the SpaceX Dragon, and hopefully a crewed version of the Dragon in the near future.

So, if the US is okay as far as docking adapters and airlocks go, what about the other modules? Currently, Zarya isn't really being used for much other than as a hallway and storage. Early on, Zarya provided electrical power and propulsion, but those functions have been largely supplanted by other modules now

That said what is the only real problem is the propulsion unit....

Zvezda will be a bit trickier, as it provides the main propulsion for the station, as well as the only two private crew berths, a bathroom, and a kitchen/eating/social area. The module design is basically the same as the Mir core module, and this in many ways has always been the heart of the ISS for crew gathering and the like.

Is there a solution by Nasa for this...

An expendable-rocket launch-able version of the old backup Propulsion Module could work, and with NASA already having done the development and having a good six years of notice, there should be no reason why one can't be built and made ready for when the Russians leave in 2020

SpaceNut wrote:

Aside from the panels not being spin freindly designed there is the other issues that when the Russian modules are removed would mean that we would need replacements for.

The first module, Zarya, otherwise known as the Functional Cargo Block or FGB, was the first component of the ISS to be launched, and provided the early station configuration with electrical power, storage, propulsion, and navigation guidance, until a short time after the Russian service module Zvezda docked and was transferred control. Zvezda contains the ESA built DMS-R Data Management System.

This would be one that would need to have a duplicate function provided as a replacement once the Russian is removed.

The module: Zarya provides ports for Soyuz spacecraft, Progress spacecraft and the European ATV to dock to the station. Ships boosting the station's orbit dock to the aft port (the rear port according to the station's normal orientation and direction of travel).

This is a secondary propulsion hook up... it maybe possible to do with out.

The United States funded Zarya through the U.S. prime contracts in the 1990s as the first module for ISS. Built from December 1994 to January 1998 in Russia at the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (KhSC) in Moscow, its control system was developed by the Khartron Corp. (Kharkiv, Ukraine). The module was included as part of NASA's plan for the International Space Station (ISS) instead of Lockheed's "Bus-1" option because it was significantly cheaper (US$220 million vs. $450 million). As part of the contract Khrunichev constructed much of an identical module (referred to as "FGB-2") for contingency purposes. FGB-2 has been proposed for a variety of projects; it is now slated to be used to construct the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module Nauka.

Since the US owns the spare module it could be adapted to making a replacement.

The second module, Zvezda, is the station's Service Module - it provides a living environment for the crew, contains the ISS's main engine system, and provides a docking port for Soyuz, Progress and Automated Transfer Vehicle spacecraft. Zvezda can support up to six crew including separate sleeping quarters for two cosmonauts at a time. It also has a NASA-provided Treadmill with Vibration Isolation System and a bicycle for exercise, a toilet and other hygiene facilities and a galley with a refrigerator and freezer.

If insufficient room for it is part of the remaining then it would need a replacement.


The third module, Pirs, functions as the ROS's airlock, storing EVA spacesuits and providing the equipment necessary for cosmonauts to exit the space station. It also serves as a docking compartment for Soyuz and Progress spacecraft.

The fourth module, Poisk, is similar to Pirs. Redundancy in airlocks allows one airlock to be repaired internally and externally whilst crew use the other airlock to exit and re-enter the station.

The fifth module, Rassvet, is primarily used for cargo storage and as a docking port for visiting spacecraft.

If the remaining portion of the ISS has these in sufficient quantity it would mean no need to replace this.


Sorry for the collectively large post of information...

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#2 2015-02-27 22:36:31

SpaceNut
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Lets see if we can keep this topic focussed on the benifits of having two stations and or the loss of the reamining partners side not continuing after the modules are divide back up to there owners or could there be another option.

Russia's New ISS Module to Be Ready in Early 2016

"We will finish equipping the module in February 2016. Then the module will be transferred to [Russian rocket and space corporation] RSC Energia for final adjustments. After that, it will be ready to be launched and subsequently integrated into the international space station," Andrey Kalinovsky said.

The launch of module Nauka ("Science" in Russian) initially planned for 2007, has been repeatedly delayed.

Nauka will perform a range of functions including life-support, steering the ISS with an attached motor and docking with cargo vessels.

