International Space Station to be decommissioned in 2020?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by C.E. Evans, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Why was it put in that orbit? I mean at that distance. I know it was only meant to last until 2015 at the outside but why that distance?
     
  2. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    I see you didn't actually read any of the posts in this thread.
     
  3. RobertVA

    RobertVA Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not going to claim to be able to do all the math involved, but I am aware of some issues some others apparently aren't aware of:

    • The higher orbit the more propellant it takes to reach that orbit and return to Earth from that orbit. The practical result often translates into an inability to supplement already full tanks, thus the weight of the cargo (and or the module) must be reduced in order to reach that higher orbit. Since US shuttle participation was considered necessary the chosen altitude already precluded station visits by the heavier Columbia (ironically equipped with more/heavier re-entry thermal protection)
    • The station's orbit is at a significant angle to Earth's equator. To a great extent this is what prompts the brief "launch window"periods for spacecraft planning a visit. The visiting spacecraft needs to be launched as the Earth's rotation brings the launch site under the station's orbital plane (a few minutes twice a day). There are sometimes other constraints to launch opportunities like lighting (at launch and/or abort sites), weather and clearing shipping from areas where boosters will fall. If a spacecraft is in the wrong orbital plane it would take an enormous amount of propellant to change its orbital plane.
    • While there were some periods during early construction when the station was unattended for months at a time, I'm not sure it can still operate without crew on board to occasionally adjust and/or repair some of the equipment. I've heard some of the oxygen generation equipment is particularly delicate and not completely understood by currently available personnel.
     
  4. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I guessed a higher orbit was unattainable by the available servicing vehicles. I also assumed that an amalgamation of so many constituent parts from two decades would have a finite lifespan. That's why I'm impressed they are going for an extended 5 year operational timescale.
     
  5. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    Yeah, 2020 is actually good news but it's being spun as some kind of failure.
     
  6. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

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    You saw what you want to see.

    It is. The project just became a waste of tax payer dollars if the station doesn't accomplish it's goal. To have to construct another one to properly and effectively set up bases on the moon and Mars is exactly the kind of pork-barrel spending that was mentioned that killed NASA in the first place.

    I believe the real reason ISS is in the low orbit is both a consideration of easy access and and better protection from radiation.
     
  7. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    :rolleyes: Sorry, all you've posted here is a bunch of spin without any substance. Par for the course for your posts, I've noticed. You seem to be criticizing the ISS for not accomplishing missions it wasn't designed for in the first place.

    I am also upset that my car cannot drive across the Atlantic Ocean. Clearly, it is a failure as a vehicle.
     
  8. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    The ISS story is definitely a success story.
     
  9. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    The orbit chosen for ISS was a compromise between Russia and the U.S..

    Basically, it's one of the few orbits obtainable by both Soyuz and Shuttle. (with them still having adequate cargo mass)
     
  10. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

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    You don't have to be sorry for your opinion. It doesn't offend me in the least. Just don't expect me to share it. I have absolutely no power over your misconceptions and I don't really have a duty to correct them either. We all have our prejudices. Once Burned Twice Shy.

    And it's okay if you're upset about the lacking of your current automobile...next time get a better one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  11. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    I think the ISS is also the largest man-made object ever to orbit the Earth (and certainly the largest object to be constructed in Earth orbit so far). Definitely a mile-stone in engineering. Which results in valuable experience if we ever going to build further or even larger space stations in the future.

    (In a way, the Chinese plans are a step backwards because they're not planning anything which had already been achieved by the Soviet Union and the United States with Salyut/Skylab during the 70s.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  12. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    It isn't the goal of the ISS to set up bases on Moon or Mars. Its goal is to conduct scientific experiments in an microgravity environment (which admittedly sounds far less sexy, but that's how it is).

    Politically, the ISS had also the purpose of tying the Russian space program to the American one after the end of the Cold war.
     
  13. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

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    Lets not pretend Mars wasn't on the table.

    http://www.exploremars.org/issmars-1-press-release/

    http://news.discovery.com/space/mars-mission-simulation-space-station-110421.html

    http://www.friends-partners.org/partners/mwade/craft/spaedock.htm



    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2389241,00.asp

    That's not the first time either. My books dated 1990 that depict the full version of the ISS or Freedom and the Space Dock frame the Station as a crucial component for Mars transit and return for a low consumption voyage significantly cutting cost for the Mars and Moon Projects. I never said anything more than this..

    The misconception is that I made some sort of statement on the ISS's Mission. Reiterating: prejudices against negative comments about NASA and the legitimacy of it's projects are usually not well received. But I give you credit for going further than Maxwell did not deriding what you didn't understand. That's how conversation works.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  14. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^The ISS as built was never intended to help "setup bases on the moon or mars".

    Your first link is by a private organization with no say in the ISS.

