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    Can the International Space Station Really Last Beyond 2020?


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    Can the International Space Station Really Last Beyond 2020? Empty Can the International Space Station Really Last Beyond 2020?

    Post  Carol Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:55 pm

    Can the International Space Station Really Last Beyond 2020? AHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzAwNy84NTUvb3JpZ2luYWwvaXNzLXBob3RvLmpwZw==
    Can the International Space Station Really Last Beyond 2020?

    While discussions are underway to extend the lifetime of the $100 billion-plus International Space Station beyond 2020, there is concern about the station's overall usefulness and price tag to operate, so much so the station may face a fiery demise in Earth's atmosphere at the end of the present decade.

    The NAC provides the NASA Administrator with counsel and advice on programs and issues of importance to the U.S. space agency.

    A space station in good shape

    Five different space organizations — NASA, Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and the space agencies of Europe, Canada and Japan — oversee the space station's daily operations for the many countries involved. There are currently six astronauts living on the station, including three Russians, two Americans and one Italian spaceflyer. They are the 36th crew of the orbiting lab.

    Construction of the station began in 1998 and is now, nearly 15 years later, largely complete. The first crew, Expedition 1, took up residence in November 2000, and the station has been crewed by rotating teams of astronauts and cosmonauts ever since.

    Chris Hadfield snapped this shot of a "bullet hole" created by a micrometeoroid or piece of space junk in one of the space station's solar arrays.

    During the recent meeting, William Gerstenmaier, NASA's Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, said space station component failure rates have been less than anticipated.

    "The hardware is looking pretty good overall," he said.

    But micrometeoroid and orbital debris hits to the station are still considered "a major risk," Gerstenmaier advised. Such strikes are being monitored closely, with a big survey recently performed to seek out evidence of impacts on the station's exterior hull, he said.

    While not alarming, there are quite a few hits to the station's huge, power-generation solar panels, Gerstenmaier said. "They look like a west Texas stop sign." [The Worst Space Debris Events of All Time]

    Space station survival in 2028 ?

    Concerning the attitude of the many space station partners about continuing operations through 2028, Gerstenmaier said: "I think this is probably an area where the U.S. is going to have to lead."

    The international partners "are still looking more for a positive, demonstratable return on investment," he added.

    For the United States, "we're seeing some benefits from station that the partners have not yet realized. They are doing more traditional kinds of research, in my words. So they are not quite seeing that return on investment. They still see the cost side," Gerstenmaier added. "The cost side is very easy to measure. The benefit side is not so easy to measure."

    Also at issue is whether an unraveling of the 15-nation partnership driving the space station program is afoot — a collaboration that is being viewed by cash-strapped countries as too costly and politically a hard-to-sell project.

    The overall health, utility, and longevity of the Earth-orbiting complex, as well as the willingness of nations to continue to take part in the program, were front-and-center topics during a July 29 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s (NAC) Human Exploration and Operations Committee. [Building the International Space Station (Photos)]

    Full article at link above:
    Falling Chinese Space Station Could Rain Fire On Europe
    ALERT!! Chinese Space Station to Crash Down on EUROPE ... and These Countries Are at Risk:  Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.

    The European Space Agency (ESA) has already narrowed down the possible crash sites for the Chinese ‘Tiangong-1’ space station, including several European nations, which is due to meet its fiery end early in 2018
    5 1/2 ton is expected to re-enter in a few months (January of March)
    Most space debri will burn up on re-entry.

    What is life?
    It is the flash of a firefly in the night, the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

    With deepest respect ~ Aloha & Mahalo, Carol

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