As meantioned with starting the topic here is the continue statements that :Russia to Build Its Own Orbital Station After 2024

Russia will continue using the International Space Station (ISS) until around 2024 and is planning to build its own orbital outpost using the existing ISS modules, Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said Tuesday.

"The configuration of a multi-purpose lab module, a docking module and a scientific-energy module allows us to build an orbital station to ensure Russia's access to outer space," Roscosmos Science and Technology Board said in a statement.

With of course the departing modules destine to go to there own parking location in LEO we would want to ask an imporatant question to all remaining partners..what are you going to do about it?

I would think we would start a list of what we need from these modules to supplement to forfill the functions via the removed 5 Russian modules.

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#3 2015-02-28 02:37:12

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

"Two stations"? What are you talking about? Breaking off the Russian segment? An expletive comes to mind. To be polite, I disagree entirely. Space has been the arena where the US and partners/allies such as Canada work cooperatively with this former rival. One purpose is to put aside petty geopolitics and work together for the betterment of all human-kind. Astronauts and cosmonauts have been able to do this. We need to continue.

Furthermore, America would not have been able to build a space station without Russia. There was long talks of Space Station Freedom, and other proposals. The problem was lack of certain key, necessary technology. America didn't have any docking mechanism that would allow a 100 tonne spacecraft to dock with a 100 tonne space station without crashing. Or allow two station modules to dock. The only hatch America had was only able to dock an Apollo CSM to Apollo LM. But the Russians had built Mir. They had perfected a technology to do that. Their docking mechanism included a shock absorber, latches, and mechanism to bring the modules together after soft capture to provide a "hard dock" for an air-tight seal. And America had no recycling life support system. All American spacecraft, and Skylab, used bottle oxygen and lithium hydroxide to remove CO2. That's all, no recycling technology at all. You could comment that NASA built their own for the American side of the station, and added a Sabatier Reactor which improves on Russian technology, but it started with Russian technology. I have argued that a mission to Mars should use life support based on that on ISS, but also remember that evolved from Russian technology. Give credit where credit is due.

I also argue to that America should not depend on Russia to send American astronauts to ISS. So crew Dragon and CST-100 are necessary, as well as CRS Dragon and Cygnus for cargo resupply ships. But that's entirely different than cutting loose Russian segments.

Boeing has proposed building a new space station called Gateway, at Earth-Moon L2. That's above the magnetosphere, so full radiation of space. That's a very bad idea, both in terms of fuel to reach it and radiation. Some have proposed building various alternate space stations to replace ISS, but construction of ISS plus missions to it and operation add up to a total of $100 billion. That's a hell of a lot of money, and any new station would cost even more. Yes, more. The "Old Space" contractors will ensure any new one costs more. So from a perspective of money, just use what you got. Some complain that ISS is in the wrong orbit, but NASA documents from 1968 state they intended to build a space station and hoped to invite allies to join them to form an international space station, which would be at 400km altitude and 50° inclination. ISS new varies from 410km to 390km altitude (you could look up exceptions above or below if you want, but that's normal operation), and 51.6° inclination. So the only concession to Russia was to increase inclination by 1.6°. That's nothing.

My point is replacing or radically altering ISS is wrong. Instead focus on Mars.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2015-02-28 09:40:09)

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#4 2015-02-28 13:47:23

SpaceNut
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Russia has been indicatiang that it wants to take its modules and go its own way with them. As you noted the draw backs are to the partners and destination mars for all. I too do disagree with any chance that we would break the station up into whom owns it as the concequences are huge. One could only hope that the partners would still be allowed to travel to any new Russian station and that Russian would be still allowed to remain a partner for the remaining ISS portion if still there.

My concern is that the partners would be able to add the correct additional modules capabilities to replace those lost by removal of the Russian owned units. The US and Partners should be in a quick design review and probable construction mode for the eventual need to replace them. In the long term we should also be looking to build replacements for those modules that will eventually be deemed to old to keep using as we do not want to be spending all our time fixing it in the end. Repalcement is a better option.

Yes, With out the Russian technnology some of what we call the ISS would as you noted would not have been possible as the US had fallen back behind, in space technology regardless of our place in the world national stance. I do agreee that going with a new Boeing atation at L2 without radiational protection is a huge mistake if we stay for any amount of time.

