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  International Space Station: Plans post-2024 (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   International Space Station: Plans post-2024
Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-25-2018 08:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reports out this morning from The Verge and Wall Street Journal suggest that the administration may propose phasing out NASA's support for the International Space Station by 2025 as part of the White House's Fiscal Year 2019 budget request.
Any budget proposal from the Trump administration will also be subject to scrutiny and approval by Congress. But even announcing the intention to cancel ISS funding could send a signal to NASA's international partners that the US is no longer interested in continuing the program. Many of NASA's partners still have yet to decide if they'd like to continue working on the station beyond 2024.
NASA over the past year has talked about transitioning the United States' involvement in the space station to a commercial entity, though how that would be done or who that would be is yet to be seen.
The spending proposal also could spark opposition from U.S. lawmakers who have been demanding a detailed blueprint for shifting station function to private entities. NASA missed a December deadline to submit one.

The proposed budget is expected to earmark some $100 million in seed money for what NASA envisions will be private spaceships, corporate research and other nongovernmental activities in low-earth orbit.

Studies in recent years have confirmed the space station hardware could continue to support operations through at least 2028.
Many career agency engineers and managers favor extending station operations to 2028, so White House space and budget officials drafted parts of the proposal over their objections, according to one person familiar with the debate.
The White House proposal is intended to free up funds for lunar missions (a topic for another thread). The White House was scheduled to release its budget request on Feb. 5, but has delayed it to Feb. 12.

denali414
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posted 01-25-2018 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seems a lot of "cart before the horse" funding questions. I would think any commercial enterprise wants to piggyback (or rent) space/time, not be the "heavy lifter" of actually building/maintaining a low earth orbit station.

Maybe I'm wrong, but have not seen any of the companies that either make rockets to go to a station or companies that do the microlab studies want to actually fund their own private station.

cspg
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posted 01-25-2018 09:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can NASA operate two manned programs at the same time? The ISS and Orion missions? It would be like operating Apollo moon missions and Skylab. A budget increase to support the two would be necessary.

onesmallstep
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posted 01-25-2018 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, two manned programs have been run at the same time, either under development, training and/or orbital operations throughout NASA's history. At the end of Mercury, Gemini was coming on line; by 1966 plans were even made for a joint Gemini/Apollo flight until delays put a stop to that.

And the Apollo Applications Program (which became Skylab) began in the 60s, while Apollo was still flying. And shuttle supported building and staffing ISS (with two mission control centers) through 2011.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-25-2018 02:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) issued a statement in response to the reports:
If the administration plans to abruptly pull us out of the International Space Station in 2025, they're going to have a fight on their hands. Such a move would likely decimate Florida's blossoming commercial space industry, which is one of the reasons why Congress has directed NASA to look at extending the ISS to 2028 and to provide a plan to help scientists and researchers continue experimenting in low-Earth orbit beyond that.

SpaceAholic
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posted 01-25-2018 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Divesting ISS to commercial interests seems appropriate given limited resourcing, most of ISS original objectives have been realized coupled with the volume of companies ramping up to occupy LEO. NASA in-turn reorients predominately on expanding the deep space exploratory and technological bow wave. Hope Nelson looses this fight.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-25-2018 04:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nelson's and others' disagreement is not over turning over low Earth orbit operations to commercial entities, but providing sufficient time for the burgeoning industry to take hold. Everyone agrees that NASA should pivot to deep space; the question is one of timing.

