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Author Topic:   Not Quite Marooned, but...
posted 02-09-2003 03:56 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The night sky over Belfast was perfectly clear tonight and I watched the ISS fly over at about 7.20pm GMT. How things have changed since I last saw the station! While the loss of the Columbia crew remains uppermost in our minds, let's spare a thought for the ISS crew as they continue their (now open-ended) mission. I know they aren't actually marooned in space, and can be resupplied by Progress capsules, but their only realistic option for returning to Earth is in the Soyuz which is attached to the ISS. Are the two Americans trained to fly in a Suyuz? Is that a standard part of ISS training?


Posts: 224
From: Solihull, West Mids, England
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 02-09-2003 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robonaut   Click Here to Email Robonaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would be a bit daft to have a lifeboat that the crew were not trained to use. All ISS crew members are trained to use Soyuz spacecraft. It is part of the standard training. That aside Budarin is a very experienced Soyuz cosmonaut so there is no problem should it be decided that the current crew will return to Earth using the Soyuz.

What I do wonder is whether the next crew will travel to ISS using Soyuz TMA-2. If there is a lengthy delay in shuttle launches and the decision is made to keep ISS crewed they will have to.

Best wishes

Rob Wood

irish guy

Posts: 277
From: Kerry Ireland
Registered: Dec 2001

posted 02-09-2003 07:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for irish guy   Click Here to Email irish guy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, how things have changed since we last watched the station fly over Irish Skys.Tonight as I stood and watched her fly over for the first time since the tragedy
I felt so sad for the crew and the familys of the crew.I thought of the crew of STS 112,and it was people just like these that lost there lives and we met them in Edinburgh and how we spoke and laughed with them ,that special weekend.America did not deserve this,NASA did not deserve this,and the fine men and woman of the Astronaut Office certainly did not deserve this.I hope to god that the people who are searching for answers do not find that this could have been prevented like Challenger .There as been much talk about abandoning the shuttle program on this side of the ocean. Maybe Milt heflins words may come true and they just had a bad day.My thoughts go back to a CNNs coverage of a Shuttle launch last year when they brought in Astronaut Mike Bloomfield.Iam sure it was STS 112 launch.In it he tells the viewers how he was commander on his last journey into space,and as he was rocketing up the east coast of the United States he stole a glance out the window and saw the coast of North Carolina and the beaches of Kitty Hawk.It occured to him that only in his grandfathers lifetime, we were experimenting with plywood and bicycle chains and here he was in a space craft going from zero to 17500 in eight and a half minutes, I thought it was a inspiring remark up there, with one small step! Nasa made it look easy, that was their mistake!Far be it from me, living in the west of Ireland, to tell the people of America what to do,put please to not give up on your remakable flying machine, a machine, that on its tragic journey this month carried five Americans, of different backgrounds,black,indian and jewish, and formed them into one family on that noble mission.This to me is the greatest Triumph of Nasa and the space shuttle program.Maybe you might find some room for Irish Catholics and prodestants in the future.God bless America and the men and women of Nasa!

posted 02-10-2003 09:10 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With all due respect, there is training and there is training. Obviously, Budarin is fully capable of flying a Soyuz, but are U.S. astronauts who fly on the ISS trained sufficiently in the operation of Soyuz to return to Earth in a Soyuz in anything other than an emergency evacuation? Say, for instance, NASA establishes that it will take another 9 months to get the next shuttle into space? Do the ISS crew wait it out? Assuming enough Progress and Soyuz launches to re-supply the ISS crew, at what point does the option of coming down in the Soyuz become preferable to staying up any longer? Perhaps this hasn't been properly addressed yet, but it will eventually have to be.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-10-2003 09:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Every ISS crew trains for landing in a Soyuz prior to launch. Bowersox, Pettit and Budarin are all qualified to make a landing in such.

We already have some insight into what NASA is considering in regards to the ISS (from a recent status report):

"Due to the potential water limitation on board, one of numerous options being studied by MCC-H and MCC-M mission planners assumes a two-man crew for the next Soyuz launch at end-April, to limit the station crew to two persons for a while. This eventuality, among else, requires prior feasibility evaluation of conducting a U.S. contingency EVA with two crewmembers without a third crewmember assisting in EMU (extravehicular mobility unit) donning/doffing, or other IV (intravehicular) support operations. Thus, a test of this option is being planned for next week for the ISS crew. We also need to study, with the crew, how station systems must be configured during a two-man spacewalk. [Moscow has much experience with two-man EVAs from space station Mir, in Russian Orlan suits. Similar experience for EMUs is lacking on the U.S. side.]"

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