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#5 2015-02-28 14:34:13

kbd512
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Posts: 1,135

Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

After decades of operations conducted at multiple space stations, is there still a lot of critical science work that must be performed at a space station in LEO in order to advance human space flight activities required for a Mars mission?

We could use ISS for closed loop ECLSS experiments, but that's about it.  ISS will never be used as a staging point for future manned exploration missions because there's no mission benefits, as far as I am aware, to going to the station first.  What would it matter if all partners involved wanted to bring the station down in 2024?

Is ISS merely a destination for astronauts/cosmonauts to go to to maintain the appearance of doing something necessary or relevant for future manned space exploration missions or is the platform critical path for NASA's stated manned space exploration objectives?

In order to gain experience required for future long duration deep space missions, sooner or later we're going to have to actually build and test deep space habitats, radiation mitigation technologies, and advanced propulsion systems.  We're not going to do any of that aboard ISS.

With or without international cooperation, ISS is an enormous funding suck and isn't advancing our manned space exploration capabilities.  ISS could have been many things, but thus far it has been an orbital construction project and microgravity exposure experiment and little else.  If the Russians are serious about further manned space exploration, they likely see ISS in the same light.  There's a political component to it, but from a practical perspective maintaining ISS won't advance any manned space exploration objectives.

The only option that's viable for future manned space exploration is to design, built, and test a new class of space exploration habitat capable of long duration missions.  This could be viewed as a deep space transit habitat or space station.  I guess it all depends on what type of propulsion module is connected to it.  Russia is moving on to space exploration and science objectives that are of interest to them and I think we, and our international partners, should do the same.  If our space exploration objectives coincide, then cooperation is mutually beneficial.

I think getting rid of the ISS maintenance task is beneficial to all involved.  If US and/or foreign companies find benefit in maintaining the space station, that's fine.  If the Russians want their modules back, give them their modules back.  The future of manned space exploration does not depend on Russian ISS modules.

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#6 2015-02-28 14:57:52

RobertDyck
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Zvezda is the primary Russian module. NASA calls it the Russian service module. I read a web interview with a Russian cosmonaut who said the Russian engineer who designed it calls it the core module. After all, it was designed to be the Mir-2 core module. It has crew accommodations and life support for 3 crew members on the Russian side. But most importantly it has orientation gyros, thrusters for orientation and staying in orbit, and propellant tanks that can be refilled. Russia developed on-orbit propellant transfer with one of the Salyut stations, Mir and Russian modules of ISS have them today. NASA has never developed on-orbit propellant transfer.

Zarya is the "Functional Cargo Block"; it was designed, built, and launched by Russia, but NASA ended up paying for it. So although it's part of the Russian side, it's technically NASA's. Zarya also has gyros, thrusters, tanks, and a propellant transfer port. However, thrusters have been permanently disabled since Zvezda was attached. Now Zarya is used for propellant storage. I'm not sure, but I think the nadir port of the docking sphere has the propellant transfer ports. I know the aft axial port does, where Zvezda is attached. That's how they transfer propellant between modules. But it's designed for a Russian Progress cargo ship. The European ATV carried UDMH/N2O4 propellant, and a Russian style docking hatch. It docked to the Zvezda aft port. If Russia "took their ball and went home", then NASA could ask ESA to build another ATV to refuel Zarya.

Note: the ATV service module used MMH/N2O4 like the Shuttle RCS and OMS thrusters, but propellant transferred to ISS was UDMH/N2O4 like the Apollo service module. That's because Russian modules need UDMH/N2O4. And Orion has an ATV service module.

Losing Russian modules would reduce ISS crew capability from 6 to 3. But I don't think Russia is serious about that.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2015-02-28 15:20:47)

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#7 2015-02-28 15:05:23

RobertDyck
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

kbd512 wrote:

After decades of operations conducted at multiple space stations, is there still a lot of critical science work that must be performed at a space station in LEO in order to advance human space flight activities required for a Mars mission?

We could use ISS for closed loop ECLSS experiments, but that's about it.

Yea, that's the one. I have argued we need to test life support for the full duration of a Mars mission. Can we operate ISS for 26 or 28.5 months without any cargo resupply? A Mars mission won't get resupply.