Ronpur
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posted 01-26-2018 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought the previous administration was planning on ending ISS in 2024? Had this changed?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-26-2018 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The previous extension was announced as "to at least 2024." No end to the space station program was set.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-26-2018 09:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by denali414:
...have not seen any of the companies that ... want to actually fund their own private station.
Robert Bigelow, CEO of Bigelow Aerospace, issued a statement:
It doesn't have to be a zero-sum game. ISS operations should continue provided there are aggressive initiatives to use commercial platforms for human space operations in parallel with the continued use of the ISS until such time that NASA can safely relieve itself of the enormous financial burden.
Bigelow Aerospace provides the BEAM expandable module now at the space station and has proposed berthing its planned larger B330 module while it is being outfitted for on orbit operations.

denali414
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posted 01-27-2018 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for denali414   Click Here to Email denali414     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...until such time that NASA can safely relieve itself of the enormous financial burden.
And that is the crux of the situation — how to, as you said Robert, "pivot" the financial burden from NASA to the commercial enterprises.

Bigelow obviously wants government grants (aggressive initiatives) to help his and other companies defray the upfront costs of daily running of ISS until their commercial objectives can provide cash flow. That in my opinion is the hardest part of this — how to schedule and get competitive companies to share the cost of running ISS without NASA under some kind of payment schedule.

There are some very interesting and very profitable microgravity experiments in genomics and science going on now that companies would be willing to pay for — but how much and when is a very sticky issue.

garyd2831
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posted 01-27-2018 08:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garyd2831   Click Here to Email garyd2831     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have there been any plans in the works (MSFC design team) that would repurpose the ISS truss assembly? If the crew modules have a life expiration on them, does the truss also suffer from the same metallurgy fatigue? If so, is there a rate difference? I'm sure its shear mass with Earth's gravitational pulls along with is traveling orbit speed have an impact, just not sure how much.

Could the truss system be moved out of LEO by strap-on rocket assist and say be placed into lunar orbit for onward movement platform in the exploration of deep space?

I know this is a totally science fiction question, but I was wondering if anyone at NASA has actually through out the repurposing aspects if there are any?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-27-2018 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There have been studies on repurposing parts of the space station, though the focus has been mostly on the reuse of the more recently-launched modules, not the truss.

Logistically, it would require a lot of spacewalks, putting astronauts lives at increased risk, and would have to be done without the benefit of an independent robotic arm (such as the space shuttle's Canadarm, which served the purpose during assembly).

NASA's plans for a lunar orbital outpost (i.e. gateway) do not include a truss and instead of reusing modules already on orbit, the agency's commercial partners are looking at repurposing space station hardware still on the ground (such as the MPLM).

Even if one could deconstruct parts of the space station and use them elsewhere, it would not address the concern at hand: fostering and growing a commercial low Earth orbit industry such that it could stand on its own.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-04-2018 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congressman John Culberson, who chairs the subcommittee that appropriates for NASA, has a letter to the editor in today's Houston Chronicle where he states:
I want to reassure the scientists, engineers and astronauts at NASA that I will fully fund the International Space Station, and I will do everything in my power to keep the International Space Station flying as long as the safety engineers tell us it is feasible to do so.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-11-2018 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Trump administration is going forward with plans to stop funding the station after 2024, at least as called for in its FY2019 budget request to be released on Monday (Feb. 12). Per The Washington Post:
...it does not intend to abandon the orbiting laboratory altogether and is working on a transition plan that could turn the station over to the private sector, according to an internal NASA document obtained by The Washington Post.

"The decision to end direct federal support for the ISS in 2025 does not imply that the platform itself will be deorbited at that time — it is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform," the document states. "NASA will expand international and commercial partnerships over the next seven years in order to ensure continued human access to and presence in low Earth orbit."

In its budget request, to be released Monday, the administration would request $150 million in fiscal year 2019, with more in additional years "to enable the development and maturation of commercial entities and capabilities which will ensure that commercial successors to the ISS — potentially including elements of the ISS — are operational when they are needed."

oly
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posted 02-12-2018 01:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If this report is correct how much money will be pulled from the environmental and science areas of NASA that could be used to support the ISS in some way including cost share with private sector so that the manned spacecraft being developed by Boeing and SpaceX will have somewhere to fly to?

This seems to be that the possibility of the shuttle and Freedom space station all over again, where the US has a destination and no ship or a ship and no destination.