    Your second link refers to simulating the effects on the astronauts of a journey to mars - physiologically.

    Your third link is from 1988 of a concept that was never built.

    My books date back to the Apollo program and none of them depict the ISS as built to be a crucial component for a Mars or moon mission.
     
  15. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

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    Didn't say it had to be official.

    That's not the point on this one. This is dated Apr of this year. They haven't done this yet and their mind set is that Station could help with the this research aswell.

    Aside from being obvious it doesn't contradict the intent for which I posted. NASA (among others) was the primary consultant for the entire series. And this sort of derails your objections because if all the station was meant to do is provide as a research platform and not be the gateway to solar system and beyond then then it really is step down from what NASA accomplished in the 70's. A joke in other words. Billions of dollar just to do research that could have been done by a space shuttle.

    Regardless of the technologies and methods learned (which are few) this is the epitome of "pork barrel spending". And I sense you guys don't know what that is. Pork barrel is a derogatory term referring to appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district.

    Connect the dots.
    1.Canceled X-Planes: X-30, X-33-, X-34,X-37, X-38, X-40, X-43, Delta Clipper

    2. 2 Shuttle Disasters

    3. Cancellation of the Shuttle program without a replacement.

    4. In 2002, the aerospace industry accounted for $95 billion of economic activity in the United States, including $23.5 billion in employee earnings dispersed among some 576,000 employees

    5. 790 Billion dollars of expenditure over 50 years and one miles stone of manned exploration.

    It seems NASA is strictly a Conservative National Employment effort. That gets little done with an excessive amount of money (whether or not its their fault or the administration)

    ...and that invalidates NASA's concept drawings that are more updated? Your point is vague, please explain the significance of your opposition to NASA's own perceptions.
     
  16. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    If our country continues along its projected trajectory into a debt-laden, despotic backwater, a Burkina Faso with cable (Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone Magazine), I think the ISS will be seen as the last great construction project of our country by future historians.

    In my home state of California, the eastern span of the Bay Bridge, damaged by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, is being replaced. This replacement span was built in China, shipped on a freighter ship, and, like a Lego set, assembled here. If we can't even build a portion of a bridge, how are we going to build a space fleet, let alone a space station? And if we continue to alienate our friends with our idiocy, and our currency does become crap, who will want to enter into a partnership with us?
     
  17. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    It does in the context of your argument that the ISS was intended to be used as a stepping stone and crucial part of a mars mission.
    So, then it is contributing to mars research? that goes against your argument then.
    So, your changing your argument from the ISS not living up to it's role "as a crucial step in a mars mission" to "NASA is a joke"? Fine, we can change subjects if you like.
    Soryy, me am stupid. not know what prok barrel mean.

    Saquist, don't be insulting. You're not the only person that has read a newspaper.

    Note, the following "dots" follow the "NASA is a joke" argument and share no context with th ISS's mission
    The above "dot" relates to the entire aerospace industry and is not indicative of NASA spending.
    Only one?? Really? You have a poor memory.
    The significance in this case refers to the depth of knowledge on the subject. My collection starts in the 70's and has continued to grow.
     
  18. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

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    The intent was already proven through NASA's projections of future ventures.

    No it's in favor of your argument that research apparently worthy of loose spending practices. But it does confirm that this has not happened yet and EVEN THIS GOAL for Mars research hasn't occurred and was INTENDED. GOAL not achieved.

    The arguement has always been the same.
    NASA is not getting the job done.

    That was not my intent. I was merely setting the definition for the sake of accuracy as is my practice.

    Reitteration: The Argument (or more properly: The CLAIM is that NASA represents a meandering, financially, superflous organization that has done little or nothing at excessive cost for the last 40 years.

    The ISS Mission:

    As a product of NASA's excess spending the de-orbiting of the station would represent a massive loss to tax payers. It's has been and will be thoroughly criticized for it's high cost in assembly and maintenance and then of course having to eventually build another later.

    4th "DOT" as it were:

    NASA has shared joint research on all of these projects. The aerospace firms shared a partnership in the research in order to shoulder the financial burden. NONE of those projects to progress space travel or stream line space travel have come to practical application in 40 years. One miles stone... Scrutiny is inevitable.

    Congratulations?
     
  19. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    These are opinions, not facts. You need to be honest about that.
     
  20. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Whether the station has been a massive waste of money or not, using that to find a fault in de-orbiting it would be a sunk cost fallacy.

    Even if the mission didn't fulfil its stated goals, its intended goals, somebody's fantasy goals, even if we did not take advantage of its inherent utilities, that doesn't mean that the mission hasn't been worthwhile, doing wonders for human experience in space and showing what a human is capable of doing. You don't have to do everything you intend, everything you can and everything you want to say something has been worth it.

    We can do more with less, and NASA isn't the most effective thing out here, but you can also do less with less, and I somehow prefer to do more with more.