But there is a crucial use for ISS. Park the reusable interplanetary deep space craft at ISS. You can use ISS as a construction shack for on-orbit assembly, and a service location for repair/resupply. We already have multiple vehicles able to service ISS, so once the deep space vehicle is parked there, that's your "bus terminal".

And never forget, Mars Society members strongly argued to decommission Shuttle with the belief that would free funds for Mars. Now we have no Shuttle, but no funds for Mars either. All loss, no gain. The same would be true of ISS.

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#8 2015-02-28 15:13:06

SpaceNut
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

The only other benefit that I could see of having 2 stations in orbit that still have mutural cooperations is that it can allow more people to go to orbit, possibly lower launch costs per launcher and create a supply chain demand that is not as low as a single station which would generate possibly more interest in space. Of course with the opening of another science port to do work in, one needs to ask when are we going to comercialize there use for LEO docking of components to make the vehicles to allow for missions to new locations to begin.

Last I knew the ISS system was still not functioning and has had nothing but troublr running.

Here is an image from the 2020 rover for insitu use which is part of any life support:

Mars-2020-NASA-MOXIE-Carbon-Oxygen-br2.jpg

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#9 2015-02-28 16:09:47

GW Johnson
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

What's completely forgotten in this conversation is wear-out.  Which is not the same as obsolescence!  Wear-out is fundamentally why shuttle was retired somewhat prematurely.  If we (all of us humans) want a space station for any purposes at all past about 2025,  we'll definitely need another one.  This one will become unrepairable the same way shuttle was headed,  and that is very dangerous to crews! 

The next space station ought to experiment with artificial gravity as its primary reason-to-be (something this one should have,  and did not).  That eliminates at one fell swoop about 2/3 to 3/4 of the medical/health worries for going to Mars (or even the main asteroid belt) with men (or women).  Further,  it ought to be powered such that movement to different orbits is also possible.  That essentially becomes experimentation with a manned orbit-to-orbit transport craft,  too.  A single craft like that could take men on many missions to multiple destinations,  a good way to amortize costs. 

Forget government space programs doing this.  They're not going anywhere any time soon.  If NASA goes to Mars with men,  which is not a likely prospect at all,  they will mount one and only one mission.  The whole shmear will be cancelled after the first landing,  similar to Apollo,  if they ever go at all. 

So,  watch for visionary private entities like Bigelow and Spacex to do space stations and manned deep space missions.  And probably starting sooner than 2025.  And I'm not talking about one-way suicide missions as that Mars One stuff appears to be. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#10 2015-02-28 16:30:59

RobertDyck
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Ok, so push Congress to fund one and only one human mission to Mars. As a justification for SLS. But ensure they build a permanent human base on Mars with that one mission. So then SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Bigelow, etc. could send humans to that base. This becomes especially easy if you have a reusable deep space craft parked at ISS.

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#11 2015-02-28 17:37:49

kbd512
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Congress isn't interested in a Mars mission.  Their interests lie firmly in how much of the federal budget they can win for their districts.  If you're interested in a sustainable heavy lift capability, you don't use the most expensive and complicated hardware ever devised to replicate the capability of existing hardware that was intended for that purpose.  If SpaceX doesn't come up with a functional equivalent to Saturn V that costs less than SLS to operate, we're not going to Mars within our lifetimes.

Even if we just approach this from the perspective of what would most easily and affordably maintain our ability to commute to ISS, funding three different systems doesn't make any sense.  We don't need Cygnus, CST-100, Dragon, and Orion to transport personnel and supplies to ISS.  The good ideas need to be separated from economically viable ideas.

The Skylab II concept from Gray Research Inc is the closest thing I've seen to what NASA actually requires for deep space transit.  If we weren't spending three billion a year on ISS, we might have enough funding for a next generation space station / deep space transit habitat.  If NASA is at all serious about space exploration, it has every incentive to kill ISS funding.  However, they're trying to artificially create demand for spacecraft and launch systems where there isn't any by forking over fast sums of money to multiple service providers.  At some point, NASA is going to have to prioritize funding if they don't want to be stuck in LEO for the foreseeable future.