I believe that the ISS and a deep space habitat could provide better support for lunar and Mars missions, where crew fly to ISS on Dragon and transfer from ISS to deep space or the moon using Orion. This would save Orion launch costs and prevent expendable SLS rockets being dropped in the ocean, provide long duration Orion operations, allow crew change at lower cost, prolong low Earth orbit operations, allow many environmental and science missions to be done from ISS or Orion and give NASA experience with deeper space travel.

The ISS and deep space hab could act in a similar way to safe shelters in underground mining that would provide safe haven should an emergency happen say if another Apollo 13 type accident happens.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-12-2018 08:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The International Space Station's inclination is not conducive for beyond Earth orbit destinations. From a propellant perspective, it is better to launch from the ground directly to the moon (or some other Earth orbit rendezvous point) than to go first to the space station.

And the space station cannot be relocated to another inclination.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-18-2018 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot sent out this memo, "Moving Forward with the ISS and Beyond" to employees today:
At the Space Symposium in Colorado this week, I'm excited to continue sharing with the national and international space community NASA's progress and our path forward back to the Moon and destinations beyond.

In particular, I'm looking forward to continuing discussions we've already begun with our partners about the next phase of the International Space Station's life beyond 2024, when we plan to end direct government funding of it.

I want to assure everyone that our involvement with station is not planned to end abruptly or without thoughtful consideration of how to transition this amazing resource. The ISS team and all the astronauts who helped us build it have been delivering on the ISS' promise for more than two decades now, with incredible international labs, hundreds of experiments and use by many people who previously had no access to space, and perhaps most importantly as a great source of inspiration. I still can't get over the fact that a high school senior this year has never known a time when humans haven't been living and working in space. I want that to remain so as we build on that record every single year.

Late last month, we delivered to Congress a report as part of an action in the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 evaluating the ISS as a platform for research, deep space exploration, and low-Earth orbit (LEO) spaceflight in partnership with our international partners, and the commercial space sector. I hope you've all had a chance to take a look at the report.

As we begin our missions to the Moon and beyond in the coming years, NASA will continue to have a need in LEO for regular crewed operations, long-term technology and systems development and demonstrations, space and life sciences research, and opportunities for astrophysics, space, and Earth science research.

The report lays out the principles by which NASA and its stakeholders will ensure uninterrupted access to low-Earth orbit, including the continuity of human spaceflight, and a vibrant and competitive industrial base.

While the report reaffirms NASA's commitment to its international partnership for the space station, it also makes a commitment to seeking new partners in low-Earth orbit and beyond as NASA leads a coalition deeper into space. One reason we're starting the discussions now about the ISS beyond 2024 is so we have plenty of time to evaluate options and plan for a viable path forward. Ideally, we'd become one of many customers purchasing services from the ISS and other assets in low-Earth orbit by that time.

In the FY19 budget currently working through its annual process, there's $150 million for companies to submit proposals about what their interests might be in playing a part in the commercialization of the ISS.

Tests flights later this year of the systems of our industry partners to take astronauts to space will also be significant milestones on our road to the ongoing transformation of LEO and its essential contributions toward our overall strategy in space.

The ISS represents an unparalleled capability in human spaceflight that is increasing knowledge of engineering and physical sciences, biology, our home planet, and the universe through its hundreds of research and technology demonstrations. And, it provides the foundation for continuing human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit. I always say, that when we're back at the Moon and going farther, we need to look back and see a vibrant economy in LEO as the support that is helping us to get there and that will continue to transform life on Earth.

I want to thank the teams and crews of the ISS for the great work they continue to accomplish with this amazing orbiting laboratory. ISS is truly the cornerstone of our future human spaceflight journey!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-17-2018 07:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Testimony by NASA's Inspector General at a May 16 hearing provided new support to efforts by two senators to block plans to end funding of the International Space Station in 2025, reports SpaceNews.
At the hearing, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the space subcommittee, and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), ranking member of the full Senate Commerce Committee, reiterated their opposition to the proposal included in NASA's fiscal year 2019 budget request to end funding of the ISS in 2025 and transition to commercial facilities in low Earth orbit...

