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  Cosmonaut: Russian ISS segment "unacceptable"

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Author Topic:   Cosmonaut: Russian ISS segment "unacceptable"
328KF
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posted 09-28-2012 07:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some harsh words about the living conditions in the Russian ISS segment:
Padalka compared the living conditions to the mass housing thrown together in the 1960s by Nikita Khrushchev — housing where many Russian city dwellers still reside. The apartment building is called a "khrushchevka," a bitter word play on both the late Soviet leader's name and on its root meaning, "beetle" (as in "bug house"). As the cosmonaut explained to reporters, he had spent his last three missions totaling about two years in duration aboard a "small-scale khrushchevka."

Padalka found the idea of spending an entire year in space, as has been proposed, to be completely unacceptable without major improvements in crew comfort.

Jay Chladek
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posted 09-29-2012 12:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not surprised Padalka is criticising things as I believe it was on one of his previous missions to the ISS (not long after the war between Russia and Georgia) that some restrictions were put in place which prevented Russian crewmembers from fully utilizing the creature comforts on the US side of the station. As I recall, he expressed his displeasure about that back then.

It is interesting to see this apparent glimpse into the Russian side of things as it does seem to show that while Russian technology has been robust and works well, except for some very minor things it has been pretty stagnant otherwise as the Russian service module is pretty much like Mir internally and elements of it are now over 25 years old since it was at one time the backup for Mir. Even with the internal systems improvements that were made before the core launched, the Russian segment is still over a decade old now and it doesn't surprise me that some issues are starting to crop up with it.

East-Frisian
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posted 09-29-2012 02:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for East-Frisian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is that his first step to resign from active duty?

issman1
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posted 09-29-2012 03:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It could well be Gennady Padalka's parting shot, after all he is 54.

But then again Pavel Vinogradov, who at 59 will be the oldest Russian cosmonaut ever to fly in 2013, once openly criticized Russian space programme officials for flying space tourists ahead of professional cosmonauts. Ironic in light of Sarah Brightman's possible flight to the ISS.

Perhaps Padalka is wondering, like myself, what happened to the ISS Commercial Enterprise Module? It's not too much to expect the Russian segment to be a dacha in 2012 than a bedsit. Let's hope the Multipurpose Laboratory Module Nauka improves living conditions.

kyra
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posted 09-29-2012 04:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gennadi Padalka's commentary is more of a case of being brutally honest, not an "outburst". The state of the Russian space industry is very scattered and without a clear direction, and has been in such a state for the last 20 plus years.

This is not purely a Russian issue. In the US there are similar issues that have perculated to the surface to stare us in the face. We are recycling our own technologies, and Russia is looking to what we are going to do next, and China is recycling Russian technology. The golden era of Space Age Rockets 1957-2011 has ended on a slightly downsloping plateau in LEO twently years behind schedule.

Creature comforts on a space station are now merely what the lauching nation can afford at several thousand dollars a pound. Travel into orbit on a rocket is always going to be risky. Something bold and new is needed to cure the worldwide space doldrums. Think Tesla tehnologies, plasma drives, space "elevators", and other exotic ideas. The groundwork was investigated for some of these technologies (with drones) 50 years ago in Russia near the White Sea/Kola Penninsula. What happened that solidified the rocket as the de facto method of reaching space?

cspg
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posted 09-29-2012 04:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hopefully the designers of Orion will take his remarks into consideration before sending astro/cosmo-nauts zigzaging through the solar system.

Jim Behling
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posted 09-29-2012 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Orion is not the habitation module for missions past lunar orbit. There will be some sort of mission module. Orion is just for launch, earth entry and backup command center when used on Mars mission concepts.

cspg
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posted 09-29-2012 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh, okay. So on top of SLS, an outpost at L2, there's a need for a crew habitation module (something that was planned for the ISS but dropped for, well, budgetary issues) for zigzaging ventures...

Jay Chladek
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posted 09-29-2012 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When the hab module got cut, they lost cold food storage and I believe the water shower capability (which never has quite worked right from Skylab to Mir) on the US side. So the dehydrated thermo-stabilized food is what they use and they do towel sponge baths with biocide soap for their "showers". When that happened, the nodes became the habitat modules since the internal space was found to be pretty good for that kind of thing (and the second food galley and second toilet is in one of the nodes).

It is interesting that even though the nodes became the habitat after the budget cuts, they still have more creature comforts than the RSM core, which was designed to also be a habitation point from day one. I imagine though to the cosmonauts inside it, it is a lot like sleeping in a 1970s vintage camper shell in a pickup bed while the US side seems to be more like one of those luxury RVs one tends to see at concerts or NASCAR races.

328KF
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posted 09-29-2012 09:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Oh, okay. So on top of SLS, an outpost at L2, there's a need for a crew habitation module (something that was planned for the ISS but dropped for, well, budgetary issues) for zigzaging ventures...
This has been discussed in a few other threads. It's one of the major concerns, being that there currently is no budget to build a complete system for U.S. manned interplanetary travel.

It is completely possible that if some of the newer U.S. ISS modules can be certified for extended life and modified appropriately, they can be used as components for the yet-to-be designed craft.

I don't know what it would take to accomplish these tasks, but I can certainly understand the advantages in terms construction and launch costs. I have to wonder, though, about Walt Cunningham's often cited concern that the orbital inclination of ISS negates any usefulness as a starting point for beyond LEO missions.

I also think there is promise for the inflatable module technology. Bigelow may get some full-scale habitats in orbit soon, and having one added to ISS has been explored in recent years. There is a lot of benefit to these in terms of launch weight and volume and the large interior space once you get it deployed.

I saw one of these in person down at JSC in 1998, and attended a talk by John Young, who at the time was a big proponent of the concept.

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