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#12 2015-02-28 17:55:55

kbd512
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Succinctly, if we want to reconfigure ISS to incorporate technologies required for space exploration, like artificial gravity, active radiation shielding, closed loop ECLSS, ROSA and SEP for station keeping, SEP tugs to haul space junk back to ISS, and adding a manufacturing and repair facility to repurpose the space junk, then ISS and commercial space flight programs have a reason to exist.  If not, we're just throwing money at ISS maintenance and supply.

Getting rid of the old Russian modules will force us to come up with our own solutions to replace the few capabilities lost when they leave and is a step in the right direction.

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#13 2015-02-28 20:04:44

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
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Posts: 4,993
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

It's my experience when you try to "force" anything by eliminating current whatever, nothing is forced, instead all you get is destruction. Russian modules are required for station keeping. They're the only thrusters, and only orientation system on the station. Stop trying to destroy, instead build up by adding to what is there now.

And for God sake, stop the attitude of "everything American is good, everything Russian is bad". That's arrogant and offensive. The station only exists because of what Russia brought to it. NASA learned a lot from Russia, and still has more to learn. It's been a couple years since I talked to that one Boeing engineer about on-orbit propellant transfer, but she just argued how "hard" it is. Blathering on about residue. No progress has been made at all. But look what Europeans did: they just copied the Russian system.

Lifting bodies: America designed the X-20 Dyna-Soar. Then Russia developed Spiral, to compete with Dyna-Soar. Then America developed X-24A, M2-F3, and HL-10. That was the best American engineers could do, they hit a wall. Then Russia developed the BOR-4, based on Spiral. Then Australian intelligence & CIA got detailed information of BOR-4. Then American engineers developed HL-20, based on BOR-4. Each time engineers from one country develop as far as they can, then hit a wall. Then engineers in the other country learn what they did, and take it to the next level. This ratchets up technology. We all benefit from work of both countries.

In detail: NASA has demonstrated that when faced with a crisis, they respond very slowly. NASA has become bureaucracy. When building the Shuttle, they mothballed Saturn V and Saturn 1B. Shuttle development was taking too long, and consuming too much money. Remember Nixon had drastically slashed their budget. Skylab was in a decaying orbit, needed reboost soon. NASA could have used Saturn 1B to launch a reboost rocket stage (there was discussion of that at the time), but that would take engineers and money off Shuttle, and distract from their great project. So they chose to "burn the ships", taking a metaphor from an invasion by Ancient Rome in Britannia (55 BC?), and again in 1519 AD the Spanish conquistador Cortés in America. NASA announced both Saturn launch vehicles were decommissioned, committed everything to Shuttle. The result was Skylab fell out of orbit, uncontrolled de-orbit with debris falling on the outback of Australia.
With NASA: forced commitment = destruction

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#14 2015-02-28 21:17:52

kbd512
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Right now one of the Russian modules is required for station keeping.  NASA has been tasked by our president with developing advanced propulsion technology for space exploration.  There's no reason why this same technology can't be used on ISS for station keeping.  If anything, it reduces the mass of propellant required for station keeping and upgrades its power generation capabilities.  If we're going to insist on maintaining ISS, why not do it in as economical fashion as practical and simultaneously test tech required for exploration?

I've never said or thought that anything Russian is bad.  In my mind, the Russians are imminently practical and come up with simple ways of doing complicated things that show true ingenuity.  However, their internal system of governance has been at odds with ours for decades and that's not likely to change in the future.  Unfortunately, that means that we have to come up with ways of making our own tech work if we're not able to rely on them as equal partners in our space exploration endeavors.  I would like nothing more than to see both of our nations set aside their differences when it comes to space exploration.  Reality says that that might not continue.

If NASA wants to lose ISS rather than come up with ways of making it work using American or European hardware, that's their prerogative.  If they can't respond effectively in a timely manner to requirements for station keeping tasks, how could they possibly do something significantly more complicated like mounting a manned mission to Mars?  Absolute perfection isn't required for every single task and NASA needs to learn the meaning of "good enough".

NASA had decades to work towards replacement of STS and produced a lot of nothing.  A few good ideas, a mountain of bureaucracy, and a dash of propaganda don't amount to an effective and sustainable space exploration program.