One of the hearing's two witnesses, NASA Inspector General Paul Martin, shared his concerns about the agency's ISS transition plans. He said his office is working on an audit of ISS operations and transition planning to be released in the next few weeks but provided a few observations from that work that undercut NASA's plans.

Martin said he was skeptical that there was a business case for commercialization of the station. "We question whether a sufficient business case exists under which private companies can create a self-sustaining and profit-making business using the ISS independent of significant government funding," he said. "The scant commercial interest shown in the station over its nearly 20 years of operation gives us pause about the agency's current plans."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-17-2018 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Charting the Future of a Commercial Space Marketplace

NASA has released a research announcement requesting proposals to study the future of human spaceflight commercialization in low-Earth orbit.

The research announcement solicits industry concepts detailing business plans and viability for habitable platforms, whether using the International Space Station or a separate free-flying structure, that would enable a space economy in low-Earth orbit in which NASA is one of many customers. Concepts should identify ways to stimulate demand for commercial low-Earth orbit services with a goal to sustain the space marketplace. Additionally, the study seeks industry input about the role of government and evolution of the space station in the process of transitioning U.S. human spaceflight activities to a non-governmental commercial human spaceflight enterprise in low-Earth orbit.

As described in its International Space Station Transition Report, NASA will continue to have a need in low-Earth orbit for regular crewed operations, long-term technology development and demonstrations, space and life sciences research, and opportunities for astrophysics, space, and Earth science research. Access to an orbital platform on which to conduct these activities will be key as NASA and its commercial and international partners prepare for crewed missions to the Moon and beyond.

Proposals are due in 30 days and should outline the technical concept as well as a business case and the evolving role of government. Participation in this solicitation is open to all categories of U.S. organizations, including industry, educational institutions and nonprofit institutions. NASA anticipates awarding multiple four-month, fixed priced contracts, not to exceed $1 million per award. Selection is expected to take place in July with the final reports delivered to NASA in the December timeframe.

NASA’s successful investment with a strong and continually growing U.S. space industry in low-Earth orbit allows the agency to focus on farther horizons as private companies continue successfully providing cargo resupply missions to low-Earth orbit and move purposefully toward once again launching astronauts from American soil. This commercial low-Earth orbit NASA Research Announcement is the next step in enabling a low-Earth orbit space marketplace.

oly
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posted 05-17-2018 09:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hopefully the comments given by John Glenn during the June 23, 2011 John H. Glenn Lecture in Space History, "An Evening with Two Mercury Astronauts," at the National Air and Space Museum regarding the ISS are given some consideration. His comments regarding customer usage, technology, education and America holding a technological lead still seem apt, It seems as shame to think that the ISS has been ephemeral.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-27-2018 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives space subcommittee, announced Sept. 26 that he is introducing legislation that would extend operations of the International Space Station to 2030, weeks after senators sought a similar extension, reports SpaceNews.
The text of the bill, designated H.R. 6910, was not immediately available. However, Babin said in his remarks that one provision of the bill would extend the existing authorization for operating the ISS from 2024 to 2030 unless a viable and less expensive commercial alternative was available sooner.

"As I've said before, the ISS is the crown jewel of America's human spaceflight program," he said. "Leadership in [low Earth orbit] returns tremendous economic benefits of space exploration to Earth."

... The proposed extension of the ISS to 2030 in the House bill mirrors language in the Space Frontier Act introduced in the Senate in July. That bill was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee Aug. 1 and awaits action by the full Senate.

oly
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posted 09-27-2018 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope something positive comes of this.

Headshot
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posted 10-02-2018 06:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am a bit confused by this bill. It authorizes ISS operations to continue until Sept. 30, 2030, but doesn't say anything about funding these operations. When does the funding authorization come into play? Will NASA's budget be appropriately increased, or will some other parts of the space program be gutted just to keep the ISS functioning?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-02-2018 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Appropriations are decided year-to-year. There is no current method for Congress to increase NASA's budget over an extended period.

If this bill (or one like it) passes and the space station is authorized for operations through 2030, then it becomes the responsibility of Congress to appropriate an annual budget to support such. Whether that involves increases or cuts is decided on an annual basis.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-03-2018 08:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The European Space Agency (ESA), JAXA and Roscosmos have expressed interest in extending the space station's operations beyond 2024, reports SpaceNews.
During an Oct. 1 press conference at the 69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) here, representatives of three ISS partner agencies said they were open to extending the station's operations to 2028 or 2030 in order to maximize the investment they've made in the facility as a platform for research and preparation for exploration activities beyond Earth orbit.

Jan Woerner, director general of the European Space Agency, said the issue could come up at the next triennial meeting of the ministers of ESA's member nations, scheduled for late 2019. "At the ministerial meeting next year, the ministerial council, I will propose to go on with ISS as well as the lunar Gateway," he said. "I believe that we will go on."

Hiroshi Yamakawa, president of the Japanese space agency JAXA, also emphasized the importance of making the most of the station. "I'd like to make the most of the present ISS," he said. "We have to maximize the output of the ISS. Whenever the deadline comes to the ISS, we would like to participate in the ISS and maximize output."

He added, though, that there was not a pressing need for Japan to decide on an ISS extension. "JAXA is requesting budgets annually, so I think in that sense JAXA is quite flexible."

Dmitry Loskutov, head of international relations at the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos, said Russia already expected an extension. "We anticipate the continued functioning until 2028 or 2030," he said.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-28-2019 07:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Gary Peters (D-MI) on Thursday (Feb. 27) introduced the Advancing Human Spaceflight Act, which in part would extend the International Space Station (ISS) through 2030.
International Space Station (ISS) Extension: The bill extends the authorization for the operation of the International Space Station from 2024 to 2030. This will help provide assurance to America’s international partners as well as commercial partners whose research conducted on the ISS routinely yields ground-breaking innovations to help the development of space technology as well as commercially-viable products on Earth. ISS extension means more launches to bring astronauts, experiments, and supplies to the ISS, which in turn means more business opportunities for the booming commercial space sector.

Post-ISS Transition Report: The bill requires NASA to develop a strategy for the retirement of ISS to ensure that there is a smooth transition to an eventual successor platform and submit this report to Congress. This report will help future Congresses make the best determination for how to continue a long-term human presence in space and avoid a lapse in long-term space facilities in low-Earth orbit or beyond.

SkyMan1958
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posted 04-20-2021 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Roscosmos has signaled that it may be pulling out of the International Space Station (ISS) in 2025. Here's a BBC article on it.
Russia's Roscosmos space agency says its agreement with international partners runs out in 2024. A decision on the ISS' future will then be made on the condition of its technical modules, which have "reached the end of their service life", and on Russia's plans for its own orbital service station.

"We can't risk the lives [of our cosmonauts]. The situation that today is connected to the structure and the metal getting old, it can lead to irreversible consequences — to catastrophe. We mustn't let that happen," Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov was quoting as telling state TV.

Head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin has also stated that, "the first core module of the new Russian orbital station is in the works," with the aim of having it ready for launch in 2025.

While I absolutely believe the Russians are truly concerned about the safety of the cosmonauts/astronauts aboard the ISS, I find this statement just months before the launch of Nauka to the ISS to be rather puzzling.

Do people believe this is a bargaining ploy by Russia to potentially get more funding through the ISS for their civilian space program, or what?

Given Russia's constrained financial situation, I find it hard to believe the Russians are going to be both building a stand alone Earth orbiting space station, and be half and half partners (or at least one-quarter partners) with China on a moon space station or lunar base.