Regarding burning the ships, NASA destroyed the STS infrastructure.  There was no compelling reason to dismantle all the infrastructure that made STS work, however poorly, especially given the insistence on using STS hardware for SLS.  The only way using STS hardware for SLS makes a little bit of sense is if the two programs are operated in conjunction with each other.  Unsurprisingly, there's no budget for that because we have make-work projects like ISS to suck funding and we have our prime contractors on cost plus contracts to de-incentivize on-time and within-budget delivery.

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#15 2015-02-28 21:33:36

SpaceNut
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

So when do we call it wear-out when things are not made to last but use of an item that has limited testing time that is rushed into service before it can be given the complete endurance testing before implementing. This is were we get into the difference between manufacturing and being dependable forever. The typical manufactured item is made for a year or so and then is stop being produced with the parts maybe still in stock 5 to 7 years later for repair of the item at best. This is were we call the process planned obsolescence.

So a space station that is on that sort of cycle is never going to be state of art but hardened for dependability that usually is old tech that is more analog than digital in nature. It is only lately that the digital work has started to become more dependable but it still has its draw backs.

That said getting a station to have parts that can last long enough to be used for a greater period of time is what we need to look at when creating a new design.

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#16 2015-02-28 22:05:14

RobertDyck
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Actually, the company that makes VASIMR has been given a contract to produce thrusters for ISS. Not moving very quickly, though. The most "pie in the sky" propulsion technology that's actually getting funding. Anything more fanciful isn't getting any funding at all.

I wouldn't call ISS "make work". However, Orion is. But as Robert Zubrin pointed out, justification for SLS is Orion. If you want SLS for Mars Direct (he does) then Orion is the gimmick to get it done. I would dearly like to kill Orion, but he has a point.

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#17 2015-02-28 22:49:06

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

There was nothing "worn out" about STS except for all the excuses and failures to provide a more economical and capable replacement or complementary capabilities like SLS.

As I've stated in another thread, funds could have been devoted to upgrading the avionics and ECLSS for STS and automated methods for repairing or replacing the STS TPS could have been developed.  Congress could have mandated that the components for STS and SLS be manufactured and assembled in one location.  Those simple cost saving measures never materialized because there was no economic incentive on the part of the contractors to do so and there's no political support because everyone wants a piece of the pie.  There's simply no good reason why a partially reusable spacecraft had to cost so much.  It was an entirely contrived aspect of the program.  If Congress wanted to dictate something to NASA that made sense, that made all the sense in the world from an economic standpoint.

There's also no reason why ISS should have cost $100B.  Something akin to SLS should have been in development with STS, using common hardware.  The 5 segment boosters and ATK's proposed Dark Knight boosters contribute very little to the actual performance of SLS, but cost billions to develop.  If even the slightest amount of practicality was applied to the SLS development program, a 5 engined core stage would have been developed and a more energetic propellant used in the same basic SRM design utilized by STS.

STS had one capability that capsule systems lack- the ability to return with sizable and heavy cargo.  If SLS was not designed to return the expensive RS-25's for refurbishment and reuse, then a STS flight should have accompanied every SLS flight to retrieve the hardware.  At $72M a pop, they're too expensive to dump in the ocean after less than ten minutes of use.

If SLS was available to construct ISS with, it would not cost $100B.  ISS has been durable enough to remain on orbit for more than a decade.  The MDM's on ISS have only been replaced once and upgraded once, that I know of.  The Apollo, Saturn V, and Skylab programs incorporated analog and mechanical systems for control purposes.  In short, analog and mechanical methods of systems control are heavy and less capable than digital systems.

We've yet to test a high reliability, fault-tolerant closed loop ECLSS subsystem or artificial gravity generation aboard ISS.  I'm starting to think that that's never going to happen, so why not bring it down when Russia is ready to take back their station modules to save money and start development work on Skylab II?  If it were up to me, I'd bring it down today.

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#18 2015-02-28 23:09:48

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 1,135

Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Exactly, Rob.  Orion is an egregiously expensive gimmick that serves no space exploration purpose.

If SLS can't get it's payload to orbit with two stages, its design is also an egregiously expensive gimmick.

We can only afford so many gimmicks and still have funding for the technologies required to get to Mars.

ISS will never serve any broader purpose as long as current ways of doing things prevail.

As long as NASA is applying the scorched earth methodology to the development of space exploration technology, ISS is the next logical thing for them to destroy.