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posted 04-20-2021 11:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps those air leaks on the Zvezda module are more of a concern than we believed them to be.

oly
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posted 04-21-2021 02:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
US space funding is finite, and the attention has shifted from low Earth orbit to a return to the moon and on to Mars. This indicates that not a lot of funding is expected to flow into supporting other programs that achieve the same thing or supporting foreign programs. The US and Russian collaboration effort was done as a way of keeping post-Soviet era rocket scientists busy doing something constructive. That requirement is no longer applicable for many political reasons.

The previous US administration was extremely vocal about doing things internally, cutting international agreements, and putting America first. This is America's prerogative but caused other partners to reevaluate where their efforts should be. After hearing this for four years, it is not surprising partners are hesitant to continue. Why would Europe, Canada, Japan, or Russia invest in an international program when the US indicated that it was going to abandon the ISS and put America's next man, and the first woman, on the moon?

While the ISS or any space station is a benefit to science and engineering, the militarization of space has become the front and center of attention for many governments causing investment in multinational programs more problematic. The commercialization of LEO is making the region a crowded place that is also easier to access, and a commercial space station may be able to cater to the science community and pick up much of the work that is done on the ISS.

SpaceX, Boeing, and other commercial space providers will look for customers who want their capabilities. If the ISS looks to be reaching the fatigue end of life, commercial investment will balk.

Regardless of whether the recent air leaks from the Russian ISS segment were a result of fatigue or design, a lack of confidence in design regarding additional or repeating leaks will become a thing from heron out. Anyone familiar with structural repairs of pressurized aerospace structures knows that patches are temporary fixes.

It may become a case of "last one out turn off the lights", and discussion will turn to who is responsible for deorbiting the ISS safely. One reason to get out first.

If Russia indicates that they have already begun construction on a new space station, it is a fairly good indication that their plans don't include extending participation with the ISS. Talk a few years ago was of Russia taking their part of the ISS and going it alone if the US pulled out, but recent structural problems may have changed this.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-21-2021 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
Do people believe this is a bargaining ploy by Russia to potentially get more funding through the ISS for their civilian space program, or what?
Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk was asked about Russia's plans today during a press conference ahead of the Crew-2 launch:
We still have a very strong relationship with Roscosmos and Russia on ISS. It is critical for the continued safe and effective operation of ISS.

All of the partners, including us, are looking at the future of ISS and what we might do together on ISS or in LEO [low Earth orbit]. I haven't had any discussions with Russia or Roscosmos on their plans. They will do their work and decide what they want to do. And we'll make our decisions on our side with our partners.

issman1
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posted 04-21-2021 12:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Russians, if they so choose, could detach their segment which would also make the U.S. segment independent.

Axiom is due to launch a new module which could be modified to include a third commercial crew docking port.

As for orbital reboosts and collision avoidance the U S. Navy's Interim Control Module could be upgraded. It was originally developed to replace Zvezda, had the service module failed to dock with Zarya and Unity in 2000, but placed in storage.

The U.S. segment could then function till 2030 thereby providing Crew Dragon, Starliner, Cargo Dragon, Cygnus and Dream Chaser continuity and opportunity for all the international partners.

Jim Behling
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posted 04-21-2021 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
As for orbital reboosts and collision avoidance the U S. Navy's Interim Control Module could be upgraded.
Hardly viable option anymore. It was to be shuttle launched but originally was for Titan IV. Plus, it is really still in storage.

A derivative of the Gateway station PPE would be a better choice. It is designed to be refueled.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-21-2021 12:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
The Russians, if they so choose, could detach their segment...
The solar panels on the Zvezda service module and Zarya functional cargo block (FGB) no longer produce sufficient power. All of the electricity for the Russian segment is provided by the U.S. segment solar array wings.

Russia had looked into having the solar panels on Zvezda and Zarya replaced, going as so far as contracting an engineering study, but ultimately decided against it. So at this point, the Russian segment cannot be separated.