I look forward to the day when ISS is literally transformed into the inferno for taxpayer money that it has always figuratively been.

Let's not waste any more time worrying about how we can salvage something we were never using to its potential to begin with.

Whether sensible or not, out with the "old" and in with the "new".

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#19 2015-02-28 23:56:16

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 4,993
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

NASA has added Sabatier to life support. That's a major improvement. I have argued to add direct CO2 electrolysis, for the CO2 not used by Sabatier. Methane pyrolysis sounds like a good idea too; so test it on ISS. The urine processing system failed less than a year ago, let them fix it. I have also argued to let the Russians replace the toilet on Zvezda with the vacuum desiccator toilet they designed for that module before it was launched. NASA demanded they remove it before launch, claiming plumbing was too complicated. I bet they regret that decision now. The Advanced Life Support Project at the Johnson Space Center used an incinerator toilet, so I suggested NASA develop a toilet with built-in electro-resistive oven to do the same job. Install both toilets on ISS, and make it an engineering competition reality TV show. Who can make the best toilet? The water processor on the American side is supposed to be able to handle wash water right now, so install a zero-G sink and shower like Skylab to collect wash water. And develop a clothes washer/dryer laundry machine, like an RV laundry machine, but also designed for zero-G. The laundry machine would probably need 2 drums: outer drum for centrifugal force / artificial gravity, inner drum to act as front loading washing machine. Get all this to work reliably, and you have life support for Mars.

NASA designed a US habitation module. Then after the hull was manufactured (millions of dollars), they wanted to throw it out and replace with TransHab. Congress had a fit at the idea of throwing out something that expensive. So Congress cancelled the US hab. Many years later they were finally allowed to convert the hull for the hab into node 3, and install life support & crew accommodations. But that means it only started relatively recently. Let them finish the work, develop life support good enough for Mars.

And NASA designed a centrifuge accommodation module for ISS. Then cancelled it. Then Italy paid for it, and Japan built it. It was complete and waiting at KSC for launch. There was one Shuttle ET left, with no backup. Some at NASA argued to launch Shuttle one last time to deliver the centrifuge module. But with no rescue backup, Obama didn't allow it. That module is now an outdoor museum piece in Japan. >:(

I had suggested using Russia's Buran shuttle to launch it. Buran would require Energia. NASA contacted Russia in 1994 about using Energia; at that time it would have cost between $60 million and $100 million US dollars to restore infrastructure, plus $120 million per launch including the EUS upper stage. Buran would have cost a bit more. But an accident at Baikonur destroyed the vehicle assembly building roof, and the Buran orbiter on April 25, 2002. I considered asking Canada to pay for restoration of infrastructure, and rebuilding the building roof. The Ptichka orbiter was still intact. When Shuttle was decommissioned, the CanadArm from Endeavour was returned to Canada. We could offer that to Ptichka if they would install the centrifuge module. I also wanted the Russian SPP solar panels, for additional power for the centrifuge module. Get it past parliament by asking Russia to launch 2 Canadian satellites on Proton rockets; apply 90% of the fee to restoring infrastructure for Energia. Then Ptichka was sold to a South African company; they dismantled the flight deck, left parts there but dismantled, and scratched heat shield tiles so badly that they would all have to be replaced. No way Canada would pay a cent to fix that. And now Russia invaded Ukraine; no way as long as that's going on.

Once Crew Dragon is flying, could one American Shuttle be re-assembled, used to launch the centrifuge module? With Dragon waiting as a rescue craft? America still has 2 CanadArms. Any way to fly just one more time?

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#20 2015-03-01 00:13:31

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,527

Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

The launch pad for shuttle has last I knew been used to make the new crawler possible for sls but I wonder if it could be altered to accomidate a shuttle flight. So the question is what was done to the shuttle to decomission them? The ET would need to be redesigned since I am sure there are none remaining to make use of. It is sad to see all the ships that could have been all now gone.

That said we need to refocus on if ISS is to stay and we know how slow nasa is to make anything finding some way to push other companies to find a way to make modules to fill in for the ones that we would loss if Russia does pull out.

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#21 2015-03-01 00:47:18

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 1,135

Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

No, there's no way to support another STS mission.  The launch and recovery infrastructure has been destroyed or decommissioned.