SkyMan1958
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posted 04-21-2021 07:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
About 5:30 minutes into this week's Roscosmos video you can see an exterior view of the first module of the new space station.

328KF
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posted 04-21-2021 09:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oly:
Why would Europe, Canada, Japan, or Russia invest...
The only partner threatening to leave the program at this point is Russia.

I believe that in addition to the engineering issues with Russian modules, the loss of income from transporting US astronauts to and from ISS is a more likely factor in their decision to leave the program. There are probably other geopolitical reasons behind the decision, but those are beyond the scope of this forum.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-22-2021 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
...you can see an exterior view of the first module of the new space station.
More accurately, you can see the progress building the research and power unit developed for the International Space Station that was scheduled for launch in 2024. It was only this week that Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said it would be repurposed for a new space station.

SpaceAholic
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posted 06-08-2021 04:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin threatened to withdraw Russia from the International Space Station if U.S. sanctions against Moscow's space entities are "not lifted in the near future."
"If the sanctions against Progress and TsNIIMash remain and are not lifted in the near future, the issue of Russia's withdrawal from the ISS will be the responsibility of the American partners," Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said during a Russian parliament hearing on Monday, according to an NBC translation.

"Either we work together, in which case the sanctions are lifted immediately, or we will not work together and we will deploy our own station," he added.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-02-2021 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said a "divorce is not possible" when it comes to the International Space Station in an interview with CNN, despite having made earlier remarks threatening to pull out of the program.
"I think there is a problem in interpretation. I, most likely, did not say that," Rogozin told CNN, speaking Russian. His words were translated by an interpreter hired by CNN.

"It's just that we're talking about how we can continue our comradery, our friendly relations with our American partners, when the US government is implementing the sanctions against the very same organizations which supply the International Space Station."

...Rogozin says it is "the guarantee" that Russia will have the "technical capacity for station operation up until the time when it will reach the end of its service life."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-31-2021 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Biden-Harris Administration Extends Space Station Operations Through 2030

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced today the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to extend International Space Station (ISS) operations through 2030, and to work with our international partners in Europe (ESA, European Space Agency), Japan (JAXA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Canada (CSA, Canadian Space Agency), and Russia (State Space Corporation Roscosmos) to enable continuation of the groundbreaking research being conducted in this unique orbiting laboratory through the rest of this decade.

"The International Space Station is a beacon of peaceful international scientific collaboration and for more than 20 years has returned enormous scientific, educational, and technological developments to benefit humanity. I'm pleased that the Biden-Harris Administration has committed to continuing station operations through 2030," Nelson said. "The United States' continued participation on the ISS will enhance innovation and competitiveness, as well as advance the research and technology necessary to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon under NASA's Artemis program and pave the way for sending the first humans to Mars. As more and more nations are active in space, it's more important than ever that the United States continues to lead the world in growing international alliances and modeling rules and norms for the peaceful and responsible use of space."

Over the past two decades, the United States has maintained a continuous human presence in orbit around the Earth to test technologies, conduct scientific research, and develop skills needed to explore farther than ever before. The unique microgravity laboratory has hosted more than 3,000 research investigations from over 4,200 researchers across the world and is returning enormous scientific, educational, and technological developments to benefit people on Earth. Nearly 110 countries and areas have participated in activities aboard the station, including more than 1,500,000 students per year in STEM activities.

Instruments aboard the ISS, used in concert with free-flying instruments in other orbits, help us measure the stresses of drought and the health of forests to enable improved understanding of the interaction of carbon and climate at different time scales. Operating these and other climate-related instruments through the end of the decade will greatly increase our understanding of the climate cycle.

Extending operations through 2030 will continue another productive decade of research advancement and enable a seamless transition of capabilities in low-Earth orbit to one or more commercially owned and operated destinations in the late 2020s. The decision to extend operations and NASA's recent awards to develop commercial space stations together ensure uninterrupted, continuous human presence and capabilities; both are critical facets of NASA's International Space Station transition plan.


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