If I had my way, all the orbiters would be taken from the museums, the avionics would be upgraded and structural enhancements made to the landing gear, and flight capability restored.  From there, the vehicles would simply be stored for future use.  Instead of paying lip service to having a contingency flight capability, we'd actually have hardware available for that purpose should the need arise.

There's no point in actually flying an orbiter if other less expensive vehicles are available for the same purpose.  STS should be used for high value cargo recovery only.

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#22 2015-03-01 17:28:19

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,527

Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Now that we have a no for any STS redux then we can refocus on the launchers that we currently have to use, with SLS in the near term possibility as well.

So lets target the 5 modules that we need replacements for post #6 by RobertDyck has 2(Zvezda,Zarya) of them even if we keep the orginal design or a modified version which could include VASIMR or other types of thrusters and other types of fuel to be part of research.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stati … gures.html

Zarya: First ISS Module

491264main_sts088719059_med_thum.jpg
Launch: Nov. 20, 1998

Vehicle: Russian Proton rocket

Function: Internal (cargo) and external (fuel) storage

Dimensions:
•Length — 12.56 m (41.2 ft)
•Diameter — 4.11 m (13.5 ft)
•Solar array length — 10.67 m (35.0 ft)
•Solar array width — 3.35 m (11.0 ft)
•Mass — 19,323 kg (42,600 lb)

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stati … embly.html
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stati … ments.html

This image is of a Soyuz, Zvezda, Zarya and the Unity Node

s106e5318_0.jpg

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#23 2015-03-01 21:07:42

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 4,993
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

The Centrifuge Accommodation Module does not have thrusters for self-assembly. It was designed to be delivered by Shuttle. I pointed out it could be delivered by a Russian shuttle. SpaceX Dragon cannot deliver it. European ATV might, if you attach just the service module to the Centrifuge Accommodation Module. Add a grapple post so the station arm can grab it like Dragon.

This is important, because it's needed for ISS to do the research it was intended for. And because you don't have to worry about Russian modules. As I said, America owns Zarya, so if Russia decided to detach their modules, Zarya would stay. Removing Zvezda would reduce crew from 6 to 3, but the only other functions of the Russia modules can be done by Zarya. Get the Europeans to build a full ATV to deliver propellant to Zarya, and you're done.

Other Russian modules: Pirs and Poisk are airlocks. You can use the American Quest airlock instead. Poisk is also known as Mini-Research Module 2. But if Russia leaves, who cares what research they did in that airlock? Pirs was removed and de-orbited by a Progress cargo spacecraft, to make room for the Russian science module. Rassvet is Mini-Research Module 1, primarily used for cargo storage and to dock Soyuz spacecraft. Again, if Russia leaves then we won't need an extra Soyuz docking hatch. ISS would be reduced to just the 2 hatches on Zarya: the nadir port on the sphere, and aft axial port. That's enough. Nauka is the Russia science module. Mostly, if Russia leaves, we don't need it. It will have additional life support and attitude control. Nauka was scheduled to be delivered to ISS in 2014, but has been postponed to 2017; so it isn't even there now. Uzlovoy also known as Node 4, is a connection for the Russia science module. Uzlovoy is scheduled for launch in 2016. Science Power Modules 1 & 2, would connect to Uzlovoy. They will provide power to the Russia science module. They haven't been launched either.

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#24 2015-03-01 21:20:59

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 4,993
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Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Orbital Piloted Assembly and Experiment Complex

This is the Russia space station that SpaceNut is talking about. According to Wikipedia, the plan is when America de-orbits its parts of ISS, the Russian parts will simply remain. The Russian Orbital Segment will simply become OPSEK: "Orbital Piloted Assembly and Experiment Complex".

Here is the current Russian Orbital Segment: (click image for larger view)
400px-Russian_Orbital_Segment.png

Here is proposed OPSEK:
Proposed_OPSEK.jpg

This doesn't sound like we need to plan for Russia to take their modules.

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#25 2015-03-01 21:37:18

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,527

Re: 202*? and then there might be 2 stations in LEO

Thanks, I see some pretty new artwork for what they propose.

So we would want to duplicate the function of the Zvezda Service Module as cutting the crew down 3 would mean very little science would be done as they would be busy fixing the station after a period of time.

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